Gov't Mule is getting ready to release their first album in 4 years, their double-LP Shout! The first disc includes 11 new tracks, and the second disc includes the same songs featuring different guest vocalists. We've already heard both versions of "Funny Little Tragedy," and now the band has debuted another song from the collection. "Stoop So Low" features Dr. John on vocals, and is a bluesy mid-tempo track that extends for more than 10 minutes. It slows to a false ending about halfway through, but then the band picks it up for some more jamming. Check out the track above. You can also hear the version without Dr. John below.
Frontman Warren Haynes spoke to Billboard to describe the sound of the song, as well as their decision to include a guess vocalist:
That was in honor of Sly & the Family Stone's 'Fresh,' the 40th anniversary. When I listened back to my vocal performance, it started reminding me more of Dr. John, and we were about to be on tour with Dr. John and I thought, "Well, maybe I should ask Mac to sing the low verses or something."
"Stoop So Low" was the second song for which Gov't Mule decided to invite a guest artist. As Haynes explains, "We just started making a Gov't Mule record, and there was one song and then two songs and then three song that we felt like were just so different that the idea of bringing a guest came up gradually." After getting Toots Hibbert to sing on "Scared To Live" and securing Dr. John for "Stoop So Low," they ended up choosing to re-record all their new songs with an alternate vocalist. However, they always made sure the two versions were unique from one another:
In almost every case, we specifically, intentionally changed the arrangement -- sometimes before they sang the song and sometimes after they sang the song. We were consciously not wanting to offer the same arrangement twice. I think everybody delivered above and beyond what was expected, but that's what you would expect of these people. These are great singers that I genuinely love and respect, and so it's only appropriate that each of them would take the song somewhere that I would never think of.
Dr. John's take on "Stoop So Low" certainly turned out great, but be sure to check out the Gov't Mule only version too:
The band is happy with how the record has turned out and are unconcerned with the possibility of being eclipsed by their guest stars. As they told Billboard, "the positives far outweigh any potential negatives." Furthermore, Shout! is special in that "the biggest part of the life of this album is going to be next year when we celebrate our 20th year." Haynes continues:
I think ['Shout!'] kind of goes hand in hand with celebrating Gov't Mule, and I also feel with today's mode of the music business you have to constantly reinvent the concept of putting out a new release and stumbling upon something that has never been done before. I think what we did here is hopefully going to garner some attention beyond what we'd normally get.
Gov't Mule has only just started discussing what they will do to commemorate their 20th anniversary, but have already suggested collaborations, special shows, and releasing "cool archival stuff and box sets." They've even considered an all instrumental live album.
Both versions of "Stoop So Low" appear on Gov't Mule's upcoming album, Shout! It will be released on September 24th, but you can pre-order it now on iTunes or the band's official site. They are also kicking off a North American tour this Friday, and will be on the road until November. Tickets are available on their website.