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Warren Haynes Biography


Home > Music > H > Haynes, Warren > Biography


Born: 1960/04/06
Birth Place: Asheville, NC
Years Active: 1982-present
Genres: Southern Rock, Rock, Blues, Jam Music, Folk Rock


Warren Haynes (born April 6, 1960) is an American rock and blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of Gov't Mule and long time member of the Allman Brothers Band. Haynes also founded and runs Evil Teen Records, and is a member of the Dead.

Warren Haynes got his first break when he had just turned 20 years old, joining David Allan Coe's touring and recording band in 1980. For several years Haynes toured with Coe's band throughout America, as well as tours overseas. After playing with Coe for years, Haynes and Coe's bass guitarist Mickey Hayes left Coe and relocated to Nashville, where they shared an apartment and worked together to form the band “Rich Hippies” which consisted of:, Dennis Robbins on slide guitar and backing vocals, Hayes on bass guitar and backing vocals, Mark Dever on drums, Haynes on lead guitar and lead vocals and Tommy Irwin on steel guitar. The band lasted from 1984 to late 1985, performing at various clubs around the Nashville area.

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 country-rock musician Garth Brooks, titled “Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House” from the album No Fences, which remained #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for 20 weeks.

Around 1987, Warren got a call to perform back up vocals on a studio album by The Allman Brothers Band member Dickey Betts. Betts saw Warren and remembered him from his days with Coe. Dickey decided to add Warren to his band as his guitarist after this meeting. With Matt Abts on Drums (future drummer of Gov't Mule) and Johnny Neel on keyboards (future member of The Allman Brothers Band) the now formed Dickey Betts Band released the 1988 album “Pattern Disruptive.”

Soon after in 1989, The Allman Brothers Band had decided to reunite. Betts recommended Warren for a slot in the band and was giving the job. Johnny Neel also joined 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 The Allman Brothers Band studio albums, including the gold certified “Where It All Begins” in 1994. He also has played on four official live releases from the band, including the 2003 DVD “Live At the Beacon Theatre” which certified platinum 2004.

Although he and Woody left the group in March 1997 so that they could focus solely on Gov't Mule, Haynes began appearing with the Allman Brothers Band again in 2000 alongside young guitar prodigy Derek Trucks shortly after Woody's untimely death on August 26, 2000. 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.

Starting in 1989, Haynes began inviting local musicians to come and play once a year for charity. The first show was dubbed, "The Christmas Jam: Musician's X-Mas Reunion" in Asheville, North Carolina. This event has continued to grow every year and is now dubbed "Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam". Because of the fantastic growth, it is now held at the Asheville Civic Center, and features artists and friends he has played with over the years. Haynes's annual Jam benefits Habitat for Humanity.

In 1993, Haynes released his first solo album, “Tales of Ordinary Madness,” which was produced by former Allman Brother keyboardist Chuck Leavell. He then toured briefly in support of the record with various musicians.

In 1994, Haynes formed Gov't Mule with Abts and Woody. Initially Haynes and Woody split time between Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers Band, but in the spring of 1997, both left the band to focus on Gov't Mule full-time.

With that line-up the band released three albums, but the band was most known for their powerful live performances. In August 2000 Woody died. Shortly after, Gov't Mule released two studio albums “The Deep End Vol. I” and “The Deep End Vol. II” and one live album, “The Deepest End,” featuring many of Woody's favorite bass players.

In 2003 bassist Andy Hess and keyboardist Danny Louis 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 recorded material titled “Mo Voodoo.” After recording 2006's “High & Mighty,” Gov't Mule also released a critically acclaimed dub EP titled “Mighty High” and a DVD titled “Tail of 2 Cities” that contained two full concert performances from 2004 and 2006. The two shows on the DVD captured the first show of the Deja Voodoo Tour and the last show of the High & Mighty Tour serving to encapsulate what was created over those two years.

In 2008, Hess left Gov't Mule to pursue other projects and was replaced by Jorgen Carlsson. “By A Thread,” the first studio album from Gov't Mule with Jorgen, was released in 2009 on Haynes' own label, Evil Teen Records.

Though never a member of the Grateful Dead, over time Haynes has performed and toured with many of the remaining members. In 2000 Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh approached him to play lead guitar and sing for his solo group Phil Lesh & Friends, where he played for three years. Then in 2004 when the remaining members of The Grateful Dead reformed as The Dead and were in need of a new guitarist they called upon Haynes to play lead and sing for that summer's "Wave That Flag Tour."

In 2003 and 2004, Warren released two 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.

After recording Gov't Mule's 2009 “By A Thread” album, Haynes put together a group of musicians which will come to be known as The Warren Haynes Band. The core of the group includes George Porter Jr. on bass, Ivan Neville on keys and Raymond Weber on drums. Also joining them on keys is Ian McLagan, as well as vocalist Ruthie Foster and Ron Holloway on tenor sax.

In 2011 he released a solo album, “Man in Motion” which features the members of The Warren Haynes Band. The album debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #7 on the Rock Albums chart.