Our 200th episode comes with a very special guest, guitar and jam band icon Warren Haynes! We're talking about a song that somehow it feels like everyone knows from birth, the Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule classic, "Soulshine," hitting our usual shenanigans, and more, like:
- Jam chemistry
- Tradition vs invention
- Magic with Dave Matthews
Thanks so much for listening! Here's to 200 more!
The Great Song Podcast is a Tiger Leap Production. Check out the other fine Tiger Leap podcasts like Curio with Dan Buck, Project SSA, and The Punnery.
Producers: Andrea Konarzewski, Ari Marucci, Michael Conley, Peter Mark Campbell, David Steinberg, Randy Hodge, Chaz Bacus, Juan Lopez, Jason Arrowood, Howard Passey, Kevin Foley, Micah Murphy, and Christopher Cudnoski
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(This transcription was performed by baby robots, so please forgive their errors.)
Turn up the radio and sing long time for another Great Song. This is the Great Song Podcast. Season's greetings and welcome once again to the Great Song Podcast. I'm Rob Alley J.P. and we're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music. We're going to tell you what makes them great, why we think they're awesome and why you should too.
J.P. how are you doing today, man? I am doing fantastic. So this is a landmark episode, episode 200. And y'all know when we do these landmark episodes, these are geared towards us. These are episodes for us, by us, with the people that we know and love. Number 50, we had Phil Grande's guitar Joe Cocker.
When the night comes one of our favorite guitar, solos ever number a hundred Dave Barnes. The first time on was a Valentine's day episode. That was a hundred episodes. That was a hundred episodes ago, who knows, who knew that we would become such great friends on that one. Number a hundred, one 50. We went way too much of a deep dive on Kings X with Dug Pinnick, where we covered all things that you would ever want to know about six hours long.
Like it was like a freakin Lord of the rings, everything. So number 200, we knew we wanted to go guitar legend. Oh, but, oh, did we ever land one today? We're discussing the ultimate jam band song with the alternate jam band guitar. S legend Warren Haynes. Oh my goodness. Warren. Hey, I can't believe we just said that.
Rob, tell him what song we're talking about and kick it to a little, let's talk about maybe the favorite song of the universe that Warren Haynes ever wrote. This is the one that everybody knows you're born at birth, knowing that song. We're going to talk about soul shine. And it's been covered there's versions by government mule, almond brothers, tons of others.
We're going to focus on the government mule version because we're going to do an Allman brothers episode later. Of course, we're going to talk some almond with Warren later on. Just got more towards government Neil than almond brothers. That's right. Yes. And so we are, we also need to put forth a disclaimer here.
We've never done this before we run a family-friendly ship here. And we always, you know, bleep out everything, but there is a swear word in the chorus that we are going to let pass through this first time. And unfiltered because it is, it is just such a part of the song. It felt wrong to like bleep it.
We can edit it when we listened to it with an edited out it's, it's just that the flow anyways, we don't agree with the word. We're not swearers and we want everybody to be able to listen to the show. So. In case you've got little ears in the car and you want to jump around that's right. So we're not going to believe it this first time.
If it comes up again, we'll beep it, but at least we're going to let it play through this one time. And next week though, it's going to be, we're covering the chronic front from front to back. This is the start. This is the landslide. And we're just, I'm going to read the Wolf of wall street. Yeah. I'm just getting a script, the script.
I'm just going to come in and read all the language. Yeah, that's right. This is the, this is the small rock that starts the landslide. So yeah, next week we'll be fully explicit and yeah, it's going to be fantastic. It's going to be almost 300. It's right. By episode 300. We're just full blown explicit.
Right? So this is soul shine by government mule.
come on Eye of all the like fatherly advice songs in the world. This is top tier, you know what I mean? It's just. Yeah, man, let your freaking soul shine, you know, like there's, there's a certain category of songs. That's like somebody putting their arm around your shoulder and being like, listen, bud. You know what I mean?
And this is absolute top tier of those type of songs, you know? It just, the, the, the fields of this song and the feel of this song are absolutely spot on. So that is soul shine by government mule slash the Allman brothers slash lots of other people. But all your favorite jam bands have done this song written by Warren Haynes.
This is from the the, the almond brothers band album, where it all begins in 1994 and the 2001 government mule album, the deep end volume one as I said, written by our guest today, Mr. Warren Haynes, let's eliminate a couple of sources of confusion real quick. The proper spelling of soul shine is one word, no spaces.
The David Allan COE version from 1997 which Warren also played on is actually listed as two words, soul space shine, but the mule and almond versions are both one word. So that's how we're going to call it. Second of all. It is not to be confused with soul glow from coming to America.
although let's be real, it wouldn't be super hard to do like a mashup or medley of the two, right. That could happen without a ton of work. Okay. Let's, let's start with a few listening notes, maybe on soul shine first, we've got the great electric piano intro that gives it kind of a gospel ish feel and it starts out kind of, you know, out of time, it's just, it's, it's, it's rhythmic, but it's not really in the groove.
Then it kicks in fully, you know, in the groove establishing time. The feel is swung 16th notes. At a slow, a 63 beats a minute. The almond brothers version is a little faster, but this one's cut clocking in about 63 beats a minute. And what I say by what I mean by swing 16th is, so if you've got just the pulse of the song, it's like 1, 2, 3, 4, right?
Kick snare, kick snare. Then you've got eighth notes would be the next way to break it down division wise, which would be one and two and three and four. And right. There's eight of those in every measure. And then you've got 16th notes and in a non swing song, those are all evenly spaced, one
But this is swung so that it's like we've talked, I think about before it would be like, if it was a triple it, triple it, triple it, triple it, triple it, triple it, triple it. Triple it. You would take the pole out of each triple at the middle part and you go triplet, triplet, triplet, triplet, triplet. That's a swing 16th.
