Warren Haynes: Wikis


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Warren Haynes

Background information
Born April 6, 1960 (1960-04-06) (age 49) Asheville, NC
Genres Southern rock
Jam music
Folk rock
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1982–present
Associated acts The Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule, The Dead, David Allan Coe
Website Official website,
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson ES-335
Non-reverse Firebird

Warren Haynes (born April 6, 1960) is an American rock and blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of Gov't Mule and long time member of the Allman Brothers Band. Haynes also founded and runs Evil Teen Records, and is a member of the Dead.


Gov't Mule

Haynes is primary singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the band Gov't Mule, which he founded with fellow Allman Brother Allen Woody and Band drummer and bandmate Matt Abts. In addition to the Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule, Haynes has recorded and toured extensively with former members of the Grateful Dead, while also maintaining a solo career. In 2003, he was ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time[1], along with fellow Allman Brothers Band guitarists Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, and Derek Trucks.

David Allan Coe and the early years

Warren Haynes got his first break when he had just turned 20 years old, joining David Allan Coe's touring and recording band in 1980.[2] Coe's bass guitarist Mickey Hayes had first seen Haynes performing at a nightclub called "The Brass Tap" in Asheville, NC. Coe and the band had just finished a movie called "Lady Grey", and Coe had decided to drop his current lead guitarist at the time, so Hayes went to Coe and told him of a promising guitarist he'd seen play, recommended Haynes be hired to join the band and fill the spot. Upon Hayes advice, Coe called and asked Haynes join the band. He joined that night and played his first gig with the band in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

For several years Haynes toured with Coe's band throughout America, as well as tours overseas through Norway, Denmark, and Britain, amongst others. While recording a David Allan Coe X-rated album in the studio in Nashville, Tennessee late one night, Coe left and came back with friends Dickey Betts, Gregg Allman, and Don Johnson (who was acting in the television show Miami Vice, but who also sang with the Allman Brothers upon occasion). This was Haynes' first introduction to Dickey Betts.

After playing with Coe for years, Warren Haynes and Mickey Hayes left Coe and relocated to Nashville, where they shared an apartment and worked together to form the band "Rich Hippies" which consisted of: Dennis Robbins on slide guitar and backing vocals, Mickey Hayes on Bass guitar and backing vocals, Mark Deaver on drums and Warren Haynes on lead guitar and lead vocals, and Tommy Irwin on steel guitar. The band lasted over a year from 1984 to late 1985, with them performing various clubs around the Nashville area.

After the Rich Hippies, Haynes got a gig with The Nighthawks. On the side he continued to play with local musicians and did both various guitar and vocal studio work. One notable achievement while in the studio is a song he co-wrote with Dennis Robbins and Bobby Boyd for the famed country-rock musician Garth Brooks, titled "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House" from the album No Fences, which remained the No. 1 single in the United States for twenty weeks.

Dickey Betts and The Allman Brothers Band

Around 1987, Warren got a call to perform back up vocals on a studio album by Dickey Betts, along with Dennis Robbins. Dickey saw Warren and remembered him from his days with Coe. Dickey decided to add Warren to his band as his guitarist after this meeting. With Matt Abts on Drums (future drummer of Gov't Mule) and Johnny Neel on keyboards (future member of The Allman Brothers Band) the now formed Dickey Betts Band released the 1988 album "Pattern Disruptive".

Soon after in 1989, The Allman Brothers Band had decided to reunite. In Florida, the band met and discussed how to proceed. Dickey Betts recommended Warren for a slot in the band and he got the job. Also joining the band were Johnny Neel on keyboards who had been a member of The Dickey Betts Band. And after auditions for bass guitar, Allen Woody was hired. The line up was set for the newly reformed Allman Brothers Band.

Haynes has since played on four well-received studio albums, including the gold certified Where It All Begins (1994). He also has played on four official live releases from the band, including the 2003 DVD Live At the Beacon Theatre (certified platinum 2004). Although he and bassist Allen Woody left the group in March 1997 so that they could focus solely on Gov't Mule, Haynes began appearing with the Allman Brothers Band again in 2000 alongside young guitar prodigy Derek Trucks shortly after Woody's untimely death on August 26, 2000. He returned to the band as a full time member a few months later. Haynes has only missed a handful of Allman Brothers shows since his hiatus. tenor saxophonist Ron Holloway, Allman alumni Chuck Leavell and Jack Pearson played in Haynes' absence.

