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Lost in a jam: Gov't Mule

Blending blues, soul, gospel, jazz, country and rock’n’roll into tasty jams comes naturally to Mule mainman Warren Haynes, as he explains to Classic Rock

There’s no one better qualified to talk about jam bands than Warren Haynes. Not only has he served as Gov’t Mule’s frontman and guitarist for the past 23 years, he’s also been a member of the Allman Brothers Band for the best part of a decade, and figured in line-ups of The Dead, the post-Jerry Garcia band formed by surviving players from the Grateful Dead. Factor in guest spots on albums by Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks and Blues Traveler and you have the very definition of someone who likes to find gold in musical spontaneity.

“It’s all about momentary composition,” says Haynes, attempting to explain the timeless appeal of jamming. “For a solo instrumentalist, it’s probably the most gratification you can get. Composing can often be very time-consuming, but when you’re improvising, it’s all on the fly – there’s no second chance. At the same time, there needs to be a balance between actual songwriting and improvisation. One without the other falls a little short.”

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