Okay. So it's going instead of one, the, and the two and a three and a four it's one and two and a three and a four. And that's what you call that. That's a swing 16th note Thiel for all the music majors out there. Great progression is pretty easy too. It is 1, 5, 4, 1 it's it's easy. But it, but it does alternate at the last, right.
So, yeah, so it goes the last time it goes to a six minor and then to a flat seven. So that's a nice little, it keeps the song moving along without it getting boring, but you hardly noticed the changes in there it's, you know really interesting. It's one of those single moments in B flat for you guys.
There you go. Yeah. So that walk up then would be G minor, a flat major B flat. Yeah. It's one of those single on courses that you just, somehow I always knew, like I wasn't even an almond brothers fan as a kid, but somehow you just know this chorus. I don't know how that's good. I feel like I knew this song.
Before it exists. Yeah. That's so funny. It feels older. This song feels like it was written in 1970 and it's, it didn't come out to the nineties. That that's our thought, that exact same thing. That's so crazy that you said that, like, why is that? Maybe because it was on an almond brothers album and the almond brothers are, seventies is kind of what I've thought about and all the almond brothers stuff, you just kinda know, you know, you know, everything, you know, Melissa, you know, Jessica, you know, whip and posts, you know, rambling, man, all of it, you know, and it, this just kinda feels like one of them.
So, you know, but I get it. I'm so weirdest thing. I was like, I honestly. Like, I, I exactly understand everything you were saying. That's so weird. It feels like, it feels like lean on me and soul shine came out at the exact same time. You know what I mean? It's like, and both are on the Mount Rushmore of arm around your shoulders.
Know if soul, Sean didn't have the D word you could, we would sing it at church camp. You know, we'd sit around the farm and we'd, and we'd yeah, it's the end of church camp. You could definitely close out a service with this. You know what I mean? It's like one of those that you could play this progression in church and get some business like this.
That would be a great list of good pilots. I know we have a few listeners out there who fit very specifically in a category with us of like people who love certain types of music grew up in the church and have some musical knowledge who could help us compile a list of like the ultimate, just chord progressions that you could play during.
Like, and I'm going to use a term that some people are not going to understand an alter service when people are getting prayer in, in specific kinds of churches, right? You could play soul shine, you could play purple rain. Like there's just certain that you could just really play these progressions.
And they would be completely at home in a, in a, like a Pentecostal church service and nobody would. Yeah, it sounds like it might've been a secular song or something. You know what I mean? People just go, yeah, brother play, you know, whatever, like, yes, this definitely would belong on that. It's a jam band song.
We grew up in Pentecostal churches where like, you, we don't know when service is over. You just go in and you go, you know, take some peanut butter crackers. If you're diabetic, you know what I mean? Hold on. Best of luck and service it just kind of over when it's over you, people might say and pray for an hour.
And so you just gotta have music on tap for that, bro. You can't just, so you need some jam band tunes to get you through that, a progression that you can play for 45 minutes, if you need to, to I think the Wurlitzer slash Oregon makes it just feel a little bit more church. Yeah, it does. Yeah. That B3 coming in right before the groove kicks in.
It, it really does. It gives it that like, it ha it has a, like a spiritual feel to it. You know what I mean? So funny. Okay. So that's right. That's right. Help us, y'all help us compile that list of the, the songs you could get away with playing in church, as long as you don't sing them. Right. Maybe relative blog out that there we go.
Let's see. It became an immediate live favorite for almond brothers fans. Even though it was never released as a single it's just eternally jammable, it's so easy to listen to, you know, it can easily go 10, 12 minutes live and you'd never batted an eye. It's just, you just want it to keep going.
It's almost. Entrancing in a certain way. You just one of those songs that you can get totally lost in, you know, and and just have so much fun as a player, you know? And, and as a band, just letting things go. The first recorded version was actually by neither government mule nor the almond brothers, but by blues artists, Larry McCray on his 1993 album Delta hurricane, it feels exactly like the version, you know, and love even with the same lead line at the beginning, McCray's vocal delivery is just a little more loose.
Like he's a little more behind the beat and he's doing the thing where you kind of let the, let the background vocals carry the chorus. And he's kind of singing lines in between, you know what I mean? Or singing just very, very, very late, more, more relaxed, vocal delivery. Otherwise it's essentially, you know, the same all the way.
Let's talk a little bit about government mule. Absolutely. And then we can meet, meet the band and that is government. That's G O V apostrophe T right. It's not the word government. It's the abbreviated gov apostrophe T gov mule is how it looks formed in 1994, as an offshoot of the almond brothers band by Warren Haynes and then almond brothers basis, Allen Woody, they have put out I don't know, a dozen or so studio albums plus live albums, any peas, they are listed as one of Rollingstones best jam bands of all time.
And rolling stone says. This is great quote. If they ever get around to making a jam band hall of fame, Warren Haynes really deserves his own wing. The guitarist not only stepped into Dwayne almonds almond brothers role in 1989, but in 2004, he essentially took on the Jerry role in the dead that's Jerry Garcia, grateful dead for a few incredible years.
He divided his time between both acts and in spare moments. He toured a recorder with government mule, the group merges many of the best aspects of the dead and the almond brothers. And they only seem to get better every year. That's from the 2015 rolling stone readers list of the 10 best jam bands of which government mule came in at number seven.
That's awesome. Would you like to hear that, to hear the list? Number 10? I don't know this band and I'm sure jam fans are gonna hate me for it. Mo you know, Mo it's Moe period. They have a period in the name Mo I don't know, but I'm going to have to check them out for sure. Let's see. Number nine. Oh my God.
Rolling stone lists on the internet, slow, so slow, do better. Rollingstone number nine, pink Floyd kind of controvert like, do you think of pink Floyd as a jam band? I think they jam, but I don't call them a jam band. That's a great way to say it, but they are number nine on this, on this reader generated list.
