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Warren Haynes on the Art of the Sit-In

Haynes is an ultimate jammer, and the trio discusses his strategies for sitting in with a band, as he’s done time and again, including on Dave Matthews Band’s 2003 live album, The Central Park Concert—a favorite of Rhett’s.

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On this episode of Dipped In Tone, Rhett and Zach chat with special guest Warren Haynes. The Gov’t Mule leader talks about the band’s latest, Peace… Like a River. This record of originals was recorded simultaneously with 2021’s Heavy Load Blues, in the same studio, using a completely different set of gear. “We setup all our normal Mule toys in the big room with the high ceiling, we setup a bunch of vintage gear, small amps, and old guitars … in the small room,” Haynes shares, as he details the differences in each rig and talks about his go-to blues rig, which includes vintage Gibson amps—“they were flying by the seat of their pants, a lot of it was experimental,” he says on why they’re some of his favorites—a Supro, Alessandro, and more, plus a slew of vintage guitars, including Danelectros and Gibsons. “The surprise factor was part of it,” Haynes says. In the course of talking amps, Haynes might have let the cat out of the bag about a special project.

What does it take to be effective when sitting in? “A lot of times,” Haynes explains, “I’m just trying to find something that fits and stay out of everybody’s way.” Pragmatically, he later adds, “Really, the most important thing to remember is that the song’s gonna be fine without your part, so there’s no reason to feel like you have to do anything. When it comes time to solo, that’s a little bit of a different story.” He later reminisces about sitting in with Bob Dylan, and, during his time as a member of the Allmans, having Eric Clapton join the band onstage.