GRAMMY-winning blues/rock guitarist Warren Haynes was the featured guest for an installment of the GRAMMY Museum's Great Guitars series on June 27. Before an intimate audience in the Museum's Clive Davis Theater, Haynes discussed discovering guitar, joining the Allman Brothers Band and meeting guitarist Dickey Betts. Following the discussion, Haynes performed a brief set, including his band Gov't Mule's "Beautifully Broken" and "Sick Of My Shadow."
"I thought it was such a unique offer for an institution like [the Allman Brothers Band] to embrace the new members to the extent that they did," said Haynes regarding being hired to sing, write and play guitar for the Allman Brothers Band. "But I think it was the right thing to do because that band was always founded on musical equality. Every member was equally important."
Born in Asheville, N.C., Haynes developed an affinity for soul and R&B at an early age, drawing on influences such as Eric Clapton, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and Smokey Robinson. Haynes was gifted his first electric guitar at age 12 and by 14 he was playing gigs at a local pizza parlor. Later, Haynes picked up gigs with several local bands, including Ricochet, country artist David Allan Coe's band and blues journeymen the Nighthawks, and formed his own band, Rich Hippies. In 1988 Haynes met former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Betts, who a year later reformed the Southern rock group with Gregg Allman and brought Haynes onboard to play guitar. Haynes spent the next eight years recording and touring with the Allman Brothers Band and appeared on the group's first album in nearly a decade, 1990's Seven Turns.
During this time Haynes formed several side projects, including the Warren Haynes Band and Gov't Mule, and also recorded his debut solo album, 1993's Tales Of Ordinary Madness. In 1997 Haynes left the Allman Brothers Band to focus on Gov't Mule, which featured drummer Matt Abts and Allman Brothers Band bassist Allen Woody, and the trio released several albums, including their 1995 self-titled debut, which peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart. That same year the Allman Brothers Band earned a GRAMMY Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for an acoustic version of "Jessica," a track from the band's live album An Evening With The Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set. Following Woody's death in 2000, Haynes rejoined the Allman Brothers Band and continued to perform Gov't Mule as an acoustic duo with Abts. In 2003 the duo added bassist Andy Hess and keyboardist Danny Louis. Haynes continued to perform live with the Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule, and also appeared on several dates with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh as part of Phil Lesh & Friends. Haynes' most recent release, 2011's Man In Motion, peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard 200, his best performance on the chart to date.
Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include The Drop: John Doe (Aug. 31), An Evening With Ben Harper (Sept. 7), Celebrity Autobiography: The Music Edition (Sept. 14), and An Evening With Randy Travis (Sept. 21).
For more information on the GRAMMY Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org.
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