Number eight Umphrey's McGee. You know them. They're not quite on my radar. Number seven government mule as discussed. Number six, widespread pain. All right. So now I've given those, you had to put together the top and the top, whoever who Al cream fish have to be in there right on the top five. Number five is Dave Matthews band.
Yeah. Dave Matthews, man. Number four is cream. Number three is fish. Number two is the almond brothers. And that leaves number one, the jam band of all jam bands, the grateful dead, right? I mean, they're the sort of the the template for jam band, you know, by which others are, are all imprinted for some real Jamey fun with government mule check out their live stuff.
Of course. Right. Even there's even a difference in, in studio. You know, stuff versus just when you get live in front of a crowd and get that energy going, it just takes on a different thing. For some real sort of melding of that list if you want a really trippy experience, check out the 2014 album by government mule called dark side of the mule, which is a full live album of pink Floyd covers.
And then the deluxe edition has some government mule stuff on it too, but it's just pink. Floyd covers live. It's a lot of fun and very, very, they didn't just like go, oh, Hey, let's cover whatever. I mean, it is meticulous. It is lovingly crafted pink Floyd covers by government mule. You should check it out.
Okay. We'll talk about the album in a second, but first let's meet government's meeting. Okay. Let's meet the man. The man. Hey mama. Let's meet the man.
all right, guys, we're going to meet the band of government mule that played on this track. So versus discussing Dickey, Betts, and Greg Allman, we're going to go government mule. There we go. On guitar, we'll start with this guy. One of my favorites, Tim Reynolds probably most notable is playing with Dave Matthews band, not as an official member, but a recurring common side.
Man, been with Dave for years. To Dave and Tim shows tourists, such a great sound, such a great sign, man. The us, the lob 1999 live at Luther college album is one of my favorite of the Dave albums. And one of my favorite actually albums overall the other guitar player. Yes, there's three guitar players because why not?
And vocals little Milton dude. I love this guy. One of my favorite blues songs I've ever discovered was on this album called the history of the blues I had when I was first getting into blues. Me and Rob played in a blues band in college. And so I went as deep blues as I could, you know, not growing.
And the blues. That makes sense. So I started my blues affection later in life. If you would like trying to go deep, he don't really have blues backgrounds. Yeah, exactly. Grits ain't groceries. Do you know that song? Oh yeah. Play grits. Ain't groceries. This is a little Milton. This guy's in the blues hall of fame discovered I contain a Turner.
I love his story.
all right. Good stuff. No more controversial statement. That's right. I'm on Wurlitzer Chuck level. My goodness. We hear some Wurlitzer, right? When you're first getting in, he does all the, all the Wurlitzer stuff and Oregon, but he He worked with everyone as well. Clapped and mayor almond brothers, both as a player and a producer.
He co-founded iRock U which is a blues piano educational website. It's pretty cool. Cool. I looked it up. It's really neat. I wasn't familiar with it until I started doing some deep Chuck research and it's good on base Willie Weeks. One of many bass players on this government mule project. My favorite quote about him, George Harrison said he would rather have weeks played bass with him than Paul McCartney.
Wow. So how about that for heavy? Got played on everything from Stevie Wonder's inner visions album, not to make your dreams with inversions to read that to rod Stewart deep cut right there. That's a for you season winners to Reetha to rod Stewart, Vince Gill list goes on Willie Weeks. Legend Matt ABST co-founded government mule with Warren played in the Dickey Betts band for awhile.
And his other project is called blue Floyd where they play blues arrangements of pink Floyd tunes money shot on your crazy diamonds, other stuff. It's really cool. So it's a, it's neat. The pink Floyd tie-ins I guess that's how, I guess they are a jam band. All these jam band people are putting them together.
I think that basically the, the the thing about pink Florida's jam band is that earlier in their career in the Sid vicious years and those, you know the suspicious right said the Sid years, Barrett Barrett. Yeah, you're right early, I think earlier in their careers, in the Syd Barrett years, maybe they were prone to like jam, you know what I mean?
Now they're like, they're they do like the lengthened songs and those, and it's very jammy atmosphere, but it's not as actually fluid as it, but apparently early, it used to be let's talk a little bit about this album, the deep end volume one, you sort of talked about what became the impetus for the album.
The first of all, it was the first album of government mules to hit the billboard top 200 albums chart. It went to number 1 28 in that regard in 2000. The most successful album, at least in that regard would be 2000 thirteens shout, which went to number 32 on the top 200. And number 11 on the rock albums chart, respectively co-founder and basis Allen Woody died in September, 2000 and the next project ended up being the deep end volume one.
And those sessions were documented by filmmaker and fellow basis. Mike Gordon, as the band recorded the album with a bunch of awesome basis like Larry Graham of sly and the family stone, John Entwhistle from the who even flee the documentary, opens up with the studios with the studio tracking of soul shine.
So the first thing you hear in the documentary is this electric piano part and leading into the, and they, they actually sold quite a bit of soul shine being tracked, but listen to this list of bass as they end up contributing. This is just a few Bootsy Collins, Chris. Jack Bruce of cream, Les Claypool of Primus, Meshell Ndegeocello, Phil Loesh of the grateful dead Tony Levin.
It's like literally like 25 of the greatest bassists on earth all came together to not even try and fill the shoes with, to pay tribute to Allen Woody who was so influential on, you know, so many of them and so respected as a bass player. So it, it's very sort of bass player centric, compilation, this album, you know what I mean?
Which you don't often get. It's not like you get, you know what I mean, people aren't flocking to be like, dude, I got this tribute to a bass player, really interesting Deep End volume. One was followed up with Deep End volume two the following year. And in 2003, the deepest end live in concert, which is certified gold by the RIA.
