Warren Haynes Biography
Warren Haynes (born 6 April 1960), is an American rock and blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and long time member of the Allman Brothers Band.
Haynes is also primary singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the band Gov't Mule, which he founded with fellow Allman Brother Allen Woody and drummer Matt Abts, formerly of the Dickey Betts Band. Haynes' guitar style is sometimes compared to that of a combined Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, and Eric Clapton. His influences range from Jimi Hendrix to Cream to The Beatles to Muddy Waters. In addition to being a member of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule, Haynes has recorded and toured extensively in recent years with former members of the Grateful Dead, while also maintaining an acoustic solo career.
In 2004, he was named to the Rolling Stone magazine list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All-Time at #23. He was joined on the list by fellow Allman Brothers Band guitarists Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, and Derek Trucks.
Haynes got his first break joining David Allen Coe's touring and recording band in the early 1980s. David Allan Coe bass guitarist Mickey Hayes saw Haynes performing at a nightclub called "The Brass Tap" in Asheville, NC. Coe. The band had just finished a movie, and the lead guitarist was going to be let go. Hayes went to Coe and told him of a promising guitarist he saw and recommended Haynes be hired ASAP to join the band and fill the spot. Upon Hayes advice, Coe called and asked Haynes join the band. He joined that night and played in Baton Rogue, Louisiana.
Haynes met Dickey Betts while recording a David Allen Coe X-rated album in the studio in Nashville, TN. Late at night during recording, Coe left and came back with friends Dickey Betts, Greg Allman, and Don Johnson of the television show Miami Vice. This was Haynes first introduction to Betts, and would lead to greater things in the future.
After playing with Coe for years, Haynes and Mickey Hayes left Coe and relocated to Nashville. They shared an apartment and worked together to form the band "Rich Hippies". The band consisted of Dennis Robbins on slide guitar and backing vocals, Mickey Hayes on Bass guitar and backing vocals, Mark Deaver on drums, Tommy Irwin on steel guitar, and Warren Haynes on lead guitar and lead vocals. The band lasted from 1984 to late 1985, with them performing various clubs around the Nashville area. Lately there has been a renewed interest in this band as pictures and live recordings have been surfacing on the net and on websites such as www.richhippies.com and The Allman Brothers web site. After the Rich Hippies, Haynes got a gig with The Nighthawks. On the side he continued to play with local musicians and did both various guitar and vocal studio work. One notable achievement while in the studio is a song he co-wrote with Dennis Robbins and Bobby Boyd for the famed country-rock musician Garth Brooks, titled "Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House" from the album No Fences. The song became a number one single on the Country charts.
In 1987, Haynes got a call for back-up vocals for a studio album by Dickey Betts, along with Dennis Robbins. Betts saw Haynes and remembered him from his days on guitar with David Allen Coe. Betts decided to add Haynes to his band as a co-guitarist after this meeting. With Matt Abts on Drums (future drummer of Gov't Mule) and Johnny Neel on keyboards (future member of Allman Brothers Band) the newly formed Dickey Betts Band released the 1988 album "Pattern Disruptive".
During this time Mickey Hayes and Warren Haynes started up a show called "The Christmas Jam, Musician's X-Mas Reunion" in Asheville, NC for local musicians to get together and play once a year at Christmas for charity. The first Jam was held at 45 Cherry, a local club in Asheville, North Carolina on December 29, 1989 . Some of the artists at the first Christmas Jam were Warren Haynes, Mike Barnes, Crystal Zoo, The Stripp Band and the McBad Brothers Band. This event continued each year after the first. Today there are two events that spawn from the original, but both continue the spirit of the original Jam and both raise money for worthy charities. One is the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam held by Warren Haynes at the Asheville Civic Center, featuring artists and friends he has played with over the years, including Greg Allman, John Popper, Living Colour, Jourma Kaukonen, Little Feat, the Neville Brothers, Trey Anastasio, and Dave Schools of Widespread Panic. Haynes's annual Jam benefits Habitat for Humanity, a charity that builds houses for the disadvantaged. Mickey Hayes has continued the local Hometown Holiday Jam at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC which features local artists to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It has featured local acts such as The Sons Of Ralph, Sharkadelics, Crank County Daredevils and Marc Keller.
During 1989, The Allman Brothers Band had decided to reunite to record new material and tour. In Florida, the band met and discussed how to proceed. Dickey Betts recommended Haynes for a slot in the band and he got the job. Also joining the band were Johnny Neel on keyboards, and after auditions for bass guitar, Allen Woody was hired. The line up was set for the newly reformed Allman Brothers Band.
Haynes has since played on four well-received studio albums, including the gold certified Where It All Begins (1994). He also has played on four official live releases from the band, including the 2003 DVD Live At the Beacon Theatre (certified platinum 2004). Although he and bass player Allen Woody left the group in March of 1997 so that they could focus solely on Gov't Mule, Haynes began appearing with the Allmans again in 2000 alongside young guitar prodigy Derek Trucks shortly after Woody's untimely death. He returned to the band as a full time member a few months later. Haynes has only missed a handful of Allman Brothers shows since his hiatus. Ron Holloway and Allman alumni Chuck Leavell and Jack Pearson played in Haynes's absence.
