Tag Archives: Warren Haynes

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Gov’t Mule and Chris Robinson Brotherhood Come to SummerStage

May 16th, 2017

Local guitar hero Warren Haynes (vocals and guitar) doesn’t know how to sit still. He’s seemingly always performing, recording, touring or sitting in with someone else. And with a new Gov’t Mule album, the politically charged Revolution Come … Revolution Go, recorded last year on Election Day, due to arrive in just a few weeks, one of the hardest working men in show business is back out on the road with comrades in bluesy Southern-rock jam-band arms Matt Abts (drums and vocals), Danny Louis (keys and vocals) and Jorgen Carlsson (bass). Tomorrow night at SummerStage in Central Park, Gov’t Mule (above, performing “Blind Man in the Dark” at Lockn’) arrive with the like-minded Chris Robinson Brotherhood—the former Black Crowes frontman (vocals and guitar) alongside Neal Casal (guitar and vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys and vocals), Tony Leone (drums) and Jeff Hill (bass). The CRB’s most recent release, Betty’s Self-Rising Southern Blends, Vol. 3 (stream it below), out in March, is filled with live soundboard mixes by famed Grateful Dead audio engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson, terrifically capturing the band live, which just so happens to be the best way to experience Gov’t Mule and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. So don’t miss them live tomorrow night at SummerStage.

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A 75th Birthday Bash Full of Smiles and Classic Rock

March 17th, 2015

Phil Lesh – Capitol Theatre – March 16, 2015

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead and, if you haven’t noticed, their music seems to be everywhere, a constant presence that transcends genre, age and geography. Part of that constant presence has been the band’s bassist, Phil Lesh, who, remarkably, turned 75 on Sunday and is celebrating (how else?) with a run of jam-filled shows at the Capitol Theatre. Monday night’s band of Lesh’s friends included Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule on guitar and vocals, Eric Krasno of Soulive on the other guitar, and longtime Lesh running mates John Molo and Rob Barraco on drums and keyboards respectively. The evening began with a session of noodling: free-form, aqueous improvisation that featured all five musicians interacting with the others, like wolves licking their chops before devouring helpless prey.

The set proper bounced back and forth between the Dead’s repertoire, older blues-based material like “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” and “Cosmic Charlie” interleaved with later-era groove-rockers like “West L.A. Fadeaway” and “Alabama Getaway.” Of course, the songs themselves were merely starting points for various shades of space-outs and left-turn excursions. The walls of the Capitol Theatre were populated in tie-dyed fractal explosions that seemed to open up wormholes to past eras, 20, 30, 40 years back. Krasno’s clean-toned guitar played counterpoint to Haynes’s gritty licks, but Lesh was the constant force, running circles around his younger crew. Each measure of bass playing was a snowflake— clear, defined crystal, beautifully unique. The first set ended with an optimistic spring theme: “Here Comes Sunshine” brought a projected sunrise to the theater’s walls with Lesh pushing Haynes and Molo while Baracco glued together the sonic collage, segueing into the Allman Brothers classic “Blue Sky,” the ceiling turning a bright indigo as Haynes ceded the floor for Krasno and Baracco solos before shining his own big, Allmans-y turn.

The second set picked up where the first left off, another round of free jamming, Lesh slithering through multiple THC-soaked themes before charging through a few more covers: Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” and later Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” the band cracking open classic-rock radio and lacing it with LSD-inspired psychedelia. There’s often a concern with the various Dead-cover outfits about who will sing which song, but really it’s not a problem because the guy next to you will (probably) know most of the words and sing it out, loud and proud. The smiles and the twirling dancers were as integral to these shows as the weird set-list variations like the traditional “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot” > “Franklin’s Tower” being split up by “Just a Little Light” and “Uncle John’s Band” as the quintet mostly pulled off Monday night. Krasno shined best during the closing section, finding comfort in build-up solos and going toe-to-toe with Haynes. A supercharged ovation brought back the band for an emotional “Stella Blue,” Haynes belting it out as those in the smiling audience sang along, many swaying in one another’s arms. But no smiles were bigger than the constant one on the 75 year old leading the way. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

(See Phil Lesh play the Capitol Theatre on Thursday night.)

