Saturday night at the Granada brought the long awaited visit to Dallas by the new Warren Haynes Band. The last time Warren had performed in the DFW area was early in 2010 with Gov’t Mule. This time he brought his new band, featuring Nigel Hall on the keys, Terence Higgins on the drums, Ron Johnson on bass, Alecia Chakour on vocals and Ron Holloway on sax. They’ve been touring since early this year, in support of their new album, Man in Motion.
Recently, in San Francisco and Denver, Warren paid tribute to two of his musical heroes, Sly Stone and James Brown. In San Francisco, at the Warfield Theater, Warren performed a set of Sly and the Family Stone tunes, and then on Halloween, he played similar homage to James Brown at the Ogden Theater in Denver. The influence of these two soul music legends is woven throughout the songs on Man in Motion. This style, very different from Gov’t Mule and the Allmans, is yet another facet in the gemstone that’s Warren Haynes.
The Dallas show opened up with a Gov’t Mule song, Tear Me Down, and was followed by River’s Gonna Rise. Next up was the title track from the new record, Man in Motion, which Warren dedicated to Delbert McClinton. Warren then dug back into his archives and pulled out Blue Radio, from his first album, Tales of Ordinary Madness. The love song, I’ll Be the One, slowed things down, and quoted riffs from the Allman’s, Blue Sky, throughout the song. This segued into I’ll Take You There, the song written by Al Bell but made famous by Mavis Staples. Finishing out the first set was Invisible and On a Real Lonely Night, complete with a Shakedown Street tease.
The second set opened up with a couple of cover songs, Little Feat’s Sailin’ Shoes, and Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, the Allen Toussaint song which was the title track on Robert Palmer’s first album. Next was Hattiesburg Hustle, my favorite song from Warren’s new album. Digging back in the archives again, Warren pulled out Fire in the Kitchen, also from the Ordinary Madness album. This was followed by Steely Dan’s, Pretzel Logic, which featured a Terence Higgins drum solo and a jazzy piano solo by Nigel Hall. Two more covers followed, Robert Johnson’s 32-20 Blues and the Meter’s Fiyo on the Bayou. The second set culminated with an introduction of the band and the song Sick of My Shadow.
The band came back rather quickly for an encore, starting out with Little Feat’s Spanish Moon. Towards the end of the song, all of the musicians came out to the front of the stage, and then filed off, leaving only Ron Holloway on the stage alone, playing his tenor sax. It appeared that this was the end, but then the band came back on stage, and wrapped up the tune. The final song of the evening was Warren’s Soulshine.
What a super evening of great music. After almost three hours of music, and already after 1:00am, I was drained. I’m not sure how Warren and his band can keep up with this pace. Luckily, they’ve got a few days off, after which they’ll be appearing at the Saenger Theater in Mobile, AL. The tour is wrapping up with its final date on Nov 19 at the new Fillmore in Silver Springs, MD. No rest for the weary, though, as Warren will be back with the Allman Brothers for a six night run in Philly and Boston. Then it’s on to the annual Christmas Jam n December 10, in Asheville, NC.
Set I Tear Me Down River’s Gonna Rise Man in Motion Blue Radio I’ll Be the One > I’ll Take You There Invisible On a Real Lonely Night
Set II Sailin’ Shoes > Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley Hattiesburg Hustle Fire in the Kitchen Pretzel Logic 32-20 Blues Fiyo on the Bayou Band Intros Sick of My Shadow