08.01.14 Warren Haynes Will Perform On Jerry Garcia’s Famed Wolf Guitar
Jane Dunlap Norris
Look closely under the spotlight during Wednesday’s show at Charlottesville’s nTelos Wireless Pavilion. Warren Haynes will be up there playing a borrowed guitar.
The celebrated guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule has instruments of his own to choose from, of course. But for the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, in which Haynes joins forces with the Richmond Symphony, he took advantage of an opportunity to borrow Wolf.
Garcia began playing Wolf, an Alembic guitar modified for him by luthier Doug Irwin, in 1973 and relied on it for another two decades. Crafted of amaranth wood, better known as purpleheart for its distinctive and unexpected shades, and remembered for its iconic inlay of a cartoon wolf’s head, the instrument helped define a specific sound during an important time in Grateful Dead history.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be playing the Wolf, which Jerry Garcia played during the 1970s,” Haynes said. “It’s quite an amazing instrument.”
Once Haynes got acquainted with the guitar, what started as a plan to play Wolf for just a few numbers to capture the 1970s vibe quickly expanded.