Harriet Kaplan

Warren Haynes: Q&A Session and Performance @ The GRAMMY Museum – 10/27/2015

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Photo Courtesy of Jacki Sackheim

Serious and self-deprecating, Warren Haynes, GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist/songwriter and guitarist, discussed his new solo studio album, Ashes & Dust featuring Railroad Earth, as well as his illustrious career that includes 25 years with the Allman Brothers Band and 20 years at the helm of his band, Gov’t Mule, on October 27 at the Clive Davis Theater. Named on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list and lauded as one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of the modern era, Haynes, it’s been stated, cross-pollinates genres and unfurls solos that broil with passion in his distinctive, signature style.

Photographer Jacki Sackheim was on hand to watch and report her observations at the Q&A session moderated by GRAMMY Foundation Vice President Scott Goldman and watch a strong and intense performance by Warren Haynes featuring his violinist Ross Holmes who has toured with Mumford & Sons. Sackheim said Haynes seemed introverted hiding behind long hair and a beard when he spoke and made a little eye contact with Goldman. Sackheim speculated Haynes may keep a lot inside and didn’t engage with audience and looked down even answering questions. Haynes called 1967-1973 “the golden era of rock music personalities.” Haynes explained, “you had a side one and a side two and you had to get up (to change sides) and nothing should be out of place/nothing should be redundant.” Albums started to all have a theme beginning with The Beatles’ “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Goldman asked Haynes about the difference between the East Coast and West Coat Vibe. Haynes joked, “the difference is night and day” and that comment drew laughter from the audience. He explained, “the bands were playing the music that had influenced them back in the day. The 1950’s was a time of regional music. They were taking all those elements of sound and style they loved and mixed them together. “Haynes said of the West Coast, “The Grateful Dead would wait for it to happen” and on the East Coast, “The Allman Brothers Band would make it happen now.” On the topic of singing, Haynes explained, “the hardest thing to do is to open your mouth and sound like yourself to have that instant recognizability. My vocal style is a combination of every good singer I’ve heard or studied and then you try to forget about it.”

Warren Haynes will be on tour this Fall in support of Ashes & Dust backed by acclaimed drummer Jeff Sipe and ChessBoxer.

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