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From Mountain Roots ...
You wouldn’t know it from listening to Warren Haynes’ work as a solo artist, as a member of the Allman Brothers Band, and frontman of Gov’t Mule, but there was a time when he didn’t play guitar. He says ‘“I didn’t get my first guitar until I was 12. My oldest brother had an acoustic guitar, and I would bang on it and try to play.” Guitar wasn’t even his first love. Around the time he was 8 or 9, growing up in Asheville, NC, Warren’s two older brothers began turning him on to soul music. He would sit in his room, singing Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett. He became fascinated with the sounds of Motown and Memphis . “All I cared about was the singer. The really strong singers really knocked me out. Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops still is one of my favorite voice of all time, and I always liked BB King, even before I liked the blues. His voice was the main thing.” Guitar didn’t escape Warren’s attention for long, however. He would soon turn on to rock ‘n roll. “I really liked Eric Clapton. He was the first guitar hero that I had. I liked the really heavy Cream stuff. I liked all the Derek and the Dominoes stuff.” Warren’s brothers used his admiration of Clapton to expand his musical horizons to take in the blues masters. They would tell him to check out a Howlin’ Wolf record because Clapton plays on it . Interviews with Warren’s favorite guitarists led him to other blues players and the scope of his guitar playing grew accordingly. It wasn’t long after discovering the pleasures of guitar playing, that Warren was performing for appreciative audiences at walkathons and pool parties. Then, when he was about 14, he started hanging around local pizza parlors that had been converted into nightclubs. “We were way too young to be drinking, but we thought it was cool to go in there and listen to live music. They didn’t really hassle us too much.” About 6 months later, word got out that Warren played guitar. The regulars wondered what “the kid” could do, so they offered him the stage. Warren remembers, “This guy played left-handed, but he played upside down. So I played his left-handed guitar and turned it over. It was tuned right, but it was kinda awkward. The first time I ever played professionally in a club I was playing an upside down Les Paul in this little hippie club.”

Gov't Mule... To Mountain Jam
Things progressed quickly for the young guitarist. He played in bands on local gigs, and then in a band called Ricochet, which developed a good regional following . One day, Warren got a call from David Allan Coe. Coe wanted Warren in New Orleans the next day. It was a good break for a young man. Warren was twenty. Warren played with David Allan Coe from 1980 to 1984. He traveled all over the States and went to Europe with him as well. He played on 9 of Coe’s albums. Warren also met Dickey Betts ad Gregg Allman through David Allan, and when Coe’s band opened for the Allman Brothers at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Dickey sat in. After four years, Warren moved to Nashville to do session work, but the Allman connection wouldn’t go away. Dickey was doing some demos in Nashville and called someone to put together a group of background singers. As fate would have it, Warren was one of them. “ Dickey came up to me and said , ‘What are doing here?’, I said, ‘I’m singing back-up on your stuff.’ He said, ‘ Oh really. You got your guitar with you?’ I told him no and he said, ‘Good!’ and started laughing.” Good-natured ribbing aside, Dickey kept thinking about Warren’s guitar playing. He called Warren up later, and invited him down to work on some songs. Those songs turned into Dickey’s solo album, Pattern Disruptive. At the same time, Gregg decided to record “Just Before The Bullets Fly”, which Warren co-wrote, as the title track to his 1988 album. It’s no wonder that when the Allman Brothers reformed for their reunion tour in 1989, Warren got the call.

Warren HaynesA Long Ride With the Mule Begins
That tour marked the beginning of eight extremely productive years of touring and recording. During that span, Warren’s songwriting, singing, and guitar playing helped the Allman Brothers Band record five albums (Seven Turns, Shades of Two Worlds, An Evening With The Allman Brothers Band, Where It All Begins, and 2nd Set). These albums became the Brothers’ most critically acclaimed records in fifteen years. The band was nominated for three Grammy awards, two of which were for instrumentals co-written by Warren and Dickey Betts (“True Gravity” in 1990, and “Kind of Bird” in 1991), and they won a Grammy in 1995 for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” (“Jessica”). Many critics give Warren credit for putting the fire back into the Allman Brothers Band. In 1993, Warren stepped into the spotlight with his first solo record, Tales of Ordinary Madness, on Megaforce Records. He recruited Chuck Leavell to share production duties, and Chuck also played on the record. A year later, through an impromptu jam with Allman Brothers Band partner Allen Woody and drummer Matt Abts (who Haynes knew from the Dickey Betts Band), Gov’t Mule was born. The trio released their critically acclaimed debut album on Relativity records in 1995, and quickly gained a loyal fan base by hitting the road during the Brothers’ touring breaks. Warren was voted #1 slide guitarist by Guitar Player magazine in both 1995 and 1996. Meanwhile, in 1996, the Mule released a second record, Live at Roseland Ballroom, which received many critical accolades. Presently, Gov’t Mule is at the center of Warren’s creative energies. In April 1997, he and Allen Woody decided to leave the Allman Brothers Band in order to concentrate on the Mule full-time. They signed to Capricorn Records and recorded Dose, their second studio album, with producer Michael Barbiero (Blues Travler, Guns ‘n Roses, Soundgarden). Dose received rave reviews and debuted at #19 on the Heat Seeker Chart (Billboard) and the Mule was seen gracing the covers of many magizines such as Guitar World (with Metallica, Radiohead and Pearl Jam). Their first single, “Blind Man In The Dark” charted top 40 AOR and in 1998 the Mule successfully completed 200 shows with the final one closing out at 4 hr and 20 minutes on NYE.

