If you’re in the Tar Heel State this December, be sure to have yourself a Muley little Christmas.
Gifts come a little early as Warren Haynes 26th Annual Christmas Jam is scheduled for Saturday, December 13. The renowned guitarist has hosted the event since 1989, donating the proceeds to charity; Habitat for Humanity has been the beneficiary since 1998. While Warren brings his soulful guitar-playing Upstate to Hunter, NY for Mountain Jam every summer, his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina gets him during the winter holiday season. Haynes’ relentless work ethic and benevolent personality have helped the event grow each year and Christmas Jam now takes place at the 7,500+ seat U.S. Cellular Center.
Past lineups have included The Allman Brothers Band, Counting Crows, Los Lobos, Umphrey’s McGee, and many more. Special guests like Karl Denson, Jackie Greene, Ron Holloway, and Susan Tedeschi show up each year. Americana Artist of the Year Jason Isbell, Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and Vince Gill join Gov’t Mule, The Revivalists, and Hard Working Americans on 2014’s initial bill, but there will be many more artists to join, both announced and unannounced.
Kreutzmann’s new super-group, Billy & The Kids, features The Disco Biscuits’ keys/piano guru Aron Magner, Tea Leaf Green bassist Reed Mathis, and American Babies’ Tom Hamilton. Magner and Hamilton’s chemistry was recently on display at Catskill Chill, where they played with fellow Disco Biscuit Marc Brownstein and Lotus’s Mike Greenfield as Electron. Magner also sat in during Hamilton’s American Babies set for a fantastic cover of the Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie;” with Kreutzmann running the show and Mathis joining in, fans can expect a killer set.
Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill makes his inaugural trek to Christmas Jam in 2014. Gill has a GRAMMY award for each finger and toe on his body and will add a twang of country to the Southern rock show. Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell, whose own award collection includes this year’s Americana Music Awards for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (“Cover Me Up”), and Album of the Year (Southeastern), brings his talent to Asheville as well.
The initial lineup is rounded out by Hard Working Americans and The Revivalists. Like Billy & The Kids, Hard Working Americans is another all-star band, consisting of singer/songwriter Todd Snider, Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s Neal Casal on the six-string, Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools on bass, Derek’s younger brother Duane Trucks on drums, Jesse Aycock on the steel guitar, and Chad Staehly on keys. Their 2014 self-titled debut album features 11 cover songs, and Asheville is their penultimate scheduled stop on a national tour. The Revivalists is a New Orleans group with a brass section and a huge sound. The band plays soulful funk that sparks dance parties. Christmas Jam is their final stop on a national tour reaching 20+ cities.
The aforementioned musicians alone would put on an incredible show, but there will be many more artists announced in the coming weeks. Pre-sale tickets go on sale October 13 and regular tickets become available October 17. They always go fast, so be sure to treat yourself to a happy holiday by joining Warren’s incredible event.