JAMBASE: Who’s at the top of your wishlist of Christmas Jam participants
haven’t yet hosted?
WH: I’ve been talking to Bonnie Raitt a bunch, very recently actually. I
able to do it and I’m very
honored she’s expressed interest.
JAMBASE: There are a bunch of eye-catchers on the bill at this year’s Jam
wanted to ask you about a
few in particular. Mule played with John Scofield at those famous Georgia shows all the
way back in 1999 but fans
still clamor for that collaboration and how fun you’re doing it again now. Why do you
think that is?
WH: John is my favorite modern jazz guitar player – what I’d refer to as
McLaughlin modern jazz
guitar players. There are so many wonderful players out there, but he’s the cat I enjoy
the most. We’re good friends.
Playing with him is kind of like when people talk about trees growing and pushing
together: he tends to play a little
more rock and I tend to play a little more jazz and we’re all just so interested in being
on stage together and people
That opportunity we had in ’99 was very special and I’m still looking forward to putting
out that live record from the
Atlanta show. Maybe this will be be a way of kickstarting that. Especially with [Gov’t
Mule’s] 20th anniversary next
year, there’s a lot of cool stuff we’re excited to put out.
JAMBASE: Will come back to that in a minute. Warren, by the time our
this you’ll have wrapped
another set of dates with Phil Lesh at Terrapin Crossroads and will be just ahead of
another Q reunion at Christmas
Jam. I’ve asked Jimmy Herring and Rob Barraco in recent months about what made the Q
special but I’d love your
WH: When a chemistry comes together in an uncanny way is something you
predict. You put a bunch
of musicians – good musicians – in a room together, and you just don’t know if they’ll
have amazing chemistry or if
that will develop or it won’t.
With the Q, it happened right from the beginning and a lot of it was the blend of
personalities. Myself and Jimmy
Herring were similar enough to play well together and the more we played together the more
we could read each
other’s thoughts and finish each other’s statements. All of us all really enjoyed each
other’s company and that was a
big part of it.
JAMBASE: Do you expect to play more with Phil in the new year?
WH: I hope so, yeah.
JAMBASE: You’ve done lots of interviews about Shout! and how all
performers came to be involved
so I won’t retread there. But with the 20th anniversary coming up, is it safe to say
you’ll be busy with Mule in the new
WH: Yeah, we have a big year ahead of us. We’re very proud of Shout!
what we’re about and
is a nice culmination of all the genres of music that influence Gov’t Mule. Next year will
be a year when those two
things – our 20th anniversary and Shout! – really kind of come together.
JAMBASE: Can you talk about what you’re planning?
WH: We would encourage as much collaborating as possible with the guest
that are on Shout!. I’d
love to have a few key shows where we get a bunch of them together. The door’s always open
for them to join us
anyway, but I’d like to see that happen.
JAMBASE: Are you planning to put out more archival Mule material? The
Bootleg Box did well.
WH: That was something I was really proud of: a cool snapshot of what the
then, when our
repertoire was small but the band was growing exponentially. Yeah, I suspect we will.
JAMBASE: What kinds of stuff? Will you key in on another Mule era like
you did with
the Georgia box?
WH: Oh, there’s audio and video from the Deep End anniversary shows, the
End shows and the one
from five years later. There’s outtakes from the Deep End studio recordings we want to
look at. There’s a lot of stuff.
JAMBASE: You have a well-deserved reputation for turning up as a sit-in
also doing plenty with
different bands. I remember years ago you telling reporters you never want to look back
and think you’d missed an
opportunity. But you’re also a dad now and I imagine you want to be home with your family
as much as possible. So
how do you balance that?
WH: If I’m not working, I’m doing family. That’s that. If there’s
special that I want to be a
part of then I will, but at the end of a nice little run of shows, I’m doing family.
JAMBASE: Can your boy play slide yet?
WH: No, no, not yet!
JAMBASE: Well it sounds like you’ll have a typically full plate for the
months. Anything else we can
highlight? I know the Boston Pops are inviting you back for a return engagement on the
Jerry Garcia Symphonic
WH: Yes, and I hope that will turn into some more shows doing that. I
just yet, there are only so
many days in the year. But it’s going to be busy. We have the 20th anniversary of Gov’t
Mule and the 45th
anniversary of the Allman Brothers, so you know it will be.