The Allman Brothers Band

Haynes is Back, Allmans are Better

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

the band.

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

Oteil Burbridge.

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