In 1994, Haynes formed Gov't Mule with Dickey Betts Band's Matt Abts and Allman bassist Allen Woody. Intitially Haynes and Woody split time between Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers Band, but in 1997 both left the Brothers to focus on Mule full-time. With that line-up the band released three albums, but the band was most known for their powerful live performances. Some of these performances can be heard on official live albums (Live At Roseland Ballroom and Live With A Little Help From Our Friends which captures one of their annual New Year's Eve shows) and the hundreds of authorized live audience recording CDs and DVDs that float around trading circles and bit torrent websites.
In August of 2000 Woody died, and the decision was made to finish the tour acoustically. Gov't Mule released 2 studio albums (The Deep End Vol. I and II) and 1 live album (The Deepest End) featuring many of Woody's favorite bass players. In 2003 Andy Hess (bass) and Danny Louis (keyboard/organ) were added as permanent members to the group and in late 2004 they released their first studio effort Deja Voodoo which later included an EP of newly recored material titled Mo Voodoo.
The group often includes a revolving door of guests during their shows. While the band does not attract a roaming group of followers like the Grateful Dead, they do boast an extremely dedicated, grassroots fanbase. It is often said that the band is a "musicians' band" and that many of their fans are musicians. One of the ongoing inside jokes of the band is a paper napkin with "WAR PIGS" written on it as a song request. The passionate fanbase is known for its extensive disagreements which even Haynes acknowledged in a song verse ("That's Why I'm Here") performed in July 2005.
Though never a member of the real Grateful Dead, over time Warren has performed and toured with many of the remaining members. In 1997 Warren and Matt came onstage to jam with Bob Weir & Rob Wasserman in a small club near the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame being filmed for the Robert Mugge film on Robert Johnson, Hell Hounds On My Trail. Then in 2000 Phil Lesh approached him to play lead guitar and sing for his solo group Phil Lesh & Friends, where he played for 3 years. Then in 2004 when The Dead (remaining members of The Grateful Dead) were in need of a new guitarist they called upon Haynes to come play lead and sing for that summer's "Wave That Flag Tour". His run with The Dead ended on a night where he came in with them, then performed a solo acoustic set, and then ended the night playing with the Allman Brothers Band and started out on his next tour with them.
In 1992 Warren released an album of his first solo effort, Tales of Ordinary Madness. He then toured briefly with various musicians filling in different spots in the group.
In 2003 and 2004 Warren also released 2 solo acoustic albums, The Lone EP, a collection of live performances and Live From Bonnaroo which documents his solo performance at the 2003 Bonnaroo Music Festival. When not touring with one of his electric bands Warren will often take time out to do solo acoustic shows which include a variety of well-known and rare covers along with his own material. In 2004, Warren Haynes performed 5 full-length solo acoustic shows, 3 in NYC, 1 in San Francisco, and 1 in Philadelphia as well as opened 23 times for The Dead and once for the Allman Brothers Band.
In 2005 Warren performed a one time only show under the name Warren Haynes & Friends. The band included Matt Abts on drums, Dave Schools of Widespread Panic and part-time Gov't Mule fame on bass, John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood, and Skerik the avant-garde sax player of cult-fame in bands such as Critters Buggin' (with ex-Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain) and Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade making bizarre noises and sometimes authentic sounds on his saxophones. The group played a selection of blues songs, covers including songs of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, and Gov't Mule standards. The band was also featured as the house band during a number of tapings of Carson Daily's late show in early February 2005. During one of these tapings, the scheduled musical act was absent, so Warren performed an acoustic rendition of U2's One. The song also appeared on his Live from Bonnaroo album.
All of Warren Haynes' projects (that he has a say in) are pro-audio taping/trading/online distribution. The only exception being the Allman Brothers Band which is pro-taping/trading, but is against distribution of their shows via the internet with programs such as Bit Torrent. However, since 2000 Warren has been against video taping and soundboard recording in all bands he has a say in.
In addition to playing both acoustic and electric guitar, Mr. Haynes, a major supporter of the Habitat for Humanity charity, also writes music. Mr. Haynes spent his formative years in Asheville, North Carolina, where he lived with his two older brothers and his father, Edward Haynes. He began to play the guitar at age 12. His primary guitar is a Gibson Les Paul '59 Reissue Electric Guitar (he often plays a Gibson Firebird as well). Mr. Haynes is married to Stefani Scamardo, a DJ for Sirius radio as well as the manager of Gov't Mule.
Every December, Warren Haynes hosts a Christmas Jam in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina; the proceeds from the concert are donated to Habitat for Humanity. Many musicians donate their time to create an evening of music. The Jam was started in 1988. Some of the musicians who regularly play are Edwin McCain, Kevin Kinney, Audley Freed, and Dave Schools. As a tribute to his financial support of Habitat for Humanity, a subdivsion in Asheville, North Carolina has a street named after Warren Haynes. Mr. Haynes has also been awarded the key to the city of Asheville.