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Three Nights of Gov’t Mule with John Scofield Coming Our Way

March 6th, 2015

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Warren Haynes is one of the hardest working musicians in show business. He’s been a solo performer in addition to his work with a variety of groups, including the Dickey Betts Band, the Allman Brothers Band, the Dead and, of course, Gov’t Mule, the blues-rock power trio he founded with bassist Allen Woody and drummer Matt Abts back in 1994. Following Woody’s tragic death in 2000, the band used a rotating group of bassists (including Andy Hess for five years) before settling in as a four-piece with keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson. In 2014, Gov’t Mule kicked off a 20th-anniversary celebration with a series of live recordings highlighting their impressive two decades of work. The most recent archival release, the stellar Sco-Mule (stream it above), out earlier this year, was recorded at two 1999 shows in Atlanta that featured dazzling jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield. And while the album is terrific, Scofield and the Mule have hit the road together bringing their cool, unique live sound to the masses. Their tour is now winding down, but you can still catch them on Sunday at the Space at Westbury and then their two final shows, next Friday and Saturday at the Capitol Theatre.

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Heavyweights on the Hudson

July 29th, 2013

My Morning Jacket/Wilco/Bob Dylan – Hoboken Pier A Park – July 26, 2013

(Photo: Eddie Bruiser)

What a view! What a bill! What a night! With a stage bracketed by the Empire State Building on one side and the Freedom Tower on the other—and just about perfect outdoor-concert weather—the AmericanaramA tour landed at Pier A Park in Hoboken, N.J., on Friday night. It was an evening for the skyscrapers of live rock and roll to strut their stuff on the same stage. My Morning Jacket began with “Circuital,” Jim James’s acoustic guitar sounding crisp in the summer air. MMJ are masters of the festival set, providing the perfect balance of fan favorites and special moments while packing enough of them into a limited time slot to make it feel like a much longer show. And so within the first four or five songs, the Jacket seemed to hit a couple dozen different spots and styles: “First Light” with a Flying V guitar, Carl Broemel on sax and funky keys from Bo Koster, “The Way That He Sings” with James belting it out to the crowd, a sweet spaced-out “Off the Record” with scrape-the-sky guitar work, and the steel-and-acoustic guitar summer-sun beauty of “Golden.” The special moments came when Brian Jackson joined in on flute, matching James’s howling on a great drums-and-bass-driven “It Beats 4 U” and adding a groovy R&B feel to the Gil Scott-Heron cover “The Bottle.” The action-packed set ended with opener Ryan Bingham coming back for a perfect sing-along cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic “Don’t Do It,” in the style of the Band, multiple guitars manifesting the sound and energy of a full horn section.

Next up, Wilco, another fest-set vet, performed a set perfectly complementing My Morning Jacket’s. They opened with “Dawned on Me,” Nels Cline on a gigantic double-neck guitar that screamed, “Hey, why waste time with formalities?!” Like MMJ, they covered a wide range within the first few songs: “Misunderstood” heavy on the dynamics, the whole band playing to the perfection of the moment, twangy backdrop to Jeff Tweedy’s vocals on “Forget the Flowers” and a rocking “Handshake Drugs,” aka “Nels Cline Unleashed.” While Tweedy may never be Bob Dylan, songs like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” might make you reconsider. Friday evening, it was literally played for the gorgeous setting sun, a full-color sonic masterpiece with the line “and the city kept blinking” resonating against the Manhattan skyline. Again, the great set got better when they brought out guests, first Warren Haynes for a bluesy “Feed of a Man,” featuring a Godzilla vs. Mothra battle with Cline. (Ironically, Haynes left for the most Allman Brothers-y Wilco tune, “Walken.”) After a let’s-just-rock-out section of “I’m the Man Who Loves You” and “I Got You (At the End of the Century),” they invited Ian Hunter onstage for the end of the set, dedicated to Maxwell’s. The Mott the Hoople frontman led the band through a folkie, “I Wish I Was Your Mother.” The set finished in large, this-is-the-big-city fashion: first Haynes joining with some beautiful playing on a great “California Stars” and then all of My Morning Jacket and Bingham on a fun! wow! cover of “All the Young Dudes.”

