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Gov't Mule Leader Grabs Opportunities

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Sunday, October 25, 2009

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Moderation is not Warren Haynes’ strong suit.

The guitarist releases a new album by his band Gov’t Mule, “By a Thread,” on Tuesday, but he’s also spent the year touring with the Allman Brothers Band and The Dead. And he’s got a solo album in the offing, too.

“This has been my busiest year ever,” says Haynes, 49, who clearly enjoys having his plate overflow.

“I think it’s a matter of having opportunities that are available. Gov’t Mule is a laboratory I need to keep going all the time. The Allman Brothers ... has been amazing, but I know at some point it’s going to slow down, and the same with The Dead.

“I don’t expect to always be this busy, but I don’t want to look back a few years from now and go, ‘Yeah, they asked me to do a Dead tour but I was too busy.’”

Gov’t Mule recorded “By a Thread,” its first set of new material in three years, at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio in Texas, with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons guesting on the track “Broke Down on the Brazos.” It also marks the group’s first studio recording with bassist Jorgen Carlsson, who joined the Mule in 2008.

“I had a lot of songs already written for the record, but we wrote three or four songs in the studio, and that’s something very different for us,” reports Haynes, who’s also recorded tracks for a soul-flavored solo album he hopes to release next year. Gov’t Mule, meanwhile, “might get one new song written in the studio per record if we’re lucky, but never three or four.

“There’s just something fresh about what’s going on in the band; it’s a very transitional period, but everybody is really excited.”

Gov’t Mule and Jackie Green perform Sunday (Oct. 25) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show for general admission, $55 reserved. Call (248) 399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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