The jams—especially in the song outros—went
down just like you hear them on the record. We had
the option of shortening them or fading sooner, but
we felt that would be the wrong choice.
studio, what is the dynamic between you
When we start to record, Gordie is in the
control room and I’m on the floor with the
band. Once we graduate beyond that, we
work very well together and I take a very
hands-on approach. Gordie and I have a
very good working relationship. We trust
The Rick Vito Signature
• Dual-Pro bridge pickup.
• Korina body and neck.
• Ebony fretboard.
• Pickup pan knob.
• Locking "Stairstep" tuners.
• Two-tone tapered case.
The Reeves Gabrels Signature
• Korina body, flame maple top.
• Custom uncovered bridge humbucker.
• Dimarzio Fast Track 1 neck pickup.
• Bass Contour control.
• Push-Pull phase switch.
each other’s instincts, and if one of us
feels really strongly about something, the
other one usually backs off.
Does that happen very often?
Most of the time we agree, but if we
don’t, the one who feels the most passionate takes the ball and runs with it.
But I trust his instinct so much, which
is why he is there. I not only trust him
sonically, but also from an arrangement
perspective. From a creative standpoint,
he is one of the best I have ever worked
with. The end result is always great
because neither one of us are going to
settle for less than something that satis-fies both of us.
Did recording at Willie Nelson’s
Pedernales Studios add to the vibe of
We recorded the last two Mule records
at Pedernales, so I’m very comfortable
there. Gordie works a lot out of there—
it tends to be his home base. There is a
big “comfort factor” there. Gordie knows
how to get what he is looking for in that
room, and it’s just a great place to record.
In order to do this kind of record, we
really needed a studio with a great vintage mic and amp selection. It worked
Many of the songs have stretched-out
sections. Did you plan this going in?
We went into it knowing there needed to
be a lot of guitar playing in addition to
the songs and my voice, which tend to
be the focus of the record. The jams—
especially in the song outros—went
down just like you hear them on the
record. We had the option of shortening
them or fading sooner, but we felt that
would be the wrong choice. Most people
who buy this record would probably prefer the longer version.
How did you decide on a good performance in the studio?
When I’m looking for a good performance, the most important factor is to
get the chemistry of the band together.
The call and response, and the interplay
between the musicians is more important
to me than how well I am playing at any
given moment, and that carries over into