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Published: 2008/08/25
by Brian Ferdman

Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 8

Evil Teen

Warren Haynes’ annual Christmas Jam in Asheville has become a highly regarded event, not only for the funds it raises for Habitat for Humanity but also for its marathon of phenomenal music and seemingly endless parade of top-flight musicians. Evil Teen Records a now released the December 16, 2006 version of the show on DVD, featuring sterling sound and crisp visuals.

The performances captured on this release are noteworthy for both their diversity and their stellar musicianship. After whittling down several hours of footage, what we are left with is just over three hours of sheer brilliance in a broad-ranging scope that often hinges upon many unique collaborations. Whether it’s country blues (Taj Mahal’s “Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes”), old school funk (The John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic with Branford Marsalis on the sprawling groove of “Lapdance”), newgrass (Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives tearing up the speedy “Streamline” and mournfully wailing through the high lonesome blues of “Angels Rock Me To Sleep”), driving rock (Marty Stuart with Warren Haynes and Danny Louis rumbling through “The Shape I’m In”), or uptown funk strutting (The New Orleans Social Club with Haynes and Marsalis on “Fortunate Son”), pretty much everything is covered here. And if having the guest bands blow the roof off the joint in several different genres wasn’t enough, host Haynes and his Gov’t Mule use their set to run the gamut of musical styles, including the moaning power ballad of “Cortez the Killer” (with Dave Matthews), the slinking blues rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” (with Matthews and Marsalis), the reggae of the aptly-named “Reggae Soulshine” (with Marsalis), the grinding funk of “Leaving Trunk” (with Taj Mahal and Marsalis), and the straight-ahead rock of “Mule” (with Dave Schools and Randall Bramlett).

On top of presenting a multitude of fine musical performances, the proceeds from sales of this DVD will benefit Habitat for Humanity, making Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 8 the gift that keeps on giving.

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