And the Road Goes on Forever
In March, 1999 the Mule released their second live album, Live...With A Little Help From Our Friends, recorded live at the Roxy Theater on New Years Eve 1998. The two-cd set features such guests as Chuck Leavell, Bernie Worrell, Marc Ford, Randall Bramblett, Derek Trucks, Jimmy Herring and Yorinco Scott. Later in 1999 the band will also release a 4 cd deluxe box set of the complete New Years Eve show with a studio out-take bonus track and cd-rom which includes over a half hour of video footage. Gov’t Mule released their 3rd studio release Life Before Insanity in February of 2000, which was produced by Michael Barbiero and featured singles “Bad Little Doggie” and “Lay Your Burden Down” with guest Ben Harper. The newest album from Gov't Mule, The Deep End Vol.1 is a tribute to Allen Woody featuring the 25 best bass players in music. A DVD of the making of the album, On the Banks will be released winter 2001. Since their conception in 1995 Gov’t Mule has toured relentlessly with growing fan bases all over the US, Canada, Japan and Brazil. They have toured with Dave Matthews Band, Black Crowes, Blues Traveler, H.O.R.D.E. 98, Widespread Panic, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull , Steve Miller and Jerry Cantrell. In the summer of 1999 the Mule was one of the four founders of the Summer Session tour along with Galactic, Moe and String Cheese Incident. The summer jam tour debut was smashing with 21 dates across the country including many sold out runs at such venues as Red Rocks, the Greek Theater, Santa Barbara County Bowl and Waterloo Village Warren currently is a member of the Allman Brothers Band and Phil Lesh and Friends in addition to being the lead guitarist and vocalist for Gov't Mule. You can also hear Warren on the newest releases from Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Suprise, Corrosion of Conformity, and Everlast.

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New Album Released By Jackie King, Willie Nelson Touring Electric Guitarist
 
Posted on Thursday, August 01, 2002 - 09:21 PM
By ANDREW McCOLLUM BRASFIELD
Music listeners yearning for jazz with a blend for country and soft rock will love The Gypsy (IndigoMoon Records) by Jackie King with Willie Nelson.
King was 13-years-old when he first played with Willie in San Antonio, Texas. The two simply gathered at a mutual friends house, met and played, King said. Over the years, the two have colaborated on albums and toured around the world.
"(Nelson) has wrote some great words, he is a great writer," King said. He considers themselves "very close friends, we have a great respect for each other as artists."
King grew up playing country and jazz, and listening to players like Hank Garin, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and one of his all time favorites - Hank Garland.
King now plays Heritage Guitars which are made in an old Gibson guitar factory in Kalamazoo, Mich.
At the Saturday, July 28, 2001, concert at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ, Willie Nelson & Family opened their set with "Whiskey River," followed by "Good Hearted Woman." The band then revisited "Whiskey River" about 20 songs later when the band was winding up the crowd, yet winding down their set which was over an hour-and-a-half long.
Acoustic Hot Tuna opened the show with Phil Lesh & Friends headlining, with Warren Haynes, of GOV'T MULE and the Allman Brothers Band, as a special guest on guitar and vocals.
At the show, the crowd lost their sanity when the band played, with Haynes singing the Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Bob Dylan song "All Along The Watchtower." Haynes sang and played the song with full force - and a solid spirit.
The second set started on a blue, or somber tone, with a 10 minute jam and the Friends moving into Traffic’s "Mr. Fantasy," with Haynes again on vocals.
King and Nelson cowrote the song "Great Divide," which is the title cut to Willie’s new album, available at certain stores and on the internet.
King has been Nelson’s electric guitarist in his touring band for the last 4 years.
And you could say that being a member of Willie’s touring band is a 'steady gig' since percussionist Billy was the last band member hired - over 16 years ago!
(That's BIG sisters and brothers.)
"Playing with Jackie every night is a real treat," Nelson said in a press release. "He’s heads above most other guitarist - I mean, I play guitar, but he’s a real guitar player.

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Warren Haynes Comments
 
Posted on Tuesday, January 01, 2002 - 11:39 AM
Share your comments about the hardest working man in rock'n'roll here.

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