Haynes Is Back, Allmans Are Better
By ERIC DANTON
The Hartford Courant
August 27, 2001
Talk about a triumphant return.
Four years after leaving the Allman Brothers Band to
concentrate on Gov’t Mule, Warren Haynes is back, and he’s
running the show.
The Allman Brothers wrapped up their latest tour with a stop
Sunday at the ctnow.com Meadows Music Centre in
Hartford, where they played a little Southern rock, a little
funk and a whole mess of blues.
It’s a band that has survived sometimes-tumultuous shifts in
personnel, most recently involving original member Dickey
Betts, who was dropped from the lineup in 2000, accused of
sub-par playing. But more than a year later, the Allman
Brothers are still trying compensate for the loss of his sweet
vocals and soaring guitar.
Enter Haynes, who first took up with the Allmans in 1989.
Since joining the Allmans’ tour earlier this summer, Haynes
has clearly stepped into the role of band leader. He gets
songs started, gives the signal to end them and sings, too.
And because Haynes and Betts aren’t exactly stylistic
clones, Haynes’ rougher, bluesier guitar sound now drives
And he’s a great guitar player. From scorching slide guitar
on “Statesboro Blues” to the tender instrumental snippet of
“Amazing Grace,” Haynes showed his versatility.
Derek Trucks, the nephew of drummer Butch Trucks,
rounded out the band’s guitar sound. At 20, Derek Trucks
still needs seasoning, but he has a good ear for the Allman
sound and he let fly with a smoldering solo on “Worried
Down With the Blues” before Haynes took over.
Though the Allman Brothers played a mix of their own tunes
and covers (Betts-penned songs like “Blue Sky” and
“Jessica” were conspicuously absent), Sunday’s show
seemed more low-key than previous appearances at the
Meadows. But that’s understandable, since Haynes and
Gregg Allman dedicated the show to former bass player
Allen Woody, who died a year ago Sunday.
The band played “Sailin’ ‘Cross the Devil’s Sea,” which
Woody co-wrote, and Allman and Haynes shared vocals on
a moving version of “Soulshine,” while images of Woody
flashed on a video screen behind the band.
The Allmans played a couple of tunes, including a funky
“Southbound,” with the horn section from Deep Banana
Blackout, before finishing their regular set with a half-hour
jam on “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” The final song
featured the usual drum circle of Butch Trucks, Jaimoe and
Marc Quinones, and a jaw-dropping solo from bass player