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Friday
Dec302011

Warren Haynes Talks Gov't Mule Plans to Play Classic Joe Cocker Album at Their NYE Shows

Facebook.com/GovtMuleGov't Mule, the veteran jam outfit fronted by longtime Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, is set to play the first of two 2011 New Year's Eve shows at New York City's Beacon Theatre on Friday.  The annual concerts always feature a different theme, and Haynes recently told ABC News Radio that this year's gigs will feature his group playing the classic 1970 Joe Cocker concert album Mad Dogs & Englishmen from "start to finish."  The original two-LP set captured Cocker with a star-studded touring ensemble highlighted by Leon Russell.

"[Our shows will feature a] horn section, background singers, the whole bit," Haynes revealed.  "It's something that everybody in our band's very excited about.  It's a record that we all grew up with and really hold in very high esteem."

While Mad Dogs & Englishmen's track list relied heavily on covers by such artists as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Otis Redding, Haynes points out that he was impressed how Cocker and his group made the tunes their own.

"The songs [were] all done differently, all done they way they felt like interpreting them," he noted.  "And, of course, the collaboration with Leon Russell with Joe Cocker is wonderful."

Expanding further on why Gov't Mule has such a strong appreciation of the album, Haynes explained, "Danny Louis, our keyboard player, actually played in Joe Cocker's band so there's a personal connection there…and [drummer] Matt Abts cites that as one of his all-time favorite records."

Haynes adds that he is especially fond of the gravel-throated Cocker's vocal talents.

"There's only a handful of white singers that I point to as being influential on me," he admitted.  "Most of my favorite singers were black soul singers or black blues singers, but Cocker is definitely one of the few white singers that I grew up really listening to."

Besides Gov't Mule's New Year's Eve shows on Friday and Saturday, the only other concerts currently on the group's itinerary are the three gigs they'll be playing in mid-January at their Island Exodus III event in Negril, Jamaica.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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