Southern rock

Gov’t Mule mines a similar vein as that of the Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead.

June 18, 2010 19:30
2 minute read.
WITH THE Allmans winding down and the future of th

Govt Mule 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Warren Haynes didn’t really know that there was a growing number of cancellations by artists coming to Israel. “I’ve been doing a lot of flying and not following the news too closely,” said the guitarist extraordinaire and front man for American jam band Gov’t Mule last week from New York, adding that he wasn’t aware of any appeals for him to cancel the band’s Israel debut tonight at Reading 3 in Tel Aviv.

Referring to those artists like Elvis Costello and the Pixies, who have both cancelled their shows, the 50-year-old Haynes said, “I can see both sides of the issue, but unless you’re fearing for your safety, I think you should carry through on the shows that are booked.”
“Our intention is to play for our fans, and it’s not politically motivated. It’s all about music and spreading happiness and joy.” That’s something that Haynes has done with Gov’t Mule since he formed the band with fellow Allmans Brothers Band colleague Allen Woody. They were looking for a creative sideline in between Allman tours, and it soon became a full time endeavor, with the band quickly building a reputation for musical chops and playful repertoire, combining Haynes’ love of ‘60s power trios like Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the southern rock of the Allmans and the exploratory jamming of The Grateful Dead.

Haynes has pulled double and triple duty over the last decade, steering Gov’t Mule following the death in 2000 of Woody, touring as lead guitarist with The Allmans, and with the various offshoots of the Grateful Dead family including Phil Lesh and Friends and the Jerry Garcia role in the reformed core group The Dead.

“I think the adjustment to playing in different bands is more automatic than people might expect,” said the southern gentleman Haynes, a native of Asheville, North Carolina. “I really enjoy the challenge of doing several different things musically, it keeps me fresh and prevents me from getting bogged down. A lot of musicians, if they have one complaint, it’s that they don’t have a wide array of music to play. I don’t have that complaint.”

While he’s had to fill some big footsteps stepping in for Duane Allman and for Garcia, Haynes said he’s kept true to his own style of guitar playing. “The people whose roles I’m stepping into are revered by fans, myself included, and you want to pay them the utmost respect. At the same time, I know they would want me to be myself.”

Which is just the way loyal fans of Gov’t Mule want it.

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