Warren Haynes has a distinct perspective on Mountain Jam, having been a consistent presence at the fest as members of both Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. From the festival's initial beginnings as a one-day event through signature collaborations with the likes of Phil Lesh and Levon Helm, the journeyman singer and guitarist has seen it all. Haynes shares his favorite memories from each of the previous 11 festivals in advance of this year's Mountain Jam, which takes place June 2-5, 2016, at Hunter Mountain, N.Y.
LINEUP: Black Keys, Robert Plant, Alabama Shakes, Gov't Mule, Moe., Grace Potter & the Nocturnals & more
WARREN HAYNES: You know, we were so wrapped up in doing the whole Dark Side of the Mule thing. Everybody was so excited to do it and then when it was over, we were like, “Wow, we pulled that off. It was pretty good!” I enjoy hearing so many different folks. I always enjoy playing with Umphrey’s McGee. I’m glad that those guys can be a big part of it.
LINEUP: Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Tedeschi Trucks Band
WARREN HAYNES: "It was great to have the Allman Brothers there, knowing it would be one of our final shows. One of the few times we played the first two records as a thematic show."
LINEUP: Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, Gov't Mule, the Avett Brothers, Primus
WARREN HAYNES: "Gov't Mule is always looking for something different to do at Mountain Jam. That was the year we did [Jimi Hendrix's] "1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" into [Led Zeppelin's] "No Quarter," then back on to "1983" – which was pretty nutty."
LINEUP: Steve Winwood, Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Roots, Levon Helm Band
WARREN HAYNES: "A great honor having Steve Winwood there. Steve and I are friends, but he remains one of my favorite singer/artists. It was an honor playing with him at Mountain Jam."
LINEUP: Gov't Mule, Levon Helm and Friends, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Les Claypool, Dave Mason
WARREN HAYNES: "Levon's 70th Birthday celebration was one of the highlights of the 10 years of Mountain Jam for me. Having all those wonderful guests join us onstage was amazing."
LINEUP: Richie Havens, Gov't Mule, Umphrey's McGee, Railroad Earth
WARREN HAYNES: "I have really fond memories of seeing and hearing Richie Havens at Mountain Jam that year – an American treasure that we would lose not too long after."
LINEUP: Ratdog, Levon Helm, Dumpstaphunk, Umphrey's McGee, Gov't Mule, Ray LaMontagne, Dark Star Orchestra
WARREN HAYNES: "Having both Ray LaMontagne and Citizen Cope there, and being able to play together was very cool and showed that "other side" of Mountain Jam that we love."
LINEUP: Gov't Mule, Papa Mali, G. Love & Special Sauce, Phil Lesh & Friends, North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Randolph
WARREN HAYNES: "Playing in Phil Lesh and Friends with John Scofield and myself being the two guitar players was a great experience and set the table for cool things to come.
LINEUP: Robert Randolph, Gov't Mule, the Wood Brothers, Medeski Martin & Wood, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
WARREN HAYNES: "That was such a formative year for the festival. We were starting to visualize the potential with a still small but great lineup."
LINEUP: Gov't Mule, Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Xavier Rudd
WARREN HAYNES: "The year that started it all. What a cool line-up of bands. The vibe was already established. We just didn't know it yet."