Ben Harper Talks About Kicking It With Gov’t Mule

Arguably two of the finest rock and roll slide guitarists of this generation, Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule and Ben Harper, have teamed up to record a new song, “Lay Your Burden Down,” for the Mule’s upcoming album, “Life Before Insanity,” due out next year.

Earlier this year, Harper took a break from finishing his own new album, “Burn To Shine,” to join Gov’t Mule at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York to record the track with the band, whom Harper had befriended when both acts played the H.O.R.D.E. tour a few years ago.

During a recent interview with MTV News, Harper (who also guested on “Stolen Car” from Beth Orton’s current LP, “Central Reservation”) talked about how he got his musical kicks with Gov’t Mule and how he benefits from such collaborations.

“That was a privilege, among other things,” Harper said,”but a real, real true-life privilege to play with Warren [Haynes], [Allen] Woody, and Matt [Abts]…. I was coming to New
York to see some family, I’ve got some family in Jersey, and it just so happened that that was timed with one of the last days that Gov’t Mule was in the studio, and they had been calling me up to get me in.”

“But what’s interesting about playing with other people is that you definitely grow,” he added. “It pushes you. ‘Cause you’re not directly expressing your feeling as much as you’re getting inside of their feeling and expressing part of their feeling, and it’s a real challenge to do.” [RealVideo]

Gov’t Mule’s third studio album, “Life Before Insanity,” is due out on February 1.

As for Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, they have just completed a video for their current single, “Burn To Shine,” and are scheduled to play the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on November
6.

ALIGN=RIGHT>– David Basham