The bands most recent release is 2020 ones, Heavy Load Blues, which is really solid. Go check it out. And we're going to talk to Warren about it. Okay. I have a little bit more on Warren Haynes, but I think maybe it's time you've promised me a meet a stumped, the genius to remember. So I'm ready for it.
Let's go ahead and set the genius. The genius. Genius. Genius. Genius. Hey, let's stop the genius. All right guys. So last week we covered black horse and the cherry tree. Why Katie test them? We had all kinds of horse stuff. We did a horse trivia. So for the horses, they were so full of horse stuff. I am in this I'm in this horse mule thing going, so we're going to go movies about horses.
Okay. So stump the genius. This week is movies about horses. All of these movies are about horses. They all won major awards. Are there any vegetable mules? They all stole star legends and I'm betting. You're not going to get any of them. Wow. I'm going to tell you who. And the premise and I mean, you could get Seabiscuit every time, but you'll get zero sea biscuits and you'll get P just started doing horse research, went crazy.
I was like, mules horses. Let's go. And you could get black beauty too, but we talked about birds not happening. No, neither was secretary. Okay. Here we go. Number one, critics choice award for the best family movie in 2005 stars, Kurt Russell and Dakota fanning. Kurt is a horse trainer who neglects his family and spends all his time in horse and training horses.
Oh wow. You're not going to get, it's going to try and make up a name. Okay. All right. So he's a horse trainer, the horse trainer, Kurt Russell critic's choice award, best family movie, 2005. I'm going to say. Home training. It's called dreamer. Marcel. The point. Okay. This one won two Oscars and nominated for three others.
Wow. It stars Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Angela Landsbury and arguably the best movie ever about horses, horse. It's in a national film library by the library of Congress. 12 year old girl, Elizabeth Taylor wins this horse and a raffle and trains him for steeple chase. Wow. So it's storing a teammate, 1944.
Liz Taylor. Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Taylor. Let's call it. Let's see, 12 year old, Liz Taylor inherits a horse and trains them for two Oscars. Two officers let's go. I'm going to go. I'm going to go. I'm glistening, sunrise national velvet. Okay. For me, I feel like I got pretty close spiritually. I feel like I was close.
Number three, one, the spare award for spar wards for the best Western drama script that are movie stars, stars, Viggo, Mortensen, and his Mustang who plays Frank Hopkins. He and his Mustang are part of Buffalo. Bill's wild west show. Okay. You know, this one, Vigo Mortensen, riding a horse. Not as part of Lord of the rings.
Read me the description again. Okay. Okay. It starts Viggo Mortensen and his Mustang. He plays Frank Hopkins. He's a Mustang. He and his Mustang are part of Buffalo. Bill's wild west sideshow or wild west show. Is this horse named Sally or no? I don't know. It could have been, let's go. I'm going to call, I'm going to call it.
Let's call it. Sand prince hit doll go. got that one. Hidalgo, the animated Dreamworks film won all kinds of awards. Mother of Pearl. I didn't even have to get through it. Wow.
Amazing. You want to hear the rest of the description that you even care? Absolutely. My favorite is ASCAP film and television more top box office. I love the big hit from the movie it's music that has the Bryan Adams song. Here I am play play here I am by Bryan Adams. Good song. You might notice while I'm reading also won the Western heritage movie award stars.
Matt Damon. One of the horses in the film is rain and was the first to be awarded the certificate from American paint horse association. You know, this song, Brian Adams, it gets big. Skip ahead.
Well, it's got a little more back page, but anyway, you know, this song
I love this melody
To that and run it down. I don't know. It's fricking, that's like John power, rotten. This is, this is what they did. I'll tell you what they did with the spirit movie. Somebody saw Tarzan and the Phil Collins soundtrack. Right. And, and they were like, my heart. They're like Brian Adams, can you just do that?
Like, can you just do the, can you feel Collins? The soundtrack for guarantee you that's what happened? Yeah, that makes sense. Anyway, man, Robin, the point I want to know, I wanted to go spirit. I'll give you that though. Number 5, 19 98, film based on the 1995 novel stars. Robert Redford, Scarlett Johannson, Kate Bosworth, Robert as Tom Booker help, Scarlet and her injured horse.
Get back into action after a tragic accident. Oh, dang. If you would have said name one horse movie, this would have been my guess this is the, okay. So I know the name of this one more than Seabiscuit yeah. More nominated, but didn't win the golden globe or to the academy award. Robert Redford, Robert Ricardo, Scarlett Johannson.
Kate Bosworth said name one horse movie would have been little at that point 98 or yeah. Yeah. Pretty little young guy. Gosh, younger than they are now. It's obviously I injured. Recovering from injury horse, Robert Redford. Let's go. Let's go. Let's say legend, horse and whisper. Oh, the horse. Oh wow. I should have actually gotten any of those.
Okay. Here's what I think. I was just thinking of poco like that. Legend. The piko album. That's awesome. We cover here's a bonus. This isn't my favorite. You'd never get. So I'll just tell you about it. You ever see wild hearts can't be broken. That's the one I was hoping you were going to put on. We used to watch in the great depression.
She get kicked out of the home for fighting finds and stills. Her horse lightening, who had been sold off, joins the traveling fare circus. This is just me writing this out. I can talk about this movie all day. She wants to be a diving girl. She jumps on the horse and she jumps off the diving board into the pool of water.
She's too young. She's just a stable girl, but the main girl gets injured. So she goes up there does really well. One time she uses a different horse. Instead of lightning, these real jittery, some symbols crash. He hits the water eyes open. She goes blind. Then she figures out how to Mount her horse blind.
Fricking love that. Wow, wild hearts. Can't be broken. Go watch it while listening to sell Sean, all things. We made, made well with the world covers talk about coverage. Absolutely. Beth Hart has a covered obviously she's a piano player versus a carp guitar player. So a little different feel. Her vibrato takes over the song, but you get it's Beth Hart, LA song lady, man, I got to get out of this town, man.
