Warren Haynes / The Benefit Concert A Night Of Musical Brilliance

Guitarist for Allman Brothers Band and founding member of Gov’t Mule, Warren Haynes is one of the most highly respected figures on the scene. His annual benefit concerts attract the great and the good from the music world. Captured in glorious technicolour, sound and light, Volume 20 is arguably the finest yet, bringing together a diverse variety of talent that ranges from the raging to the pastoral.

Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20 (Mascot Label Group)

Release Date: Out Now

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Warren Haynes - The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg
Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg

A difficult line to walk, sometimes all-star gigs are a secret battle of egos as everyone fights for their portion of the spotlight, the smiles onstage not always going beyond the surface. But here, things are obviously different, the sense of respect, peace and love flowing from every groove.

Warren Haynes - The Benefit Concert Volume 20 (Mascot Label Group)
Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20 (Mascot Label Group)

With the full show featuring thirty-one different songs, the whole was a mammoth event. It’s all credit to Haynes’ address book that he attracts such a stellar cast, the ensemble comprising of huge stars and rising talents. Whilst the whole ends in a suitably grand climax, the quality throughout is uniformly great, the artists bringing their ‘A Game’ and the ever-changing players and material compelling.

Brought out in several formats, the choice of vinyl, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray gives a range of ways to immerse yourself in the night, soaking up every note.

Warren Haynes - The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg
Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg

There’s a real patchwork of styles throughout, disparate styles that shouldn’t go together, but due to the class and brio of the performers, it all hangs together perfectly. Not many nights can go from the funky and electronica-infused jazz of Marco Benevento to the stripped-back and vibrant Country of Jamey Johnson so smoothly.

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals bring some thrilling, primal rock ‘n’ roll with West Coast psychedelic touches on The Lion The Beast The Beat before Mike Gordon’s loose and funky take on Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion adds to just another small sample of the early highlights.

Jim James and Eric Church both make big impressions, and the star power of Joe Bonamassa brings some dazzling punchy blues. The transition between Tea For One and Led Zeppelin’s I Can’t Quit You Baby is perfect.

‘The Nicest Man In Rock’, Dave Grohl also makes his presence felt, his drumming on the mammoth thirty-six minute jam of Play phenomenal and his cameo with Gov’t Mule on Rockin’ In The Free World adding some extra hot sauce to the Neil Young blaster.

It’s not just the big, full numbers that hit the hardest as the Warren Hayes and Jim James team up on Captured is raw and beautiful perfection, Tyler Ramsey’s otherworldly Black Birds equally breath-taking.

Warren Haynes - The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg
Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg

After Grohl’s touching run-through of Times Like These with Haynes and a solo Everlong that raised the rafters, it was time for Gov’t Mule to wrap up the night with three Pink Floyd numbers, the closing solo of Comfortably Numb taking a different path to the canonical one crafted by David Gilmour.

For purists, this stray from the path might seem a little jarring, but given the free-flowing spirit of the night, nothing is off limits, and the creativity of the artists brings a welcome frisson of the unexpected to every moment.

Easily a contender for live album of the year, if not the decade.

Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20 is available from here.

Warren Haynes - The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg
Warren Haynes – The Benefit Concert Volume 20. Photo: Jay Blakesburg

Vinyl Volume 1 (2LP Purple)
A1. Greenpoint (Marco Benevento)
A2. Pepper (Marco Benevento)
A3. In Color (Jamey Johnson)
A4. I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink (Jamey Johnson)
B1. Medicine (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals)
B2. The Lion The Beast The Beat (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals)
B3. A New Life (Jim James)
B4. State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.) (Jim James)
C1. Sweet Emotion (Mike Gordon)
C2. Pendulum (Mike Gordon)
C3. Record Year (Eric Church)
C4. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Eric Church)
D1. Spanish Boots (Joe Bonamassa)
D2. SWLABR (Joe Bonamassa)
D3. Tea For One > I Can’t Quit You Baby (Joe Bonamassa)
 
Vinyl Volume 2 (2LP Orange)
A1. Play pt 1 (Dave Grohl)
B1. Play pt 2 (Dave Grohl)
C1. Thorazine Shuffle (Gov’t Mule)
C2. Million Miles From Yesterday (Gov’t Mule feat. Machan Taylor & Mini Carlsson)
C3. Dreams & Songs (Gov’t Mule feat. Machan Taylor & Mini Carlsson)
D1. Revolution Come Revolution Go (Gov’t Mule)
D2. Rockin’ In The Free World > Machine Gun > Rockin’ In The Free World (Gov’t Mule feat. Dave Grohl)
 
Vinyl Volume 3 (2LP Blue)
A1. Just Before The Bullets Fly (Warren Haynes)
A2. One (Warren Haynes)
A3. Paris (Ooh La La) (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals feat. Ron Holloway)
B1. I’ve Seen A Love (Edwin McCain)
B2. Ray Ray’s Juke Joint (Jamey Johnson)
B3. Victim (Mike Gordon)
B4. Smoke A Little Smoke (Eric Church)
B5. The Weight (Eric Church)
C1. Here In Spirit (Jim James)
C2. Red Baron (Gov’t Mule feat. Ron Holloway & Mike Barnes)
C3. Soulshine (Warren Haynes)
D1. Us And Them (Gov’t Mule feat. Jim James)
D2. Any Colour You Like (Gov’t Mule)
D3. Welcome To The Machine (Gov’t Mule)
 
Vinyl Volume 4 (2LP Red)
A1. Glory Road (Warren Haynes feat. Ray Sisk)
A2. I’m Telling You (Planet of the Abts)
A3. Underground Umbrella (Kevn Kinney, Jamey Johnson & Christmas Jam Band)
A4. Straight To Hell (Kevn Kinney, Jamey Johnson & Christmas Jam Band)
B1. 1000 Black Birds (Tyler Ramsey)
B2. The Nightbird (Tyler Ramsey)
B3. If Heartaches Were Nickels (Warren Haynes & Joe Bonamassa)
B4. Crazy Sometimes (Mike Gordon & Scott Murawski)
C1. Captured (Warren Haynes & Jim James)
C2. Gold Dust Woman (Warren Haynes, Jim James & Grace Potter)
C3. Times Like These (Dave Grohl & Warren Haynes)
C4. Everlong (Dave Grohl)
D1. Time > Breathe (Reprise) (Gov’t Mule)
D2. Money (Gov’t Mule)
D3. Comfortably Numb (Gov’t Mule)

Sleeve Notes

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