This week Paul Wood chats with guitarist and singer Warren Haynes. Besides co-founding Gov’t Mule, which plays at the Phases of the Moon festival Sunday, he has performed in The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, David Allan Coe Band and The Dickey Betts Band. Other members of Gov’t Mule are drummer Matt Abts, multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson.
There are a lot of musicians at Phases of the Moon who you've played with — Tedeschi Trucks, obviously, with the Allman Brothers connection. There's an emphasis on improvisation ... Have you ever jammed with Widespread Panic?
This is a reunion of sorts for some of us, musicians who thrive on improvisation hooking up with each other. I have played with Widespread Panic. They're friends for ever and ever.
Do you like doing festivals?
We do a fair amount of festivals, but a lot more shows just us. It's nice to do big festivals, a win-win for audiences and bands. Maybe you're someone the audience has never heard; it's a way for them to get to know more bands and it's a way of turning people on to us.
You have an enormous repertoire. How do you guys decide what to play?
We do a different set list every night; we base the set list on what we played last night, the last time in a certain area and what we feel like. Sometimes we call an audible and do what seems right for the audience.