Not bad, right? But wait, there’s more! The granddaddy of them all, Bob Dylan and His Band, closed the show. Dylan is still getting it done, the Chrysler Building to the taller and newer high-rises, his voice approaching old bluesman growl. His set featured plenty of newer songs and old classics—plus a cover of “The Weight” with Tweedy, James and the J. Geils Band’s Peter Wolf—his band sounding great with a perfect mix of blues and country under a clear night sky. Compared to the opening sets, Dylan took his own pace, a natural gait of a man who’s done a few shows in his time. Personally, I was excited to hear two of my favorite Dylan tunes, “Tangled Up in Blue” and “She Belongs to Me.” What a night! —A. Stein

 

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Such a Night

October 4th, 2012

Love for Levon: A Benefit to Save the Barn – Izod Center – October 3, 2012


Levon Helm is a towering figure in American music and the main reason a band, well the Band, that was actually four-fifths Canadian could be considered quintessentially American. After Helm was diagnosed with cancer, he began hosting Midnight Rambles at his home barn/studio—ridiculously intimate affairs filled with music that kept onlookers smiling for days. And despite Helm’s passing, it was clear that the barn and the Rambles would continue. But, of course, there are bills to pay. So last night at the Izod Center, a monumental group of performers—those who had worked with the Band, performed with Helm or appeared at one of those fabled Rambles—gathered to pay tribute to the musical icon and help raise money to finally pay off the barn.

There were far too many talented people involved to list everyone, but the night started with a bang as Warren Haynes, backed by the Dirt Farmer Band, did a rousing version of “The Shape I’m In” before Gregg Allman joined him for a riveting “Long Black Veil.” From there a cavalcade of stars, including Bruce Hornsby, Jorma Kaukonen, Marc Cohn, the Wallflowers and Allen Toussaint, appeared. Lucinda Williams said, “God bless, Levon Helm. His spirit lives on,” after concluding “Whispering Pines.” And then the fist set closed with John Hiatt and Mike Gordon doing a lively “Rag Mama Rag.”

And while that first set was particularly great, the second one was something special. Highlights included Ray LaMontagne and John Mayer on “Tears of Rage,” the Dierks Bentley–led “Chest Fever,” with Garth Hudson laying down the winding “Genetic Method” organ intro, and Larry Campbell eliciting a big crowd response to the “Drink all day, rock all night” line in “Tennessee Jed” as Mayer rode shotgun on guitar. Then somehow the ante got upped once again. First, a jammy “Up on Cripple Creek” with Joe Walsh and Robert Randolph (“Jersey boys are here,” proclaimed Walsh), and then the house band ceded the stage to My Morning Jacket.

The five-piece launched into “Ophelia,” with the crowd throatily singing along, and “It Makes No Difference” before bringing out Roger Waters and G.E. Smith for “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Of course all of this was just a lead up to the night’s inevitable conclusion, everyone onstage for “The Weight.” Longtime Levon Helm Band members Campbell, Teresa Williams and Amy Helm rightfully took the first verse, accompanied only by Campbell’s guitar. And then Mavis Staples sang, and then Allman and Haynes. And then Grace Potter, Eric Church, John Prine, Jim James and everyone else took turns trading verses across the stage, before turning to Waters, center stage, singing, “You know I’m a peaceful man,” with smiles everywhere. It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the people in the crowd or those onstage. It was just one of those nights. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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The Roots/Bob Weir – The Capitol Theatre – September 7, 2012

September 10th, 2012

This show was a benefit for HeadCount.

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | jcmcilwaine.com

(See the Roots play the Capitol Theatre three more Fridays this month: with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on 9/14, with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on 9/21, and on 9/28.)