I gotta get out. Is that girl David Allan COE. Yup. What'd you talked about something he did. That was smart. Was to have Warren play guitar on it with him. You hear it and you're like, yup. And Warren came up in David Allen COE's band. That was one of his early, you know, his early thing. So he did a David Allan COE sorta did a greatest hits live, I think at 97 and had Warren back comeback a little faster.
But basically the same song with, you know, David Allen, COE's Baptist, pastor voice singing it. This is one of those songs that like, people don't cover it to do something new with it. People just cover it because they love it. You know what I mean? They're like, oh, I want to sing that because it feels so good.
Exactly. You're not like here's my techno version of soul shine. Awesome guts. So it's, it's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic. Okay. A little bit more on Warren Haynes, and then we're going to go talk to him some more about himself. He did play in the David Allan COE and Dickey Betts bands coming up. David Allan COE for all, who don't know, wrote the greatest country in Western song of all time.
And if you don't believe it, just ask him, it's called. You never even call me by my name and I won't give it away, but you should check it out if you've never listened to it. It's just a great listen. Warren Haynes is one of the few artists out there who made me want to play Gibson guitars. He plays a 58 Les Paul re-issue, which we'll talk to them about, I think a Firebird, which I love and an S3 35.
He talks about listening to. Influences of his influences, like the importance of not only, and I've heard a few people say this, but, and, and it's, and it's really done me, served me well, like don't just listen to the people that you love, find out who they loved when they first started playing and listened to those people.
And it'll really give you a you know a broader you know, range of, of. And respect for that failure, you know, the earlier stuff. So like, you know, he was listening to Hendrix and Clapton and Johnny winter, and then those led him to like Bebe and Freddie king and muddy waters and, you know, guys like that, et cetera.
He also, this is my favorite random Warren Haynes piece of trivia. He co-wrote two of a con working on full house. With Dennis Robbins and Bobby Boyd which ended up on Garth Brooks has massive album, no fences. That's I was like, what are you serious? And so, yeah, that's the most random. Yeah. I love it.
When finding out like so-and-so coat, you know, that's just a great discovery. If I, if I could change one thing in Warren's life about him, I wish he had a one syllable middle name that he threw in like one Lee Haynes. Exactly. Like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Warren cleat paint. I don't know.
Not clique, but Lee, the shoes you wear in soccer. I don't know. It really makes more sense. Yeah. Yeah. Lee's a great light blues player. Middle Lincoln. It's so great. You like Kenny Wayne Shepherd a single it doesn't need to be single. Because David Allan COE sounds country. That doesn't sound like right.
Exactly. If he was John Michael Montgomery, David Allen co thing, you've just stumbled on single. Okay. Three names is single Ines mean single syllable in the middle name is blues. Double is country. That that is quite a theory. I need you guys listening to dig into that a little more and tell us what you think.
Are we right? Yeah. Dang, good call. Oh, I can't, I can't wait to think more about that. That's going to be his middle name. I should have looked it up. I don't either. I didn't even did all this research and don't even know his middle name. What if it is Lee? What if he just nailed it? He should've just gone all these blues guys do that.
I don't want to do. All right, we're going to go talk to Warren and we'll be back to tuck you in at the end, but first need you to stop what you're doing right now. Holy cow, this is episode 200. Some of you listening have been with us since episode one. And for that, we applaud you. And we thank you greatly.
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This podcast should not have worked. It should not have lasted this long. And it definitely should not have become what it has become. Every episode that we have released here, though, we have recorded in the same room. We will not do the virtual thing when it comes to laying these down guys, we are, we are making it happen.
And for those of y'all that don't know, we live over three at about three hours away from each other. So we love being together. And we love chatting with these people and we love chatting with you, but let's be honest. This podcast is an intrusion into our lives. It like, you know what I'm saying? Like it's a, it's a, it's a hot.
But it requires something of us hobby with effort. Yeah. It's a hobby that we're glad to put the effort in because the, because the reward of being able to hang out with each other and now getting to talk to some of our musical heroes and getting to get to know you guys, the, the Great Song Podcast community, it's just been so worth it, you know?
So you'll send us a shell gift card. I'm just kidding gas. Ain't cheap. Yeah. But here's to another 200 episodes, the 400 that's right. All right. When we're fighting, what is it? 300. We're going explicit. That's right. Just getting family-friendly from here on out guys. All right. That's it. Let's go talk to Warren Haynes and we'll be back to tuck you in at the end.
This is the Great Song podcast, ladies and gentlemen, as promised we are here with guitar legend, blues rock Southern rock swampy. Awesome. Rock legend. Warren Haynes is on the program, man. Warren, thank you so much for joining us today on the Great Song Podcast. My pleasure. Thank you, man. I can't believe we get to do this.
So let's, let's start with, with this. I want to talk a bit, a little bit about the, what is kind of the workhorse nature of government mule? Not to, not to mix metaphors with horses and mules. Yeah. But you guys are you know, such a workhorse band, 20 plus albums, constant touring, and you, you know, you leave it out on the stage every night.
Is that a source of pride for you? Is that kind of a you know, a missional thing for you guys? Yeah. I mean, I think we're just kind of. Continuing on the path that people, we grew up loving what they did and what they contributed. And some of our heroes work ethics and stuff, but probably even more important is the fact that it's what we love to do.
So, you know, I always say half jokingly that the other 21 hours of the day, or what we're getting paid for three hours on stage, that is the pay off, you know we're, we're there to play and, you know, traveling and staying in hotels and being away from your family and eating crappy food in the middle of the night.
You getting paid for that.
