Warren Haynes talks influences, favorite places to play

via Niagara Gazette

Haynes and Gov’t Mule return to Artpark for a performance on Tuesday

Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule return to Artpark on Tuesday. The band that started as a side project to keep Haynes and fellow Allman Brothers Band member Allen Woody busy between Allman tours, has evolved into a band with its own loyal following, and Haynes’ primary outlet for his songs.

Once a power-trio, Gov’t Mule has toured as a four-piece shortly after the passing of bassist and co-founder Allen Woody in 2000. Since their formation in 1994, Gov’t Mule has released 10 studio albums, the latest came out last month and is entitled “Revolution Come … Revolution Go.”

Gov’t Mule shows are often long, and feature extended jams, and ever-changing set lists. Haynes and Gov’t Mule have toured extensively and Haynes recently took time to discuss by phone his favorite venues to perform at.

“There are places like Red Rocks in Colorado, and The Gorge in Washington State, that are so beautiful it makes it hard to have a bad show,” Haynes said. “Having said that, you can have a great show anywhere there is a great audience. Audiences up your way have always been really excited to be part of the music.“

Haynes is known for his expressive vocal stylings, and unique approach to the guitar.

“I was singing before I played guitar. I started singing when I was 8 years old and my early influences were souls singers. James Brown was one, and Otis Redding is probably my favorite singer of all-time, Dennis Edwards from The Temptations, Sam Moore from Sam and Dave, those were the guys I tried to emulate when I was first learning how to sing.”

“When I started playing guitar, my love of vocalists made me gravitate to players who sing through their instrument. That has always driven my style of playing,” Haynes said.

“I have so many musical heroes, my tastes run across the board. The more you listen to other musicians, the more you will learn to develop your own voice. When I listen to Bonnie Raitt or B.B. King, their voice in an extension of their instrument. All my life I have been looking for a guitar sound that is compatible with my voice.”

Even though Gov’t Mule is his main project these days, it was not all that long ago that he was performing with The Allman Brothers Band along with a second guitarist. Gov’t Mule was designed to provide another creative outlet for Haynes, and as a three-piece.

“There is a freedom in working within a three-piece because when you are soloing there is no rhythm guitar to get in the way,” Haynes noted. “That’s why Cream and Hendrix sound the way they do. That can get limiting as well because at some point you want to bring in other colors. That’s why I relish the fact I can do so many different things.”

Haynes comes to back to Artpark on the heels of a new album, and while the band is known for taking chances and changing things up, it can be a challenge to introduce new material to audiences.

“I love the fact that the new material connected with audiences right away, in some ways more than it has on previous records. You always have to be careful how much new material you perform, but our audience has always encouraged us to try new things.”

“Revolution Come … Revolution Go” is not an overtly political album even though it has a few songs that are somewhat political in their commentary.

“A lot of my favorite music harbored political messages, and if you look at the golden era of rock music, which was from 1967-1973, there is a lot of great music that was inspired by the political change that was going on. In some ways I think modern music would be healthier if it addressed the change in a healthy way, and inspired artists,” Haynes said

“People seem to have become complacent. I read an article that said music is the most inspired during times of war and political unrest, and that the current era is the exception to that rule.”

You can hear the inspired sounds of Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule on Tuesday. Tickets start at $12.