ACL Music Festival Interviews

Gov't Mule (l) and Greg Allman, Austin Riverfest, Eighties
Gov't Mule (l) and Greg Allman, Austin Riverfest, Eighties (Photo By Gary Miller)

Gov't Mule/The Allman Brothers Band

Friday, 2:30pm/6:30pm, SBC stage

Warren Haynes is living a life that many guitarists only dream of. Besides leading his own band, the blues rockin' Gov't Mule, he's a full-time member of the Allman Brothers Band. Last year Haynes also filled a guitar slot on tour with the Dead, a part he's also played with Phil Lesh and Friends. A lesser musician might have a difficult time keeping it all straight, but Haynes revels in it.

"Musically, I'm fortunate that each band wants me to just do what I do," he explains. "It's also a great opportunity to use the different sides of my musical personality. Last year, it was much less of a burnout factor than if I was just touring with one band. Each situation is completely different, and it brought new energy into what I was doing."

Playing with the Allmans must be a dream job.

"There are very few bands from the past that I would consider being a part of," he claims. "But the Allmans would be at the top of the list. I was a huge fan growing up. They take the same approach to music that they did when they first formed. I don't think anyone in the band would be there if it was otherwise."

Underneath the well-known guitarist beats the heart of a songwriter, and Haynes has also occasionally taken to performing in a solo acoustic format.

"I don't get to do it enough," he sighs. "At some point I'm going to do a solo acoustic tour, which I've never done. I've played some sporadic dates here and there. I did something like 20 dates that way with the Dead. That was a blast. It was a way for me to reach out to that audience in a way that most of them had never seen before. I love playing that way. It's completely different than anything else I do. It allows me to focus on my voice and the songs and not necessarily the guitar."

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