The Christmas Jam

Starting in 1989, Haynes began inviting local musicians to come and play once a year for charity. The first show was dubbed, "The Christmas Jam: Musician's X-Mas Reunion" in Asheville, North Carolina. The first Jam was held at 45 Cherry, a local club in Asheville, on December 29, 1989. Some of the artists at the first Christmas Jam were Warren Haynes, Mike Barnes, Crystal Zoo, The Stripp Band and the McBad Brothers Band. This event has continued to grow every year and is now dubbed "Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam". The show sells out in a matter of hours every year. Because of the fantastic growth, it is now held at the Asheville Civic Center, and features artists and friends he has played with over the years. Some past performers include The Allman Brothers Band, Blues Traveler, Jackson Browne, Johnny Winter, The Drive-By Truckers, DJ Logic, Peter Frampton, Gov't Mule, John Hiatt, Bruce Hornsby, Hot Tuna, Ray LaMontagne, Phil Lesh & Friends, Little Feat, Living Colour, Branford Marsalis, Dave Matthews, Neville Brothers, New Orleans Social Club, North Mississippi Allstars, Phish's Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, John Scofield, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, Taj Mahal Trio, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks Band, Bob Weir, Widespread Panic's John Bell, Dave Schools, John (Jo Jo) Herman, Todd Nance & Jimmy Herring and many, many others. Haynes's annual Jam benefits Habitat for Humanity, a charity that builds houses for the disadvantaged. In 2008, for it's special 20th year anniversary, The Christmas Jam consisted of two nights of music. However it went back to only one night in 2009.

Birth of The Mule

In 1994, Haynes formed Gov't Mule with Dickey Betts Band's Matt Abts and Allman bassist Allen Woody. Initially Haynes and Woody split time between Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers Band, but after the Brothers' last show of the '97 run at NYC's Beacon Theatre on March 26, 1997, both left the Brothers to focus on Mule full-time. With that line-up the band released three albums, but the band was most known for their powerful live performances. Some of these performances can be heard on official live albums (Live At Roseland Ballroom, The Deepest End, Live in Concert and Live With A Little Help From Our Friends which captures one of their annual New Year's Eve shows) and the hundreds of authorized live audience recording CDs and DVDs that float around trading circles and bit torrent websites.

In August 2000 Woody died, and the decision was made to finish the tour acoustically as the "Smile at Half-Mast" tour. Gov't Mule released 2 studio albums (The Deep End Vol. I and II) and 1 live album (The Deepest End) featuring many of Woody's favorite bass players. In 2003 Andy Hess (bass) and Danny Louis (keyboard/organ) were added as permanent members to the group and in late 2004 they released their first studio effort Deja Voodoo which later included an EP of newly recorded material titled Mo Voodoo. After recording 2006's High & Mighty, Gov't Mule also released a critically acclaimed dub EP titled Mighty High and a DVD titled Tail of 2 Cities that contained two full performances recorded on 10/15/04 and 12/09/06. The two shows on the DVD captured the first show of the Deja Voodoo Tour and the last show of the High & Mighty Tour serving to encapsulate what was created over those two years. In 2008, Andy Hess left Gov't Mule to persue other projects and was replaced by relative unknown Jorgen Carlsson. By A Thread, the first studio album from Gov't Mule with Jorgen, was released in 2009 on Haynes' own label, Evil Teen Records.

The group often includes a revolving door of guests during their shows. While the band does not attract a roaming group of followers like the Grateful Dead, they do boast an extremely dedicated grassroots fanbase. It is often said that the band is a "musicians' band" and that many of their fans are musicians. One of the ongoing inside jokes of the band is a paper napkin with "WAR PIGS" written on it as a song request. The passionate fanbase is known for its extensive disagreements which even Haynes acknowledged in a song verse ("That's Why I'm Here") performed in July 2005.

The Dead

Though never a member of the Grateful Dead, over time Warren has performed and toured with many of the remaining members. In 1997 Warren and Matt came onstage to jam with Bob Weir & Rob Wasserman in a small club near the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame being filmed for the Robert Mugge film on Robert Johnson, Hell Hounds On My Trail. Then in 2000 Phil Lesh approached him to play lead guitar and sing for his solo group Phil Lesh & Friends, where he played for 3 years. Then in 2004 when The Dead (remaining members of The Grateful Dead) were in need of a new guitarist they called upon Haynes to come play lead and sing for that summer's "Wave That Flag Tour". His run with The Dead ended on a night where he came in with them, then performed a solo acoustic set, and then ended the night playing with the Allman Brothers Band and started out on his next tour with them. He played lead guitar for The Dead again in late 2008 when they performed at a benefit at Penn State for then presidential candidate Barack Obama and then toured with them in the Spring of 2009.

Solo projects

Performing at Peaches Records, Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida

In 1993, Warren released his first solo album, Tales of Ordinary Madness, which was produced by former Allman Brother keyboardist Chuck Leavell. He then toured briefly in support of the record with various musicians.

In 2003 and 2004, Warren released two solo acoustic albums, The Lone EP, a collection of live performances and Live From Bonnaroo which documents his solo performance at the 2003 Bonnaroo Music Festival. When not touring with one of his electric bands, Warren will often take time out to do solo acoustic shows which include a variety of well-known and rare covers along with his own material. In 2004, Warren Haynes performed 5 full-length solo acoustic shows, 3 in NYC, 1 in San Francisco, and 1 in Philadelphia as well as opened 23 times for The Dead and once for the Allman Brothers Band.