So I want to talk about, you know, you, you're the atmosphere at a government mule show or an almond brothers show or even a dead show, especially is a very you know, I don't know if you love the word jam or not, but it's a very improvisational sort of you know, they're sort of free spirited moments, let's say where things just kind of, you know, take whatever direction they take when you are playing with somebody new.
What are some of the important things that make you know that somebody is going to work in that context? Or, or what are some red flags that you might hear when you're playing with somebody that you go? I'm not sure this kind of style is going to be the thing. Well, it's a, it's kind of a conversational approach to music.
So when you are playing music with someone and you throw something out there and see how they respond which could be any of a multitude of different ways that kind of gives you an indication of where the conversation is going to go. You know, as an example, like when, when I met Danny Lewis, our keyboard player, the first time we ever played together was just the two of us, him playing a keyboard and myself playing guitar.
And we would just bounce ideas back and forth. And that wound up being his audition. I was looking for a keyboard player for what, at that time was the Warren Haynes band in the early nineties. And just the way he responded to what I played, made me know that, yeah, this, this will work, you know, And if you take that to the enth degree the band like the miles Davis quintet, which is my favorite band of all times with Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams and Ron Carter and Wayne shorter when those guys played music, which I don't even think you could call it jazz because it, it kind of defied categorization.
But when they played music, one person would play something, somebody else would respond. Somebody else would respond to that. And the whole foundation of the music was built on that. And so in that way, chemistry is the most important thing of all. Yeah. Is, is I'm curious, is offstage chemistry equally important or can you, can you have these kinds of experiences with guys that you don't necessarily get along with so much.
Well, you know, that's a good question. Yes. You can have that kind of chemistry with someone that you don't necessarily get along with. And, and there've been a lot of great bands that have gone through that challenge. But it obviously makes it easier to be in a traveling, living together, close quarters kind of situation with someone you don't want to kill on a daily basis.
That's great. Yeah. We I heard that, you know, growing up Hendrix and Clapton and Johnny winter were kind of your icons. Who's a modern guitar player that you really like. We were guessing you're going to throw Derek truck's Dave in the mix, but who's a modern guitar player that you're really, really digging on.
Well, first off the three, you mentioned those were my first three captain Hendricks, Johnny winter were the first three people that I discovered and just went full bore crazy over, you know after that, every, you know, I discovered so many other people shortly afterwards, but the first three people that you discover or the makes such a big impact.
But I love Jeff Beck and BB king and Freddie king and Albert King. And you know shortly afterward became a huge Allman brothers fan and loved what Duane Allman, the Dickey Betts were doing. But I loved it so many different types of stuff, you know, I love Steve Houk from, yes, it was a completely different player than the other people that I mentioned, but equally unique and past.
Yeah. As far as a modern player, you know, Derek is, is one of my favorites for sure, but I don't really consider him modern anymore. Cause I've known him since he was 11.
No, but Derek is a fantastic player and a great friend and we've played together hundreds and hundreds of times. And I think he's one of the best musicians out there. I got to sit. You mentioned about playing with him. I got to talk about, it's not everyday. We get to talk with somebody that's played the white house.
So you played with Derek and Susan there, you did. I'd rather go blind at a Jane's tune or James tune for Obama. What's it like playing the white house? It was amazing, you know? So there were so many reasons. I mean, BB king, buddy guy, Jeff Beck Mick Jagger, Derek and myself and Susan all these.
These people that we grew up listening to that we were there with, along with people like Gary Clark, Jr. Shemeka Copeland the music musically, it was fantastic. And it was a huge honor to be there. And of course the Allman brothers and the dad were both big Obama supporters. And being there for that moment where buddy God handed Obama, his microphone and he started singing, people have asked me, was that scripted?
Absolutely not. I was standing three feet away. That happened as Momentary kismet as possible. You know, it was like, I saw the, I exchange and I saw president Obama. They get, am I really going to do this?
And it was just, it was just fantastic watching all the rehearsals, you know there was a rehearsal of Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger doing the Helen Wolf song. She mixed my drink. What does that song commit a crime and they did it during the show and it was great, but it wasn't as great as the rehearsal.
The rehearsal was just amazing and standing there 20 feet away watching that in the white house was, was pretty fantastic. And I was also running on very little sleep because I had flown Denver to DC, DC to LA LA to DC, and like three days just to make it, you know, like my schedule was, was really nuts for that time period.
But I said, well, there's no way I'm going to miss it. I'll just have to be exhausted. Yeah. Yeah, no kidding. That's a, that's a, can't miss you make whatever concessions you have to make and then sleep later. So I, I want to talk a little bit about the, the latest government mule album, heavy load blues as more of that.
You know, straight ahead, blues album obviously, you know, a lot of what you play and a lot of what you've done is, is sort of blues infused. But, but this, it strikes me as a, just a really kind of a straight ahead blues album. And I understand if I'm correct that you guys really kind of leaned into it with vintage gear and sort of vintage recording methods, you know, we're kind of doing everything together in the studio.
Is that, was that kind of the kind of the plan for recording this album to make it sort of a, more of a traditional feel? Yeah, we wanted it to sound like it was recorded decades ago. And in order to do that which was inspiring to us from a performance standpoint, you know, we thought, well, we always prefer analog tape anyway, and we always prefer recording as live as possible, but a heavy load blues was recording.
Completely live in a, in a small room where we weren't wearing headphones. We were just standing a few feet apart as if we were on a little tiny stage and a little blues club. And the only difference was really that we were facing each other as opposed to facing an audience, you know small amps as I mentioned in one of the videos, all the gear in that room was older than me.
And it, it was problematic to do it that way because you never know when something might break down that's, you know, 70 years old or something. But it was such a great experience doing it that way and doing it with no headphones allowed us to be even more intricate in that process that you brought up from the beginning of, of responding in a conversational way to what each other is playing.
