Allman Brothers anyone?
this is what you want, this is what you get
nothing really bad
just too repetitive for me
long tracks, jams

Grade - 1.6

released May 10th, 2011

from the album - A Friend To You - 1.5

from all music


You wouldn't know it from listening to Warren Haynes' work with Gov't Mule or the Allman Brothers Band, but there was a time when he didn't play guitar. He says, "I didn't get my first guitar until I was 12. My oldest brother had an acoustic guitar and I would bang around on it and try to play." But guitar wasn't even his first love -- it was singing. Around the time he was eight or nine, Haynes' two older brothers began turning him on to soul music. He would sit in his room, singing Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett. He became fascinated with the sounds of Motown and Memphis. "All I cared about was the singer. The really strong singers really knocked me out. Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops still is one of my favorite voices of all time. And I always liked B.B. King even before I liked the blues. His voice was the main thing."

Guitar didn't escape Haynes' attention for long, however: he would soon turn on to rock & roll. "I really liked Eric Clapton. He was the first guitar hero I had. I liked really heavy Cream stuff. I liked all the Derek & the Dominos stuff." Haynes' brothers used his admiration of Clapton to expand his musical horizons to take in the blues masters. They would tell him to check out Howlin' Wolf because Clapton played with him. Interviews with Haynes' favorite guitarists led him to other blues players, and the scope of his guitar playing grew accordingly.

Soon, Haynes found himself performing at private gigs and pool parties. When he was about 14, he started hanging around a local pizza parlor that had been converted into a nightclub. About six months later, word got out that Haynes played guitar. The regulars wondered what this kid could do, so they offered to let him on-stage.

It wasn't long before Haynes was playing in a band called Ricochet that developed a good regional following. One day, Haynes got a call from David Allan Coe, and it was a major break for the 20-year-old Haynes. He played with Coe from 1980 to 1984 (traveling all over the States and Europe) and played on nine of Coe's albums. Haynes also met Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman through Coe, and when Coe's band opened for the Allman Brothers at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Betts sat in. Four years later, Haynes moved to Nashville to do session work, but the Allman connection was still there. Betts was doing some demos in Nashville and called someone to put together a group of background singers. As fate would have it, Haynes was one of them. Later, he called Haynes and invited him down to work on some songs. Those songs turned into Betts' solo album Pattern Disruptive.

At the same time, Allman decided to record "Just Before the Bullets Fly," which Haynes co-wrote, as the title track to his 1988 album. It's no wonder that when the Allman Brothers re-formed for their reunion tour in 1989, Haynes got a call to join. That tour turned into two studio albums and two Grammy nominations for Best Instrumental Rock Performance (in 1990 for "True Gravity," and in 1991 for "Kind of Bird," both of which were co-written by Haynes and Betts), and then a live album in 1992, An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band. Haynes' songwriting, singing, and playing helped make Seven Turns, Shades of Two Worlds, and An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band the Brothers' most critically acclaimed albums in years. Many critics give Haynes credit for putting the fire back in the Allman Brothers Band.

Haynes also took time out to release his first solo album, Tales of Ordinary Madness. The album featured the piano work of Chuck Leavell. Leavell also played on the album, joining another former Allman Brother, Johnny Neel, and Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell on keyboards. Marc Quinones, percussionist in the current Brothers lineup, also helped out.

Haynes' work with Gov't Mule and the Allmans was supplanted by a staggering amount of studio and live work -- including stints with the Other Ones and Phil Lesh & Friends -- and on a pair of benefit concert albums he presented where he appeared solo and with members of the Mule, the Allmans, and others. He also released the solo acoustic Live at Bonnaroo album in 2004. In 2010, Haynes realized a career-long dream and cut Man in Motion at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio. The album, released on Stax/Concord, is a collection of (mostly) his own soul and R&B tunes, recorded with an all-star band featuring Ivan Neville, Ian McLagan, Ruthie Foster, George Porter Jr., and Ron Holloway.

Album Review

Warren Haynes has been almost ubiquitous since he joined the Allman Brothers Band, and formed Gov't Mule with Allen Woody and Matt Abts. He's played and collaborated with everyone from the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan to Little Milton and Taj Mahal. Fans might be surprised to learn that Southern soul was an early love. But they shouldn't be. Man in Motion is Haynes' first conscious effort and to fully indulge his love for this music, and his first solo record with backing musicians since 1993. Co-produced with Gordie Johnson, Man in Motion boasts a stellar cast: George Porter, Jr. on bass, Ivan Neville on organ, clavinet, and backing vocals, Ian McLagan on Wurlitzer and piano, drummer Raymond Weber, tenor saxophonist Ron Holloway, and backing vocalist Ruthie Foster. Two surprises do occur on the title track that opens this set: how much Haynes has grown as a songwriter and as a singer. (He may argue, but it sounds like he's been influenced by Gregg Allman's phrasing and delivery; here he moves toward the groove in his lyrics, he doesn't try to shout them above it.) The track is tight; rhythmically pulsed lines in the verses give way to fills and swells by the band that resolve in the choruses. They funk it greasy la the MG's, backed by a horn section (courtesy of the Grooveline Horns). Haynes lets his guitar talk, too, adding an edgy, raw heat in his solo to close it. The blues are evident in everything Haynes plays here, and he plays plenty. On "River's Gonna Rise," a gospel vamp leads into an easy, dark-tinged funkiness. Haynes' singing is as emotive as it is tough; he lets his guitar engage freely with both keyboardists, trading fills. Foster and Neville are excellent backing foils. This is only the beginning of the many delights here. Check the nasty, tightrope-walking Meters-like funk on "Sick of My Shadow"; the blues-drenched strut in "On a Real Lonely Night" (with its killer keyboard interplay); the soaring emotion of Holloway's sax dueling for dominance with Haynes' vocal on "In Your Wildest Dreams" and "A Friend to You"; and Haynes' greasy urgency in the Wilson Pickett-flavored "Take a Bullet." Man in Motion's lone cover, a reading of William Bell's and Booker T. Jones' ballad, "Everyday Will Be a Holiday," showcases Haynes' voice and guitar as the foundations of a deeply emotional palette the band paints upon. Man in Motion is a record that adds a new subtitle to Haynes' musical portrait: that of a soul man.

Track Listing

1 Man In Motion 7:52
2 River's Gonna Rise 6:51
3 Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday 5:29
4 Sick of My Shadow 6:57
5 Your Wildest Dreams 7:19
6 On a Real Lonely Night 7:38
7 Hattiesburg Hustle 6:33
8 A Friend To You 5:44
9 Take a Bullet 5:25
10 Save Me 6:15