On Thursday night at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC, Warren Haynes kicked off his annual Christmas Jam weekend with the traditional Pre-Jam, which yearly features a surprise lineup of Haynes and selected artists from the Christmas Jam. This year marks the 30th annual Jam, which expands to two days this weekend, and last night Haynes opened the festivities by collaborating with Marco Benevento, Ron Holloway and many more.
The evening began with a solo performance from Haynes, who ran through “Mean Mistreatin’ Mama” and “End of the Line” before teaming up with the “45 Cherry Band,” a reference to the original venue that hosted the Christmas Jam, and the band members—which included Mike Barnes, Rocky Lindsley, Jim Mascari, Johnny Jump, Jeff Anders and Philip Ashley—were all present at the first Jam in 1988.
Next up was saxophonist Ron Holloway and his group, which welcomed Jimmy Vivino for a cover of Neil Young’s “Down By the River” and Haynes for Mother’s Finest’s “Baby Love.” After a Tyler Ramsey Band set that featured Haynes on “These Days,” Haynes was interviewed by WNCW, who were broadcasting the event. Maris were then joined by Haynes, Vivino and Marco Benevento, followed by Joanne Shaw Taylor, who also welcomed Haynes, Benevento, Lindsley and Jump.
Benevento’s own band came on next and ran through the keyboardist’s full “Story of Fred Short” suite, followed by “Drop Kick” and “At the Show” featuring Haynes. Kaizen—made up of Jeff Sipe, Barnes and Mark McDaniels—then offered a two-song set featuring Holloway on “Offspring.” The night rounded out with a Warren Haynes & Friends set, which featured an array of musicians, including Sipe, Barnes, Holloway, Vivino, McDaniels, Jump, Haynes’ Gov’t Mule bandmate Danny Louis and Drivin’ N Cryin’ frontman Kevn Kinney. Kinney led the way on a tribute to the late Col. Bruce Hampton with a spoken-word piece accompanied by improvisation from the collected musicians, and the following final tune of the evening was a cover of Little Feat’s classic “Spanish Moon.”
See the night’s setlist below, along with some fan-shot video from the performances. Haynes will host his 30th annual Christmas Jam tonight and tomorrow in Asheville.
Warren Haynes’ Christmas Pre-Jam
The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
Warren Haynes Solo: Mean Mistreatin’ Mama, End Of The Line
Warren Haynes & 45 Cherry Band: Just Before The Bullets Fly (Mike Barnes, Rocky Lindsley, Jim Mascari, Johnny Jump), One (Rocky Lindsley, Jim Mascari, Jeff Anders, Johnny Jump), Soulshine (Rocky Lindsley, Jim Mascari, Jack Mascari, Philip Ashley)
Ron Holloway Band: (For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People, Hair, Evidence, Down By The River (w/ Jimmy Vivino), Baby Love (w/ Warren Haynes)
Tyler Ramsey Band: 1000 Blackbirds (Tyler solo), The Valley Wind, No One Goes Out, The Nightbird, These Days (w/ Warren Haynes), A Dream Of Home
WNCW Interview with Warren
Maris: Shallow (w/ Marco Benevento & Jimmy Vivino), Jolien (w/ Warren Haynes & Jimmy Vivino)
Joanne Shaw Taylor: No Reason To Stay, Going Down (w/ Warren Haynes, Marco Benevento, Rocky Lindsley, Johnny Jump)
WNCW Interview with Andy Barnett
Marco Benevento: The Story Of Fred Short (I. Intro, II. Seven Twenty Two, III. Walking With Tyrone, IV. Live a Certain Life, V. Stay In Line, VI. I Can’t See the Light, VII. Follow the Arrow), Drop Kick, At The Show (w/ Warren Haynes)
Kaizen (Jeff Sipe, Mike Barnes & Mark McDaniels): Life Games, Offspring (w/ Ron Holloway)
Warren & Friends: Red Baron (Jeff Sipe, Mike Barnes, Ron Holloway, Mark McDaniels, Danny Louis), Pick A Number Between 1 & 100 (Kevn Kinney & The X-Mas Zambiland Orchestra with Jeff Sipe, Mike Barnes, Ron Holloway, Mark McDaniels, Danny Louis, Jimmy Vivino), Spanish Moon (Jeff Sipe, Ron Holloway, Johnny Jump, Danny Louis, Jimmy Vivino, Rocky Lindsley)