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Celebrity Playlist: Warren Haynes

by Justin Farrar

Celebrity Playlist: Warren Haynes

About this playlist

A couple years back, Warren Haynes decided to devote more time to his solo career, after having spent well over 20 years splitting time between jammy Southern rockers Gov't Mule and The Allman Brothers Band. The recently released Ashes & Dust is proof that the beloved guitarist made the right decision. A native of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, he has crafted a unique collection of folk rock tunes that speak to his Appalachian heritage. Haynes delivers hard-hitting tales of coal miners and mountain folk, all laced with fiddles, banjos and mandolins. Helping him achieve the novel sound is progressive bluegrass outfit Railroad Earth, who temper their instrumental prowess with a genuine respect for Haynes' fine songwriting.

To coincide with the release of Ashes & Dust, Haynes was generous enough to create an annotated playlist that serves as a "guide to modern-day folk music." He also provided us with some insight as to why each song is an important piece of music to him. Not surprisingly, the Southerner has impeccable taste. In addition to classic tunes from Bob Dylan and The Stanley Brothers, he reveals himself to be a fan of modern troubadours Ray LaMontagne and the late Jeff Buckley. Do yourself a favor and check out his celebrity playlist -- and be sure to listen to the new album!

Bob Dylan, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
"It's impossible for me to narrow down my 50 favorite Dylan songs, but this is as good as it gets. Everything changed 'post-Bob.' No one has had a greater effect on songwriting."

John Prine, "Sam Stone"
"One of the greatest songs ever written. I saw him perform it in 1981, and the entire audience sang the chorus -- one of the most chilling musical experiences of my life."

The Stanley Brothers, "Angel Band"
"Every time I hear this I want to push repeat and hear it again. Stanley is one of the great American voices."

Simon & Garfunkel, "The Sounds of Silence"
"One of my first musical memories is hearing this song. I still remember the feeling I got. I was too young to understand the words, but when I finally did I got that same feeling again."

Peter Case, "Entella Hotel"
"An underrated classic. My favorite song from one of my favorite albums: The Man with the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar."

James Taylor, "Mud Slide Slim"
"I love the whole album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, but the title track really is a unique piece of music -- great recording of a great performance of a great song."

Jackson Browne, "My Opening Farewell"
"From Browne's fantastic self-titled debut. I was torn between his original version and Bonnie Raitt's version, which is amazing as well."

Gordon Lightfoot, "Affair on 8th Avenue"
"I learned this song when I was about 15, and it still stays in my brain -- gorgeous imagery driven by an equally gorgeous melody."

Tom Paxton, "The Last Thing on my Mind"
"This song has been covered a lot, but this is my favorite version. While in Jamaica recently, I heard a reggae version, which reminded me to revisit the original."

Lyle Lovett, "Pontiac"
"Quite a departure for Lovett. I often wonder what would have happened had he chosen to pursue this as his main direction. It's like a mini-movie."

Steve Earle, "Billy Austin"
"Earle has written some amazing songs, but this is my absolute favorite. It's a great story, and you feel like you really understand and sympathize with the character."

Jim Croce, "Time in a Bottle"
"Classic almost to the point of cliché, but a timeless gem. Makes you wonder what he would have written had he lived past 30."

J.D. Souther, "Silver Blue"
"The version on Black Rose, featuring just Souther and Stanley Clarke on upright bass, captures the melody's melancholic beauty. Another tune that stays in my head."

Ray LaMontagne, "Shelter"
"One of the few artists to come along in recent years who can stand alongside the all-time greats. This song is from his stellar debut, Trouble."

Chris Whitley, "I Forgot You Every Day"
"Whitley is another, more recent artist who moves me the way my heroes do. I'm a sucker for great debuts, especially his Living with the Law."

Jeff Buckley, "Lover, You Should've Come Over"
"I could have picked Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah,' but everybody knows that one. Instead, I wanted to acknowledge his talents as a songwriter. What a tragedy he never made a second record."

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