Guitarist Warren Haynes' prolific nature as a musician is matched by his great generosity of spirit. Since joining the Allman Brothers in 1989, and forming Gov't Mule in 1994, the North Carolina native has become a warrior of the road and the studio with both bands, while also serving as a lynchpin of the Phil Lesh Quintet for a lengthy period. Despite his hectic diary, Haynes has continued to stage charity fundraising events on a regular basis.
Haynes has recently resurrected the Evil Teen record label as a means of generating further charitable funds through the release of CDs and DVDs of his benefit concerts and related titles such as Mule's Live at Roseland Ballroom (Evangeline, 2002). Though the first two editions are somewhat spotty, they do achieve the additional objective of illustrating beyond-the-mainstream contemporary rock's diversity and intelligence.
Warren Haynes Presents The Benefit Concert Volume 1
The Benefit Concert Volume 1, from 1999, is not scintillating throughout, but becomes so shortly into the first disc, when tracks featuring The Derek Trucks Band appear including a sit-in by guitarist non pareil Jimmy Herring on "555 Lake." Musicianship as sharp as the sound mix reappears in a quasi-reunion of The Aquarium Rescue Unit; in their hands, the Grateful Dead's iconic "Turn On Your Lovelight" refuses to become stale. Vocalist Susan Tedeschi lends her sultry presence to the occasion.
This soulful blues woman sounds equally convincing on "Angel From Montgomery, in which she simultaneously confronts and transcends comparisons to early Bonnie Raitt. Meanwhile, the three-man powerhouse that was Gov't Mule with its original bassist, the late Allen Woody, augmented by the late guitarist/vocalist Little Milton, digs into its roots with "When The Blues Comes Knockin'." This follows another fiery interlude with Herring on "Devil Likes It Slow.
Warren Haynes Presents the benefit Concert Volume 2
Volume 2 of the series (now commonly referred to as "Christmas Jam") is also distinguished by Jimmy Herring: it contains the only officially released recordings of the Allman Brothers band featuring the guitarist, recorded on tour during 2000.
That said, "Come And Go Blues and "Ain't Wasting Time No More only hint at the expansive approach Herring reintroduced to AAB as he teamed with precocious guitarist Trucks and bassist Oteil Burbridge (also a charter member of ARU) in 2000. But then extended tracks wouldn't allow for the varied performances otherwise included on this double disc set. Mule's scorching take of "Goin' Out West features Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, effectively compensating for the emotional indulgences of guitarist/harp player John Popper. The erstwhile Blues Traveler does take part in an emotive rendition of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released, but that's also including singer Edwin McCain who introduced the first CD with such intelligence and style as well as Warren Haynes himself.
The once and future Allman Brother and head of Gov't Mule not surprisingly sets the tone for both this set and its companion piece. Yet, with characteristic humility, there is but one true Haynes solo track, the self- referential "I'll Be The One. While each package has its forgettable intervals"Cry Of Love" is the personification of anonymous rock, and The Bottle Rockets are almost equally genericthe memorable parts of each disc, invariably featuring Warren Haynes in one role or another, are worth returning to.
Tracks and Personnel
Warren Haynes Presents The Benefit Concert Volume 1
Tracks/Personnel: CD1: Beautiful Life/Edwin McCain; Alive/Edwin McCain w/Warren Haynes; I'll Be/Edwin McCain w/Warren Haynes; Rastaman Chant/Derek Trucks Band; Chicken Strut/Derek Trucks Band; 555 Lake/Derek Trucks Band w/Jimmy Herring; Yield Not To Temptation/Derek Trucks Band w/ Col. Bruce Hampton & Jimmy Herring; Turn On Your Lovelight/Derek Trucks Band w/Susan Tedeschi, Col. Bruce Hampton & Jimmy Herring; Ain't That Loving You/Derek Trucks Band w/Larry McCray & Jimmy Herring; Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)/Derek Trucks Band w/Edwin McCain & Jimmy Herring; Just Won't Burn/Derek Trucks Band w/Susan Tedeschi CD2: Angel From Montgomery/Susan Tedeschi; Pretty As You Please/Cry Of Love; Peace Pipe/Cry Of Love; Mule/Gov't Mule; Bad Little Doggie/Gov't Mule; Lay Your Burden Down/Gov't Mule w/Johnny Neel; Fallen Down/Gov't Mule w/ Johnny Neel; Devil Likes It Slow/Gov't Mule w/Johnny Neel & Jimmy Herring; Spoonful/Gov't Mule w/Col. Bruce Hampton, Johnny Neel & Mike Barnes; When The Blues Come Knockin'/Gov't Mule w/Little Milton & Johnny Neel; It Hurts Me Too/Gov't Mule w/Little Milton, Johnny Neel, Yonrico Scott, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.
Warren Haynes Presents The Benefit Concert Volume 2
Tracks/Personnel: CD1: I'll Be The One/Warren Haynes; In My Life/Warren Haynes w/Matt Abts; Badness/Chris Duarte Group; Who Knows/Chris Duarte Group w/Mike Barnes and Audley Freed; Nancy Sinatra/The Bottle Rockets; Stuck In A Rut/The Bottle Rockets; Elevator To The Moon/Col. Bruce Hampton And The Aquarium Rescue Unit; Fixin' To Die/Col. Bruce Hampton And The Aquarium Rescue Unit; Time Is Free-Jack The Rabbit/Col. Bruce Hampton And The Aquarium Rescue Unit w/John Popper; Goin' Out West/Gov't Mule w/Dave Schools; Mountains Win Again/Gov't Mule w/Dave Schools, John Popper and Dr. Dan Matrazzo. CD2: Alone/John Popper w/Warren Haynes; Scarred But Smarter/Kevin Kinney w/John Popper; A Good Country Mile/Kevn Kinney w/Tramp; Solitude/Edwin McCain w/Warren Haynes; I Shall Be Released/Warren Haynes, Kevn Kinney, Edwin McCain and John Popper; Come And Go Blues/Gregg Allman w/Warren Haynes; Ain't Wastin' Time No More/The Allman Brothers Band; Born Under A Bad Sign/Allman Brothers Band w/Floyd Miles; Soulshine/w/Dr. Dan Matrazzo; Statesboro Blues/The Allman Brothers Band w/John Popper and Audley Freed.