Heavy Load: The opening acoustic mourneful tone and the resonances of the strings captures the hard relentless message of the single. Warren’s delivery of the vocals is captivating. The lyrics roll across the airwaves a story of lives troubles had hardship captured in seven-minutes of Blues purity. The acoustic six-strings rhythmic strumming strides across the journey we are taken on. The gravelling vocals are the fuel that takes on a long, ardeous journey we are walking in the other’s shoes. Not judging just relating to the soul of the music and feeling the pain. Listen once and you will come back to listen again there is so much to hear and think about. Heavy Blues for the here and now.
Though technically considered a studio album, Heavy Load Blues was recorded live in the studio at The Power Station New England on analogue tape, utilising vintage guitars, amps and other equipment to capture an authentic sound. The 13-track album was produced by Haynes alongside engineer and co-producer John Paterno (Michael Landau, Robbie Williams, The Steve Gadd Band).
One of the many standout tracks is the Junior Wells standard ‘Snatch It Back and Hold It’, which allowed the band to freely cover a classic while sandwiching a spontaneous jam called ‘Hold It Back’ in the middle of a soulful, stirring interpretation that was given a decidedly funky groove. In that regard, while several titles may sound familiar to blues enthusiasts, the band – Haynes, Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] – often opted to put its own spin on them.
The last thoughts on the forthcoming Blues album = Heavy Load Blues must be from Warren Haynes himself!
“For me, personally, it’s kind of been on my list of things to do for years,” Haynes shared. “I didn’t know if it was gonna be a solo album or a Gov’t Mule record. We play some traditional blues on stage from time to time and although it’s usually never more than a few songs per show, our approach to the blues is unique and based on our collective chemistry as a band.
“This album gave us a mission,” Haynes added. “Although in some way it was ‘anything goes,’ we wanted to stay true to the spirit of the blues in a traditional sense. It’s not a blues/rock record – it’s a blues record. We wanted it sonically to sound different from a normal Gov’t Mule record.”