Takes place next Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Asheville, NC.
By Fred Mills
Unlike most rock musicians who can’t wait to get out of their hometowns and get their careers in gear (not to mention spending much of those careers writing songs about what oppressive, uncreative dumps those hometowns were), Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule has consistently returned to his hometown of Asheville, additionally giving back in a big way via his annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, which raises money for the local Habitat For Humanity chapter. Those Jams are justifiably legendary, featuring not only a who’s-who of the jam band community but scores of other great musicians not necessarily identified as “jam.” Surprises and collaborations are the order of the day at the Christmas Jam.
So Haynes just served up another surprise, and it’s not related to the Christmas Jam (which of course will take place this December as usual). He is slated to headline a fundraiser next week for his brother Brian Haynes who is running for the Asheville City Council. It takes place Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the celebrated New Mountain AVL venue, located at 38 N. French Broad in Asheville.
The event, billed as “a folk and funk jam,” kicks off that night at 6pm and will feature Haynes, Free Radio, The Uprock Citizens Brigade, members of Toubab Krewe & Zansa (who hold down a residency at New Mountain every Wednesday night), the Jonathan Scales Fourcestra, Grammy winners the Steep Canyon Rangers, Empire Strikes Brass, The Krektones, Malcolm Holcombe, Jeff Sipe, David LaMotte, David Holt and David Wilcox – not to mention an “Asheville All-Star Jam” which promises to be a blast.
Brian Haynes announced he was going to run for the City Council back in July, telling the local newspaper “I was born here and have been here most of my life, and just for the last few years I haven’t been totally happy with the direction we’ve been going. But I also thought, I’m 58 years old, and decided I wanted to get out there and do something for others.” The local election primary takes place October 6 and it looks to be a crowded field. Haynes has no political experience but has long been an active part of the Asheville community, having operated the now-defunct Almost Blue record store and, more recently, working as a volunteer and then an assistant manager for Habitat For Humanity; he characterizes himself as “a very practical progressive.”
Check the above link for New Mountain for details on tickets, which range from $15 to $100 depending on the level at which you want to contribute to the campaign. Most likely it will be a sellout, too.
Warren Haynes is currently on tour in support of his recent solo album. Dates are HERE, and there is also a high profile appearance by Gov’t Mule at next weekend’s Lockn’ festival.
On a more personal note: I’ve known Brian for a good number of years, particularly since 2002 when I first moved to Asheville, and my own humble opinion is that his intelligence and passion would make an ideal candidate for the City Council. You can view Brian Haynes’ website HERE, where he discusses the issues he’s eager to address if elected. Also, it’s pretty interesting to see all the many musicians that have already endorsed him, ranging from Dave Schools of Widespread Panic to Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound.