Monday, March 30, 2009

Bonnaroo 2009 Artist

(Blues/Hard Rock/Jamband/Southern Rock)

"When you walk out on the stage, the possibilities are infinite every time." - Warren Haynes

In 1994, Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Matt Abts created Gov't Mule, as an Allman Brothers Band side project. Though none of the above mentioned were original members of the Allman's, Haynes and Woody were asked to join in the reformation of the ABB in 1989. Abts was a former drummer in the Dickey Betts Band.

The three shared a love for bands like Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Neil Young, Free, Traffic, Black Sabbath, the James Gang and Little Feat. Haynes and Woody left the Allman's in 1997, when it became apparent that the ABB would not be recording any new material.

In August of 2000, Woody was found dead in New York City from a heroin overdose. A month later, the Allman Brothers Band, the Black Crowes, Phil Lesh and Friends, Jimmy Herring and Edwin McCain came together for "One for Woody", a benefit concert to raise money for Savannah Woody's education.

Haynes and Abts considered ending the Mule, as they're known to their fans, but they continued on, and over the next couple years, would record a couple of tribute CD's, known as The Deep End, Volumes 1 & 2.

The two discs featured a number of Woody's favorite bass players, including Jack Bruce of Cream, John Entwistle of The Who, Mike Watt of Minutemen, Les Claypool of Primus, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chris Squire of Yes, among many others.

They began to tour in support of these albums, which eventually led to the additions of Danny Louis (keys) and Andy Hess (bass) in Gov't Mule.

Over the years, Mule has put out several studio albums, but like many of their influences, they were at their best in the live setting. They have become a staple act at several festivals including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Mountain Jam, All Good and the New Orleans JazzFest.

Haynes created the Christmas Jam in 1989, a concert benefiting Habitat For Humanity. The concert has taken place every year since, in Haynes hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. In the past five years alone, Christmas Jam has raised close to a million dollars, with more and more money being raised year after year.

In 2003, Asheville Mayor Charles Worley, declared December 18th, "Warren Haynes Day." The London Times called the event "one of the top ten concerts in the USA."

Over the years, the benefit concert has featured a number of friends, guests and musicians, for some rare and special collaborations. Aside from the Allman Brothers Band and Phil Lesh and Friends playing, the event has featured an almost neverending list of guests. Get ready. It's a long list: Blues Traveler, Jackson Browne, the Drive-By Truckers, DJ Logic, Peter Frampton, John Hiatt, Bruce Hornsby, Hot Tuna, Ray LaMontagne, Little Feat, Living Colour, Branford Marsalis, Dave Matthews, the 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, Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, Taj Mahal, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Bob Weir, and several members of Widespread Panic.

In more recent times, Gov't Mule performed one of the most hailed sets at the Bonnaroo 2007 Music Festival, which included collaborations with the mighty John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen (Hot Tuna), Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) and Michael Franti (Spearhead).

In even more recent times, bass player Andy Hess left the band in September of 2008, being replaced by Jorgen Carlsson.

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