Three years after the death of founding member Allen Woody, Andy Hess has been named permanent bass player for Gov’t Mule. The new lineup will begin a fall tour Oct. 3 at the Backyard in Austin, Texas.
Hess, who has recorded and toured with John Scofield, the Black Crowes, Joan Osborne and Freedy Johnston, among others, is one of many musicians who has performed with the band since Woody’s passing, touring briefly with the group in 2002.
Gov’t Mule’s “Deep End” projects — which found the band collaborating with a host of legendary bassists — were special, Hess adds, “but I think those guys are also really psyched to have a unit again, to be a group just coming together and playing music, maybe doing some recording — becoming a band again.”
As previously reported, ATO will on Oct. 7 release “The Deepest End” CD and DVD, chronicling a six-hour, all-star Gov’t Mule concert held May 3 at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre. The group will appear the following evening on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”
The album blues great John Lee Hooker was working on at the time of his death will be released next month. “Face to Face,” which Hooker was completing with his daughter Zakiya, is due Oct. 28 via a previously reported licensing deal between the Hooker estate and Eagle Rock Entertainment. The album features feature guest appearances by Van Morrison, George Thorogood, Elvin Bishop, Warren Haynes, Dickey Betts, Johnny Winter and Jack Casady, among others.
The album is a collection of leftover songs that are in many cases embellished with overdubbed performances from the various guests. The raw tracks, all of which feature Hooker on vocal and guitar, were recorded during the sessions for the Pointblank/Virgin albums he released over the last decade of his life.