He has also made 45 song appearances and 28 concert appearances with the Dave Matthews Band, including on two released live albums: Live at Central Park Concert in which he performed "Cortez the Killer", and "Jimi Thing", and Live at Piedmont Park where he performed "What Would You Say".

In 2005 Warren performed a one time only show under the name Warren Haynes & Friends. The band included Matt Abts on drums, Dave Schools of Widespread Panic and part-time Gov't Mule fame on bass, John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood, and Skerik the avant-garde sax player of cult-fame in bands such as Critters Buggin' (with ex-Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain) and Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade. The group played a selection of blues songs, covers including songs of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, and Gov't Mule standards. The band was also featured as the house band during a number of tapings of Carson Daly's late show in early February 2005. During one of these tapings, the scheduled musical act was absent, so Warren performed an acoustic rendition of U2's One. The song also appeared on his Live from Bonnaroo album.

In 2006, he appeared at New York City's Randall's Island Park (8/5 show) with the Dave Matthews Band, playing an extended version of the song "Cortez the Killer." He also performed live at Duke University as part of Joe College Day on October 20, 2007.

On 25 October 2008, Warren made a surprise appearance at the fourth night of Coheed and Cambria's Neverender tour in New York, playing "I Shall Be Released" and "Welcome Home" with Coheed.

Taping policy

All of Warren Haynes' projects (that he has a say in) are pro-audio taping/trading/online distribution. The only exception being the Allman Brothers Band which is pro-taping/trading, but is against distribution of their shows via the Internet with programs such as BitTorrent. However, since 2000 Warren has been against video taping and soundboard recording in all bands he has a say in. It should be noted that all Gov't Mule shows are recorded by the band (from soundboard) and made available for purchase as a FLAC or MP3 file at the bands web site www.mule.net.

Charity work, personal background and style

In addition to playing both acoustic and electric guitar, Haynes, a major supporter of the Habitat for Humanity charity, also writes music. He spent his formative years in Asheville, North Carolina, where he lived with his two older brothers and his father, Edward Haynes. Warren began to play the guitar at age 12. His primary guitar is a Gibson Les Paul '58 Reissue Electric Guitar (he often plays a Gibson Firebird as well, though his choice of a '58 is most likely because of Duane Allman's famed '58 Les Paul and the tone he achieved with that, rather than a more so commonly used '59 Les Paul model, popularized by guitarists such as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Haynes is married to Stefani Scamardo, respectively, a DJ for Sirius radio, as well as being the long-time manager of Gov't Mule.

Every December, Warren Haynes hosts a Christmas Jam in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina; the proceeds from the concert are donated to Habitat for Humanity. Many musicians donate their time to create an evening of music. The Jam was started in 1988. Some of the musicians who regularly play are Edwin McCain, Kevin Kinney, Audley Freed, and Dave Schools. As a tribute to his financial support of Habitat for Humanity, a subdivision in Asheville, North Carolina has a street named after Warren Haynes. Mr. Haynes has also been awarded the key to the city of Asheville, being held in high regard for his service to the Asheville community.

Haynes' influences range from Jimi Hendrix to Cream to The Beatles to Muddy Waters. Haynes usually plays guitar in standard tuning, while using a slide/bottleneck or not, unlike Duane Allman and Derek Trucks who both play in Open E tuning. Haynes tells in a 2006 interview with Gibson his early influences: "When I first started—chronologically speaking—Hendrix and Clapton and Johnny Winter were the first three people I got turned on to. That was the Cream era of Clapton. Then eventually, I heard the Allman Brothers and everybody else from that era that I stole something from (laughs). Of course, I would read interviews with all these people and find out who they listened to. And they all listened to B.B. King and Freddie King and Albert King and Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and Elmore James, so I would go back and discover that stuff."(1992 - Allman Brothers live at Great Woods VHS)

During the same 2006 interview Haynes mentions his influence of Jimmy Reed and Lighting Hopkins which he acquired from David Alan Coe.

Haynes has released two instruction videos with the Hot Licks company Electric Blues & Slide Guitar and Acoustic Slide and the art of Electric Improvisation. He discussed his influences and shows an array of techniques such as "call and response", string bending, vibrato, slide guitar in standard tuning and some acoustic opentuning licks in G and E tunings. For the examples of the Electric Improvisation section of the second video he is accompanied by Allen Woody and Matt Abts.



Allman Brothers Band

Gov't Mule

Warren Haynes

Phil Lesh & Friends

Garth Brooks

David Allan Coe

  • Live - If That Ain't Country... , 1997 (live)

Corrosion of Conformity

The Derek Trucks Band

  • Already Free, writing credits on song "Back Where I Started" - 2009


  • Freeway Jam: To Beck and Back Jeff Beck Tribute - 2007 - Track #7 "The Pump"

See also


  1. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rolling Stone. August 27, 2003. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5937559/the_100_greatest_guitarists_of_all_time.  
  2. ^ "Musician's Friend Exclusive Interview With Warren Haynes". Musician's Friend Inc.. 2009. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/document?doc_id=100127&src=3SOSWXXA. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  


External links

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Interview links

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