Haynes Unveils New Combo at Xmas Jam



Number 22 and counting
for the annual Warren Haynes-hosted bash.


By Fred Mills


It’s a long and storied holiday tradition – the annual
Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, which takes place each December in Haynes’
original hometown of Asheville,
NC, bringing together musicians
of all stripes to perform, mingle, jam,
and at the same time raise money for Habitat For Humanity. This year, for the
22nd installment, it happens this weekend, Saturday Dec. 11, at the Asheville Civic Center,
with the traditional Pre-Jam Jam (a scaled-down, more intimate version of the
Jam proper) taking place the night before at the Orange Peel. The shows are
sold out, although a number of online ticket resellers apparently have some
tickets available.


The Haynes Jam always puts BLURT in the holiday spirit as
well when the initial announcement of the Jam lineup goes out – as things stand
now, the previously announced Drive-By Truckers will not be appearing due to
the band having to cancel its recent tour (details here). However, these
artists are still on the bill:


Main Performers:
Steve Miller Band
The Warren Haynes Band
Gregg Allman
John Bell (Widespread Panic)
Umphrey’s McGee
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Missing Cats (JoJo Hermann of Widespread Panic + Sherman Ewing)

w/ Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Cody Dickinson, Fred Eltringham, Sherman
Ewing, Ruthie Foster, Audley Freed, John “JoJo” Hermann, Terence
Higgins, Ron Holloway, Ron Johnson, Robert Kearns, Kevn Kinney and Ivan Neville.


Of particular note is that listing above for The Warren
Haynes Band. No, Haynes’ signature group Gov’t Mule, who usually appears at the
Jam, hasn’t broken up; the guitarist simply decided to unveil his Haynes Band
because he has a new album coming in the spring, his first solo studio effort
since 1993’s Tales of Ordinary Madness (there was a pair of live releases in 2003 and 2004, The Lone EP and Live at


As outlined in a recent interview with the local Mountain Xpress weekly, Haynes cut tracks
recently in Austin at Willie Nelson’s studio and utilized the talents of George
Porter, Jr. (Funky Meters) on bass, Ivan Neville (Neville Brothers) and Ian
McLagan (The Faces) on keyboards, Raymond Weber (Dumpstaphunk) on drums, Ron
Holloway on tenor sax and Ruthie Foster on backing vocals. As befits that roster of players, the material on the album is described by Haynes as deeply soul-influenced and reflecting a lot of the music he grew up listening to on the radio. So now the plan is
to perform much of the new album at the Christmas Jam.


Haynes told the Xpress,
“The touring band will be as close to the studio band as possible. I  know a couple people aren’t available for the
Christmas Jam, but most of them will be there. I decided to debut a lot of new
material. This is a record I’ve wanted to make for a long, long time. A lot of
musicians thrive on change, myself included. The material I’ve written for this
record is different than what I would write for a Gov’t Mule record or even an
Allman Brothers record, and it deserves to be presented as such. Now is the
right time.”


Works for us. We’ll see ya there.


In addition to the musical wealth on display at the Jam and the Pre-Jam,
there will also be numerous events happening around town on Friday and Saturday, not to mention the return of the limited-edition Christmas Jam White Ale (hey, Asheville IS Beer City USA). You can view a full list at the Christmas Jam website, but among the goings-on
will be Kevn Kinney’s Acoustic Jam on both Friday at Saturday durin the day (12-5) at the LAB (Lexington
Avenue Brewery) featuring Kinney, Drivin’ N Cryin’, Jake Haldenwang, Aaron
LaFalce, Jamie Dose and Dorsey Parker from Velvet Truckstop, Bobby Miller &
The Virginia Daredevils, Mac Arnold & Plate Full Of Blues, plus whoever
else happens to drop by and climbs up on stage. Then over at the Emerald Lounge
on Saturday (12-5), the  Warren Haynes
Christmas Jam By Day
will be
happening, featuring an American/Southern Rock/Bluegrass-rich lineup of The
Last Straw, Caleb Caudle & The Bayonets, Velvet Truckstop and Sanctum


Previous Christmas Jam Coverage:


2009: The 21st Annual Christmas Jam


2008: 20 Years of Xmas Jams


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