Friday, August 17, 2001
By Chris Varias
Cincinnati Enquirer contributor
The old, new guy made his presence felt.
Warren Haynes, the Allman Brothers guitarist who left in
1997, is back, replacing Jimmy Herring, who in turn replaced
original guitarist Dickey Betts, whom the band sacked.
During the Allmans’ Wednesday-night show at Riverbend,
Mr. Haynes wasn’t shy about returning. If the star of the show
wasn’t head brother Gregg Allman, it was Mr. Haynes, who
handled lead vocals several times throughout the night, and
whose muscular solos served as climaxes to many of the
The show was one sprawling set (with a quickie encore of
“Revival”) lasting 2 3/4 hours, in which the band jammed the
blues, jammed the blues-rock, jammed the blues-soul covers,
and jammed the hippie jams.
(By the way, did they do “Revival,” a song by Mr. Betts
known for its chorus “People can you feel it? Love is
everywhere,” for the sake of irony? Mr. Betts was arrested
Saturday for domestic battery.)
Mr. Haynes, who handles lead vocals for his Allmans
offshoot Gov’t Mule, did a good job stepping to the microphone
for versions of Willie Dixon’s “The Same Thing” and Otis
Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long to Stop Now.”
His guitar solos were always searing, providing a nice
balance with Derek Trucks’ quieter slide-guitar work.
Mr. Haynes was definitely the loudest player, but Mr.
Trucks again proved to be the band’s understated genius.
Mr. Trucks seemed happy to sit back for most of the
evening without putting up a challenge to his partner’s flashy
playing. But the payoff for Derek Trucks-watchers came in the
set’s last song, a 30-minute rendition of the instrumental “In
Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”
The song’s “jazzy” passages provided the structure for
Mr. Trucks to play solos that truly were derived from jazz, if
jazz is indeed the sound of surprise.
Opener Susan Tedeschi didn’t fare as well. With each
performance, she smacks more of novelty. She’s a fine blues
guitarist. But her singing voice sounds a little too much like
Bonnie Raitt’s, and her reliance on covers — this time around
from Sly, Dylan and Marley — only proves she’s no songwriter.