When you're that close together and playing really quietly, Matt was playing a really small drum kit and we were playing through small amplifiers and we were like a few feet apart. So we were playing much quieter than we normally would. And we could hear ourselves fantastic. And we were just mixing ourselves according to what we were hearing.
And you can hear that in the recording, you know, that's what it sounds like because that's what was happening. That's pretty similar to, you can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but isn't that tell y'all kind of did where it all begins. Y'all were kind of all live on stage the almond brothers versus the park.
We did that in Jupiter, Florida Burt Reynolds ranch has a soundstage on it and we rented it out and went in there and set up. Now we were set up in a much more rock and roll way with big amplifiers, big drum kits. We even had a PA and lights and stuff, but we recorded where it all begins live like that as well.
We had a mobile truck, a recording truck that was parked outside and it was the control room was too small for us all to listen back at the same time. So for the most part, most of the band didn't even listen to the recordings as they went down. Tom Dowd who was producing wood would call us up. If there was something he wanted us to hear or something, you know, or we would play it out in the room.
But yeah, that, that's the way that record was done too. And the first mule record was done like that as well. You could feel the energy in that. I think that's a smart play. I love all night train, which he wrote off that album. Good, great, great Kickstarter with guitars everywhere. A little tie into kind of how you were introduced into the almond brothers was the seven turns album in 1990.
You carry the lead on loaded, die, such a tasty song. But my biggest takeaway on that you play a Strat on that, correct, which is not, not traditionally. What I see Warren Haynes with, you know, I see you with the, with the 58 Gibson or the Firebird or the gifts that he has 3 35. How come the Strat on that one?
Were you just trying to sound different than Dicky was? What, why did you pick the strap for that one? Well, I had this red Stratocaster. For a few years, late eighties, early nineties that I played quite a bit and I'm not normally a Strat guy. I love the way that guitar sounded and played. And when I was doing the warrant Haynes band at that time, I intentionally wanted to go for a different sound than like an older brothers sound.
Not all the time, but probably 70% of the time back then I played that strap a lot. And so I wound up playing it on the first couple of almond brothers records that we did together. As well, and then it got stolen a few years later, so I just never replaced it. But that was a really cool sounding guitar.
And it appeared all over the seven turns. Right? Oh dude. Yeah. I love it. It's it sounds wonderful. You can hear your mullet and stash coming through the sound of the guitar. It's wonderful. So he played that live in 91. But now your choice of guitars, typically the 58 Gibson, Les Paul and Rob had a really neat tie in question that I was gonna let him, I was curious about your the, the custom 58 Les Paul reissue that is based on your 58 is, is called buy on the website and stuff and inspired by Warren Haynes model rather than like a Warren Haynes signature.
And I was curious if you could clue us into what is the difference, why the distinct. Well, that guitar is actually a 58 body and a 59 neck. Because I like to 59 necks better. It has a little bit bigger frit, right? The 59 freight's a little bit bigger than 58. And I prefer that. And they also have that guitar has a burst Bucher one and burst bucker two in the pickup positions.
And it has a tone pros bridge, which is different from any other Gibson edit has this circuitry that was developed by Peter Miller and John Cutler that did a lot of stuff for Jerry Garcia that when you. They designed this volume pot, that when you turn it down, the tone doesn't change, which is very different for a Gibson guitar.
But I like the sound of the tone changing when you turned it down. But I also liked the idea of having that option. So I talked them into putting it in a switch that you could turn on and off switches on those guitars. That's great. How does how does a gig with David Allan COE differ from a gig with Dickey Betts?
Well, when I played in Cosma and I was a kid, I was either still 19 or about to turn 20 when I joined his band and I had no idea what I was getting myself into thrust into this world that I didn't even know existed. But it, oddly enough, that if you had asked that question, Through playing with co that I met Dickey Betts and Greg almond, which eventually would lead to me joining the Allman brothers when I first joined Dickies man.
And then a few years later joined the Allman brothers. So it was a. A gradual process, but that's, that's how the whole thing came about. Gotcha. Want to ask a question about, and this is kind of a, a kind of a, a longer, a two-part question it's going to be because of the conversation we just had with our previous guests.
So I, I wanted to ask when. You're attacking a straight ahead blues album, like heavy load blues, or even a, a song. And especially, you know, with, with all that you've put out over the years, I'm sure you've got these songs that you play so many times the temptation is to let's, let's tweak it, let's do something different, you know, we've played it live so many times.
It sort of takes on a different life. I wanted to pick your brain about the balance between that kind of invention and the tradition of either, you know, the source material or what the audience expectation is. And that's kind of part one of the question, but then we also literally just got off the phone with Corky Lang from mountain.
And he told us a story of a few years ago at a new year's Eve show that you sort of challenged him on just that, that, that I think you were planning on playing Mississippi queen and and you said as an Antech, it oh, yes. And. Oh, that's right. I'm sorry. And then take it slower. But that, that you had a conversation with him about, you know, we would ask you to play it, but but, and these are his words that you said, basically you forgotten the song.
You guys have messed with it to the point where it's no longer the same song.
And he said that you basically said, if you'll go home and learn it, you can play it with us, which is great. We love that. And so I thought what an interesting tie to this question that I already wanted to ask you about that balance between sort of tradition and invention. Well, that's, that sounds like Corky's interpretation.
I don't, it doesn't sound like something I would or did say, but maybe I said something similar to that, you know, I remember, you know, cause we were all big mountain fans. I played with mountain several times and it appeared on one of the records and stuff. That happens in bands where they change the song through the years.
And it's really different years down the road than the original version. And what I think you're referring to, I could be wrong in some of those tunes. They changed them to the point that if we hadn't had been playing the original version, then we wouldn't know how to play the version that they wound up with 30 years later, you know as an example, I went out to long island to play with mountain one time and they did Mississippi queen in a whole nother key.
