Standing within the sandy press compound, Donald Glover (a.k.a. the burgeoning Rap star Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Troy from the hit NBC comedy Community) to my left dancing in place in front of Porta-Potty Row holding back a piss, I witness a legend come waddling around the bend.
His knees aren’t as strong as in the past, the shape of his body is a bit rounder these days, but none of that matters, for it’s his fingers, his magical fingers that continue to youthfully stroll about fret boards, sliding from one chord to the next, moving generations of Jam fans to cheers, from Dead Heads to Peach Eaters to Mule Enthusiasts, this mid-aged lion’s golden mane and southern drawl give him away…it’s none other than Warren Haynes who is quickly stopped by a pair of fans who spend a few moments kissing the ring of the king.
In his right hand he tightly grasps a peddle board inside of a suitcase, it might as well be handcuffed to his wrist, while his left is clutched snugly around the neck of his Gibson, the six-string that will bend to this man’s will in less than 20-minutes upon the Which Stage, squealing with joy at every beautifully struck string during a lengthy solo on “Invisible,” a track from Haynes’ 1993 full-length Tales Of Ordinary Madness, that brings a smile to the tie-die clad gentleman standing next to me who utters to no one in particular “I feel like it should be night time, and I should have a lighter in the air.”
This is an odd site for me, abnormal even, a true professional and master of his craft with the “burden” of carrying his own equipment, without so much as a case to protect it from the elements. It’s a move taken the from the school of yesteryear that exhibits just how in tune Haynes is with his instrument. To him it’s not a piece of equipment but a part of himself, something not to be hidden away in a storage bin or handled by a roadie, a true kinship between the master carpenter and his tool that makes this man one of the greats, and his appearance at this year’s festival on e of the best.
Live Recordings By Warren Haynes From Roo ’11:
“Intro/Tear Me Down (feat. Lewis Black)”
“Sick Of My Shaddow”
“Man In Motion”