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A Band Not to Miss Plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday

August 14th, 2012


First there was the Allman Brothers Band. Then guitarist Warren Haynes and Allen Woody spun off to create the power trio Gov’t Mule. And now that group’s drummer, Matt Abts, and current bassist, Jorgen Carlsson, have teamed up with multi-instrumentalist and singer T-Bone Andersson to form the fantastically named Planet of the Abts. The threesome put out a self-titled album last year (stream it here) filled with originals and updated takes on the likes of the Stones’ “Off the Hook.” Listening to the LP, according to jambands.com, is like “crash-landing right in the middle of some amazingly wild-ass rhythm-infested cartoon world … except the band is very much real—and they happen to be very serious about making music.” But, of course, this music is even better live, and you can experience it that way when Planet of the Abts (above, doing “Anything You Want It to Be” at TRI Studios) plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night.

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The Cap Is Officially Back

August 6th, 2012

A broke-down palace no more, the lovingly restored Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., reopens for business on 9/4 (the headliner will soon be announced). Built in 1926, the venue once hosted the biggest musical acts of the day. Names like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, who once played the Cap 16 times in just 12 months. But the place eventually became a catering hall and special-events facility. No longer. Live music is returning! It will have “the best sound, the best lights and the best video-projection technology of any theater anywhere. Our plan is to turn the knob to 11 in every way possible,” says Peter Shapiro of Brooklyn Bowl. The beloved bowling alley/restaurant/music venue again teams up with Blue Ribbon for food and The Bowery Presents to book the bands. And once again, the calendar is filled with big names, including four shows with the Roots in September, three My Morning Jacket dates in December and the likes of Galactic, Fiona Apple, Warren Haynes, Al Green and a whole lot more in between. Some shows are already on sale and others will be soon, so check the calendar so you don’t get left out.

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Dave Matthews Band Caravan, Take Two

September 13th, 2011


Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, so you dust yourself off and get right back up again. That’s what happened when Hurricane Irene rained out the Dave Matthews Band Caravan originally planned for late August on Governors Island. But you can’t keep a good festival down, and so the Caravan is back—this time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Randall’s Island. And while the lineup has changed, the bands are still killer. Dave Matthews Band (above, doing “Crush” in Central Park) plays a full set each night, and they’re joined by Dispatch, SOJA and TR3 (featuring Tim Reynolds) on Friday, Dispatch, Warren Haynes and Brandi Carlile on Saturday, and From Good Homes, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, plus an acoustic performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, on Sunday. Not too shabby, right? Governors Island tickets will be valid for the corresponding date (e.g. Friday tickets valid for Friday only), and three-day passes will be valid for all three rescheduled dates. The weather looks great and as an added bonus for your patience, you can download a free split digital 7″ from the Dave Matthews Band and Dispatch here.

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A Great Night of Guests, Covers and Sweet Music

October 4th, 2010

Soulive – Terminal 5 – October 2, 2010

Soulive - Terminal 5 - October 2, 2010
For two hours on Saturday night, Terminal 5 became a messy tangle of happy fans and great music. People danced in every corner of all three floors of the venue, while Soulive and a rotating group of friends (otherwise known as the Royal Family Band) provided an excellent groove ranging from borderline freeform jazz to Beatles covers. The band kicked off the set with a few of the latter from their new album of funkified Beatles songs, Rubber Soulive, including an explosive rendition of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

Those in the crowd were happy to provide their own vocals, especially in these opening moments. The Evans brothers (Alan and Neal, playing drums and organ respectively) and guitar-specialist Eric Krasno brought out a stacked brass section, including Sam Kininger on sax and Sammie “Big Sam” Williams on trombone, and guests like vocalist Nigel Hall, plus famed jazz guitarist John Scofield and local guitar god Warren Haynes, of Gov’t Mule, the Allman Brothers Band and the Dead, for fiery tracks at the end of the set. Scofield even stuck around for the encore, which included Hall doing his best James Brown during an incredible medley of the Godfather of Soul’s best music. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com

(Big Sam’s Funky Nation plays Brooklyn Bowl on Friday.)