What more perfect song to include in a benefit for the homeless than “Worried Down With The Blues”?
A devastatingly lonesome track originally included on Gov’t Mule’s 2001 release The Deep End: Vol. 1, the first following bassist Allen Woody’s untimely passing, it mirrored the album’s general tone — something that can only be called mournful anger. If anything, this new live version resonates even more fully as part of Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Volume 4, a 2-disc project set for release on Dec. 6 from Evil Teen.
Eschewing the muscular, grease-trap Southern rawk so long associated with Gov’t Mule, or the Allman Brothers for that matter, “Worried Down With The Blues,” then as now, boasts a serrated blues attitude similar to that put forth by the likes of Buddy Guy or Otis Rush. It’s a city blues, hard and blunt, a song about a dying love — but perfect for a Habitat for Humanity benefit with broader aspirations in that it speaks to anyone who’s desperately missed something.
Haynes conveys that sense of loss with stinging completeness, howling with a throat-shredding sorrow, amidst the mournful trickles of an old-time organ — only to unleash a torrent of metallic riffs, each with its own ozone-producing crackle. His subsequent solo is clean and soulful, then angry and smeared, moving across a heartbreak’s full range of emotion. When the song settles back into its porch-swing of a groove, Haynes follows along with a desperate murmur — sounding something like Gregg Allman, actually, but only for a moment. Soon enough, he’s roused himself again for another thunderous assault on the chorus, bellowing with a raw, personal power, both into the microphone and on the guitar before the song comes to its heartbreaking conclusion.
Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Volume 4 features Gov’t Mule along with Bob Weir and Friends, John Hiatt and the Goners, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, moe and others. The set was recorded Dec. 21, 2002 at the 14th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in Haynes’ hometown of Asheville, N.C.; all proceeds from the album benefit the Asheville chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The Christmas Jam tradition continues this year with the 23rd installment on Dec. 10, 2011. Featured acts include Phil Lesh and Friends, and Gov’t Mule, among others; for more information: http://xmasjam.com/.
TRACK LISTING AND SPECIAL GUESTS FOR WARREN HAYNES’ THE BENEFIT VOLUME 4:
1. Carolina In My Mind – Warren Haynes w/Don Lewis
2. 111 – Sons of Ralph
3. Nine Pound Hammer – Sons of Ralph w/Warren Haynes
4. The Kind Of Place – Jerry Joseph
5. Climb To Safety – Jerry Joseph w/Robert Randolph, Dave Schools & Matt Abts
6. Looking Out My Window – Robert Randolph & The Family Band
7. Shake Your Hips – Robert Randolph & The Family Band w/Warren Haynes & Danny Louis
8. Dark Star Jam > Mexico – moe.
9. Opium – moe. w/Warren Haynes
1. Ride Along – John Hiatt & The Goners
2. Tiki Bar Is Open – John Hiatt & The Goners w/Jon Smith
3. Memphis In The Meantime – John Hiatt & The Goners w/Warren Haynes
4. Shakedown Street – Bob Weir & Friends
5. Truckin’ – Bob Weir & Friends
6. The Other One – Bob Weir & Friends
7. Worried Down With The Blues – Gov’t Mule w/Greg Rzab
8. Sco-Mule – Gov’t Mule w/Greg Rzab, Dr. Dan Mattrazo, Jon Smith, Mike Barnes & DJ Logic
9. Simple Man – Gov’t Mule w/Dave Schools, Artimus Pyle, Audley Freed, Mike Barnes & Rob Barraco