Peace…Like A River, Gov’t Mule’s 12th studio album and follow-up to their chart-topping, Grammy-nominated blues album, Heavy Load Blues, features a 12-song rock collection with guest appearances from Billy Bob Thornton, Celisse, and Billy F Gibbons. The album’s first single “Dreaming Out Loud” features Ivan Neville and Ruthie Foster with lyrics weaving together inspirational quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert and John Kennedy, and the late civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis.
The tracks on Peace…Like A River explore the many sides of Gov’t Mule and bring together all of the qualities that have earned the four-piece – Haynes [guitar, vocals], Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] – the beloved stature they enjoy today. Concise songcraft coexists seamlessly with the band’s trademark instrumental journeys. Songs longer than pop convention are somehow still compact: they’re explorative but never meandering; the tunes are at once both wide-ranging and tightly focused. Thematically, the new album explores the positive changes the world has gone through over the past couple of years. Influenced both in his songwriting and playing by what Haynes calls “the golden era of rock, soul, jazz and blues,” Gov’t Mule combines the best and most enduring qualities from all those musical strains to create a timeless piece of art on Peace…Like A River that could have easily come out in the 1970s.
Peace…Like A River was recorded during the same sessions as Heavy Load Blues at The Power Station New England with co-producer John Paterno (Elvis Costello, Michael Landau, Bonnie Raitt, Robbie Williams, Los Lobos) alongside Haynes. The albums, however, were created in different rooms, with no shared gear or instruments, keeping the two concurrent projects with their own unique identity and character.
One distinguishing difference on Peace…Like A River is the return of friends of the band in important guest roles. Billy F Gibbons’ trademark vocals underscore the tasty ZZ Top textures that inform the humor-infused “Shake Our Way Out,” while Billy Bob Thornton adds his distinctive vocals to “The River Only Flows One Way.” For introductory track “Dreaming Out Loud,” Haynes wanted a Sly and the Family Stone vocal style where different singers take different sections of the song, so he called upon previous collaborators Ruthie Foster, who appeared on backing vocals on Mule’s 2006 album High & Mighty, and longtime friend Ivan Neville. See below for full track listing.
Peace…Like A River Track Listing: