Today marks Warren Haynes’ 61st birthday. The celebrated guitarist and singer-songwriter was born on April 6, 1960 in Asheville, North Carolina. While Haynes is perhaps best known as a longtime guitarist in The Allman Brothers Band and frontman of Gov’t Mule, his immense skill on the guitar and encyclopedic knowledge of rock and blues also make him a highly sought-after guest, especially in a festival setting and most especially at the festival he co-founded, Mountain Jam, which until 2019 took place at Hunter Mountain ski resort in upstate New York.
To celebrate Warren Haynes’ birthday, JamBase takes a look at five memorable Mountain Jam collaborations throughout the years available in the JamBase Live Video Archive.
Levon Helm Band – I Shall Be Released | 2008
Three years after its small inaugural run, Mountain Jam had grown substantially from just four bands on the maiden voyage to over 30 acts. Included in the lineup was one of upstate New York’s most famous musical residents, the late great Levon Helm. Haynes sat-in with Levon Helm Band during their Sunday set on June 1, 2008 for the Bob Dylan-penned, The Band recorded favorite “I Shall Be Released.” Warren added some beautiful slide touches to the song and also traded verses with Levon.
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band – Comin’ Home | 2010
On June 5, 2010, a newly minted Tedeschi Trucks Band was on the Mountain Jam bill as the “Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band.” Haynes joined Susan, Derek and company on “Comin’ Home,” originally a co-write between Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett as well as Eric Clapton. Clapton and members of the Delaney & Bonnie and Friends collective, including Duane Allman, would go on to collaborate in Derek And The Dominos. For TTB’s Mountain Jam performance of “Comin’ Home,” the chemistry honed over years of playing in The Allman Brothers Band together is immediately apparent between Haynes and Trucks. Both mind-blowing slide players, Haynes handles slide on “Comin’ Home” with Derek plucking out the song’s rhythmic riff.
June 3, 2012 saw Warren joining Steve Winwood to perform the 1967 Spencer Davis Group classic, “Gimme Some Lovin.” Former Spencer Davis Group keyboard player and vocalist Steve Winwood co-wrote the song — which contains one of the most iconic organ lines in rock — with Spencer Davis and his brother Muff Winwood. At Mountain Jam, Haynes puts his own mark on the storied number with an extended solo.
2015 saw New York State natives moe. welcoming Warren for their classic, “Opium,” which Gov’t Mule has been known to cover. moe. debuted the song penned by bassist Rob Derhak in 1999. Over 15 years later, Haynes added some scathing slide work to the bluesy moe. tune, the Mountain Jam version of which stretched to over 14 minutes.
The final entry in Haynes’ five memorable Mountain Jam collabs is the shred extravaganza that was his sit-in with Umphrey’s McGee in 2016. UM kicks things off with “Little Gift” before welcoming Warren on “Higgins.” Hayes does a bit of soloing before he and UM guitarist Jake Cinninger trade licks in grand fashion.