And I was. Leslie. What, why are you doing Mississippi queen? And I think they were doing it in C and the original was in E I think I'm right about that. It could be wrong. And he's like, oh, from my voice, I can't sing that high anymore. I'm like, dude, you came and sat in with government mule and we played it in the original key.
And you seen this,
but through the years, you know, seeing it that high night after night, after night after night, maybe we might want to lower the key a little bit, or, you know, that, that happens a lot. I had heard changing the subject here briefly, but I had heard a cool story about McCartney, a conversation that Paul McCartney and Billy Joel were having and about some Beatles song from the old days that they were going to do or something.
And Billy Joel said, what can you do? You do it in there? And Paul was like, what do you mean? He's like, well, you don't still do it in the original key. Do you? And he's like, sure, I do all the songs and the original and you know, which is incredible to think about that. But that the far now that was 10 years ago, but this far down the line that he was still singing those songs in the original key is, is incredible.
Yeah. So w so where is that line for you? Do you guys ever go, you know, we w w you know, we owe it to this particular song to sort of stay faithful to the original arrangement, or you know, does that ever happen with you guys where you go, maybe we should, maybe we should bring the song back to. Well, you know, that's a good question because I can joke about it and say that fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you want to look at it, we've never had a song that was so big that people expect to hear it every night or expect to hear it played a certain way with, with no variation.
Okay. But I, I can imagine like you know, what, if you go see the Eagles and they play hotel California, then you want the guitar solo to be like, it was on the radio in the seventies because you paid all this money. And that's what I want to share, but, you know and as an example in the honor, brothers Ramblin man was the biggest hit the ALO brothers ever had in years.
By that, that the band never played rambling. And I know there were some, a small amount of fans that were disappointed, but it wasn't like, like it would be if it was a pop band that didn't play their biggest hit because most, all the brothers fans were there for the entire show. Not for one song. No, I was going to say, well, you're the king of taking songs and making it your own.
Like I was thinking about, you mentioned Freddie king. So me and Robert huge fans of woman across the river. So that's a, a definite wonderful tweak on that, the play in with Dave on Cortez, the killer, the Neil young song. So I know you've done some collabs with him. So definitely taking your, your chops and apply.
How did, how did that collaboration sync up where you've done a lot of stuff with, with Dave Matthews? Well, you know, I'll tell you an interesting story. My, my relationship with those guys goes back to the very beginning of. When, when nobody outside of Virginia new who's Dave Matthews band was, we had played together a few times on stage and had a really good time and had become friends.
And it was always a, a good musical experience. And then fast forward, we had played together dozens of times, by the time they did their central park show. And they called me and said, we're doing this central park show. We'd love to have you as, as the guest. And again, it was one of those things where I was on the road.
And like, when I got it, I had that day off. I'll just fly in and do that. And then go back on tour. You know there was no real time for rehearsal. We had a short sound check and literally when we were on stage doing the sound check, Dave turned to me and said, You do Cortez. Right. And I said, yeah, I've been doing it.
I've done it a few times. And he said, yeah, I do it too. What do you think about doing it together? That sounds cool. Let's do it. And so we talked about who was going to sing, which verses. And we probably played it for about two minutes or something. And we said, yeah, that'd be cool. Let's do that. And so in front of a hundred thousand people, we played that version for the first time.
That was, that was like a first date. That was the first take. And no, none of us knew where it was going. And it was fantastic still when I hear that, that version, it's one of my favorite birds. They're not limited to, I mean, I know you did it on your 98 with a little help from my friends and that's 14 minutes of goodness.
And then you do it again in 2003. It's perfect. We know that we will be respectful of your time cause we're right at our, at our cutoff. Do you mind if we ask you one more question and then we'll, we'll call it a day with, you've been great. We gotta have you back on. So we can ask you about taping of live shows, your favorite almond brothers songs, all kinds of to have a Cod working on a full house, come on.
But we'll save that for round two. So you're on, you're on tour with either a government meal with Allman brothers, your solo stuff, whatever you go into a gas station, what is your gas station? Snack, food of choice. And while you're thinking of it, I'll tell you mine. I get a three Musketeers bar when I was growing up.
My mom would say, you can have any candy bar you want, and that's the most ounces. I get a three Musketeers bar. What is your gas station? Snack. Food of choice. Well, I've learned through the years that I, I can't give into those. You know, in the old days it would just be a straight up Hershey bar, like the big block, you know, but, but I, I, I, I got to keep myself from giving into that sort of thing these days, but I was an AMA chocoholics.
Okay. Well, there you go. Well, good job using the restraint, Lauren, thanks so much. We really hope you've had a good time. This has been so exciting for us and we absolutely, I enjoy it. We'll do round two. We'll put it down all the best. Have a good one. Thank you guys.
And that was the legend Warren Haynes on the Great Song podcast episode 200. It's a party. W actually it's, we're just recording this, like any other episode, there's not any particular party vibe, but thank you guys for being with us for 200 episodes. And I should've brought some hats, some streamers man
air horn. That was better. Yeah, we should have done it. That's kind of how they all sound. It's a little bit, but also a party horn would have been burp ripper. I've been appropriate. We didn't think ahead. Any of this, we're, we're recording this in the middle of a day where we're trying to record like 10 episodes throwing it all yet.
So, you know, whatever. But yeah. Episode 200 great time with Warren Haynes. Thank you guys so much for listening, wherever you're listening from say, Hey to us online, let us know where you're listening from. We love to find out that like people from Australia, Germany, Japan, China, like we literally have people all over the world who are regular listeners of the show.
And that is a humbling thing. We thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to you know, to be a part of what we're doing here. So thank you guys so much. We'll be back next week with rivalry week. It's time to fight until then. I'm Rob. J.P. go listen to some music.