To be ‘On the Road Again,’ one has to be off the road at some point.

For The Mulligan Brothers, the road has become a second home over the last four-and-a-half years.

“The closest to off time that we get is around the holidays, a little after Thanksgiving,” Ross Newell (lead vocals, guitar, and songwriting) said. “Our longer trips tend to be in the summer. We really tour all year-round. It is just divided into shorter trips most of the time.”

Newell and the band are already five days into a summer run that will see them play Club Cafe on June 16.

With so much time spent on the road, it is only natural that the Mobile, Alabama band’s latest release is a live album…from the Netherlands.

The album was recorded during the band's second trip through the Netherlands.

“We were in (the Netherlands) in November of last year,” Newell said. “In the Netherlands, generally speaking, there are a lot of great venues and really good audiences as well. I think that we decided that we wanted to try for the live record, I think that it is important to consider, not only the recordability of the show, but the audience can have a lot to do with how everybody is feeling that night and the energy that is on stage. It was our second trip to the Netherlands. So, we knew what we were getting into and wanted to capture the thing that we experienced there before.”

Given all the travel that life on the road entails, it is easy to see how one would want more time to spend with their family. Gram Rea, the band’s old fiddle player, did just that; he took the time to spend time at home with family. The band brought in Melody Duncan to fill the violin spot and changed up the dynamics of the band

“Certainly all in positive ways. She has added a lot of versatility and a new energy,” Newell said. “Now, having a female vocal and a female perspective on parts, it has definitely been a great experience for us.

“With the writing, there are all sorts of duet possibilities and things that didn’t feel as natural before. Even with our older material, she breathes new life into everything. She has given us a lot of relief. There are certain parts that we really used to stretch on to hit a high harmony and things that we really had no business trying to do. She is going to allow us to restructure parts of our existing material to where everyone can sing in their register and enjoy it a lot more.”

The band is trying, emphasis on trying, to get work done on a new studio release.

“We are actually trying to… We made a bit of, I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but we have loved all the touring and are very grateful to have as much work as we’ve had over the last couple of years. We just got ahead of ourselves and didn’t put aside any time for the making of a new record. We have started buckling down recently and really started to strategize the second half of our year. We are certainly working on it, but it has been at a glacial pace. We hope to have something out early next year.”

Again, it comes back to being on the road. While there are some writers that can write amidst the hustle and bustle of the touring life, others need the peace and quiet of home to percolate and create.

“I struggle with (writing on the road). I’ve been working on changing it for the last four-and-a-half years (laughs). I think the best I’ve accomplished so far is I try to keep a lot of notes. I jot down a lot of ideas, and then my safe space at home is where the writing happens. I try to have a lot to pull from when I make it to harvest time, where I can harvest all those ideas into bigger ideas.”

Newell admits that the band does have some new material already written, just don’t expect to hear it on the tour… yet.

“We have some new stuff written, and we have more to write. So far, we haven’t been playing any of the new material. We are still holding it close to our chest. We want to flesh out some parts and figure out how these songs want to be heard. That is a great way of putting it, ‘road testing’ the songs. We will start it soon for sure. We have a little bit of time at home after this trip, so maybe we will be able to start piecing some of this stuff together.”

The band looks to the fall for getting back into the studio and properly getting to work on their third studio album.

“We are always exploring new sounds. I think, in the beginning, we really wanted to stay with a strictly acoustic sound. I think that has evolved. We still want to be able to reproduce live anything that we record. So, we don’t like to go overboard with production and such. I think that we are constantly evolving. Anything thing that makes us fill these songs more efficiently that will be how the (album) sounds.

“I think we were motivated to stay where we were, not on skill level or musically, but instrumentally as our sound. We wanted it to stay the same at first. I think that you quickly realize that is a great way to run out of options really quickly. I think that we will always be pretty open-minded to whatever feels good to us at the time that will be the sound.”