12.18.14 UTG Interview: Warren Haynes Celebrates Two Decades of Gov’t Mule
There are few modern guitarists with as profound of a career as Gov’t Mule mastermind Warren Haynes. The 54-year-old North Carolina native has spent the majority of his lifetime showcasing his unique, unprecedented, soulful weaving of blues and rock songwriting.
Outside of his own band, Haynes has played alongside the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, The Dead (featuring surviving members of The Grateful Dead), The Derek Trucks Band, and even released a handful of solo records under the moniker The Warren Haynes Band. He’s written songs with Garth Brooks, Dave Matthews, Corrosion of Conformity, Elvis Costello, Les Claypool, Ben Harper, and countless others. In 2011, Rolling Stone rightfully named Haynes number 23 on its ‘Greatest Guitarists of All Time’ list.
Needless to say, he stays pretty busy.
But, despite continuous touring, recording, and collaborating, Haynes doesn’t hesitate in admitting his gratitude toward his profession.
“I’m lucky to get to do what I love for a living,” Haynes modestly confessed. “I have the best job in the world.”
Haynes’ premier outfit, Gov’t Mule, is celebrating 20 years of poignant rock ‘n’ roll longevity through the release of a series of live, previously recorded tribute records, starting with the following: The Stoned Side of the Mule (a collection of Rolling Stones covers released exclusively on vinyl), The Dark Side of the Mule (a nod to Pink Floyd), The Dub Side of the Mule (a reggae tribute featuring Toots Hibbert), and Sco-Mule (a live record from 1999 featuring John Scofield).
Every New Year’s Eve and Halloween for almost a decade, Gov’t Mule plays a different themed cover set along with an onslaught of their own material.
“It was a blast, learning all that material and playing it for the first time,” Haynes said. “[The Sco-Mule record] is the one I’m most proud of because it’s predominately original material. It’s the first time we did that much original material — it’s documenting the first performances with John Scofield. It’s just something that came together in a magical way and influenced our career from that point forward.”