Warren Haynes’ 28th Christmas Jam: 12/10/2016

christmasjam_12-10-16

Warren Haynes, former guitarist with the Allman Brothers and currently with Gov’t Mule, has been hosting the Christmas Jam in Asheville for 28 years now. The Jam is a benefit concert that raises money for Habitat for Humanity and Warren invites a slew of artists to participate in the marathon event. This year, my youngest daughter came to the concert with me, and I also had some friends come in from out of town for the show, so it was quite the party.

This year’s show featured the following headline acts:

  • Gov’t Mule
  • Bob Weir
  • Michael McDonald
  • Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss
  • The Last Waltz Band

In addition, the show also included a plethora of guest musicians, too numerous to list them all, but some of the ones that deserve note are Branford Marsalis, John Medeski, Bob Margolin, Steve Kimock, Duane Trucks, and George Porter Jr.

I was out of town for work the day the tickets went on sale. Thankfully, my good friend Robert waited in line and bought tickets for me. THAT is a true friend! The show sold out in one day, so I was really grateful that he picked them up for me.

My friend Dana from Florida came up for the concert, along with her friend Jackie. We went out for lunch the day before and discovered that they were also friends with two of my Asheville friends, Craig and Dara, with whom I was going to the show, so we all got seats together. It’s a small world in rock and roll.

The show this year was amazing. My wife said it was probably the best Christmas Jam she has attended. So many high points, but probably the top two for me were Alison Krauss joining Bob Weir to perform “Peggy-O” and also Branford Marsalis and Warren Haynes joining Weir and Co to play an amazing rendition of “Eyes of the World.” Words cannot adequately convey the energy that was released during that performance.

The concert went on until about 3:00 in the morning. I left during the second-to-last song (“Dreams”), but that was fine. I definitely got my fill of great music.

Here are the set lists:


Holly Bowling
Cryptical Envelopment >
The Other One >
Cryptical Envelopment >
Taste
The Inlaw Josie Wales

Warren Haynes
The Real Thing
And It Stoned Me

Jamey Johnson & Alison Krauss
High Cost Of Living
Make The World Go Away
I Ain’t The One
John Deere Tractor
Heartache
Even The Skies Are Blue
Dreaming My Dreams With You
Lay Down Beside Me
My Dixie Darling
When You Say Nothing At All
In Color with Howard Johnson

Holly Bowling
Help On The Way >
Slipknot! >
Cassidy >
Bird Song

George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno, Terence Higgins, Branford Marsalis & John Medeski
I Need More Time
Just Kissed My Baby > with Marcus King
He Bite Me (The Dragon) with Marcus King
Sugaree with Bob Weir
Iko Iko with Bob Weir

Michael McDonald & Friends (Audley Freed, Don Was, Terence Higgins & John Medeski)
Freedom Highway
Sweet Freedom
I Keep Forgettin’ with Branford Marsalis
What A Fool Believes
Takin’ It To The Streets

Holly Bowling
A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing >
Crazy Fingers >
The Other One >
A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing

Bob Weir & Friends (Steve Kimock, Don Was & Duane Trucks)
Easy To Slip (Bob Weir Solo)
Peggy-O (Bob Weir with Alison Krauss)
Ghost Towns
Only A River
He’s Gone > with Warren Haynes, Holly Bowling & Branford Marsalis
Eyes Of The World > with Warren Haynes, Holly Bowling & Branford Marsalis
Truckin’ with Warren Haynes, Holly Bowling & Branford Marsalis
Ripple with Warren Haynes, Holly Bowling & Branford Marsalis

The Last Waltz Band (Warren Haynes, Don Was, Terence Higgins, Michael McDonald, John Medeski, Jamey Johnson, Mark Mullins & Levee Horns)
Up On Cripple Creek
The Shape I’m In
Stage Fright
Georgia On My Mind
The Weight with Bob Weir & Alison Krauss
Ophelia
It Makes No Difference
Helpless with Alison Krauss
Mannish Boy with Bob Margolin & Smoky Greenwell
Further On Up The Road with Bob Margolin & Smoky Greenwell
King Harvest
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Holly Bowling
Terrapin Station Suite >
Slipknot! >
Franklin’s Tower

Gov’t Mule & Friends (without Matt Abts) 
Mule with Rocky Lindsley
32/20 Blues with Rocky Lindsley, Mike Barnes, Marcus King & Smoky Greenwell
Sco-Mule with Rocky Lindsley, Jeff Sipe & Branford Marsalis
Dreams with Paul Riddle, Duane Trucks, Steve Kimock & Branford Marsalis
Mountain Jam with Paul Riddle, Duane Trucks, Steve Kimock, Branford Marsalis & Tony Coleman

Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam: 12/12/2015

ChristmasJam_12-12-15

Warren Haynes, former guitarist with the Allman Brothers and currently with Gov’t Mule, has been hosting the Christmas Jam in Asheville for 27 years now. The Jam is a benefit concert that raises money for Habitat for Humanity and Warren invites a slew of artists to participate in the marathon event. I’ve been attending this show every year since moving to Asheville, so if my fuzzy math serves me well, that makes 13 years that I have been going to the Jam.

This year’s show sold out fast, boasting a solid lineup. Unfortunately, one of the performers who I was REALLY looking forward to seeing—Joe Bonamassa—had to cancel. In spite of that, it was a great show.

I went with my wife and we met a group of friends (Perry, Philip, Devorah, Mike, and Bob) and we secured a row for ourselves on the left side of the stage, which afforded us a great view.

The show began promptly at 6:45 with Love Canon, a fun bluegrass act who plays bluegrass versions of 80’s pop hits. They played between acts while the crew was setting up and breaking down equipment. After a few songs, Warren came out and played a great acoustic version of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love.”

After Warren, we had an electric set from Hot Tuna, one of my favorite bands. Hot Tuna was formed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the guitarist and bass player from the Jefferson Airplane. They were great, but too short, playing a mere five songs if memory serves me well.

After Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby played an acoustic set. It was good, but strange. I had seen Hornsby several times and this was the first time I had seen him that he did not play any piano, playing dulcimer for the entire set. It was not what I expected, but I feel like I got to see something that most people will never have the opportunity to experience.

Next up was the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who were the highlight of the evening in my opinion. They were incredible! The energy was so high and the musicianship was so impressive, I was kind of dumbstruck. If you have never seen this band and have the opportunity, do not pass it up.

Following TTB was Dawes. I was not too familiar with them, but I knew they were somewhat popular. They were OK in my opinion, but not great. They also seemed less interesting following such an outstanding performance. They did a nice version of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” to close their set, which was fun.

The next act to perform was Blackberry Smoke. Personally, I was not impressed with this band, at all. I know they are very popular, but they were not my thing and their sound was wretched, which did not make things any better. My friend Bill texted me during their performance and called them Black Pickup Exhaust, which caused a chuckle.

It was now getting late in the evening, and the Doobie Brothers took the stage. They opened with “Jesus is Just Alright” and played one hit after another. I loved their show! You knew every song and the crowd was singing along. It was fun and brought back lots of memories for me. The Doobies were huge when I was growing up, and I listened to “Black Water” over and over as a kid. They were a close second to Tedeschi Trucks, in my humble opinion.

The Doobies finished about 1:30 am. Warren’s band was still scheduled to play, but by this time I was tired. Since I have seen Warren more times than I can count, I decided to skip the last set and get some much-needed sleep. I heard it was good, but looking at the set list, I could tell I didn’t miss anything special.

Just to give you all a taste of the Christmas Jam, here is a video that my good friend Robert made: Tedeschi Trucks Band with Warren Haynes joining them on guitar. Enjoy!