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Published: 2012/10/20
by Sam Robertson

Warren Haynes, Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY – 10/11

Photo by Marc Millman

Kicking off a two-night stand at Port Chester, New York’s Capitol Theatre, Warren Haynes performed a solo acoustic show with help from special guests Ron Holloway and Railroad Earth. Haynes rarely plays solo, and opened by singing the first few verses of eerie original “Indian Sunset” a cappella before a dead silent crowd. Though he is best known as the incendiary, gunslinging guitarist of Gov’t Mule and The Allman Brothers, Warren is an equally outstanding singer, which shone through on this acoustic evening at The Capitol Theatre.

After delivering several songs accompanied by only his acoustic guitar, including a chilling cover of Radiohead’s “Lucky,” Warren invited Ron Holloway to the stage for “Endless Parade.” Holloway’s gracefully weaving saxophone drove “Endless Parade” into Traffic-esque jazz folk territory, and he remained onstage for a cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember,” which showcased Haynes as heartbreakingly powerful soul singer while Holloway triumphantly played along.

Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone, John Skehan, Andrew Altman and Andy Goessling then joined in and nodded to a couple bands that have graced The Capitol Theatre’s majestic stage over the years with covers of “Wild Horses” and “To Lay Me Down.” The latter, one of Jerry Garcia’s most tender ballads, was the first of several odes to the band who played this room 18 times during 1970 and 1971. Railroad Earth later reemerged in the second set for Warren’s personal tribute to Garcia, “Patchwork Quilt,” as glowing purple stars were projected on the venue’s ceiling while he sang, “Bright lights, dark star.”

For an encore, Warren turned to Garcia again, and pulled off a stellar take on “China Doll,” one of Garcia’s most cherished and achingly delicate ballads, with Tim Carbone’s fiddle and John Skehan’s mandolin adding a magical touch. In addition to a welcome dose of Grateful Dead material, they also delivered a stunning cover of Gillian Welch’s “Time (The Revelator),” a slice of Americana perfectly suited for Railroad Earth. With brand new collaborations and well-chosen covers, Haynes treated the intimate crowd to an all too rare glimpse of his rootsy singer/songwriter side.

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