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Warren Haynes: Government Man

Ahead of the release of his new solo album, Gov’t Mule mainman Warren Haynes talks about the Allman Brothers, difficult choices, mentally unstable fans and adventures in reggae.

In 1997, Warren Haynes and Allen Woody were forced to wrestle with a conundrum. For the previous three years the guitarist/singer and bass player had been moonlighting from the Allman Brothers Band with their own group, Gov’t Mule. Now it was time to choose.

For Haynes especially, the opportunity of being a Brother in a band he’d idolised in his youth was heaven-sent. But on the flip side, the Mule represented a gleaming blank canvas, and when their self-titled debut record had been released two years earlier it garnered immediate cult success, allowing the band (completed by drummer Matt Abts) a platform for their Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mountain and James Gang power-trio-inspired fantasies. With heavy hearts the pair eventually turned their backs on fanboy loyalty and what had appeared to be a comfortable long-term gig to take the proverbial leap of faith.

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