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Historic Collaborations Happening

Some historic collaborations have been happening as of late at Pocket Studios in Forestville, California, where Warren Haynes and Matt Abts of the southern jam rock outfit Gov't Mule are busy working on a tribute album in honor of the band's former bassist Allen Woody, who died this past August of unknown causes. "Somewhere Allen Woody is smiling," Haynes says, "looking down to see all of his favorite bass players rising to the occasion to do this amazing project." Bassists Les Claypool (Primus), Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), David Schools (Widespread Panic), Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone), Jack Cassady (Hot Tuna) and Mike Gordon (Phish) are all confirmed contributors, and many have already laid down their tracks. Cassady teams with Tuna keyboardist Pete Sears on "Slow, Happy Boys," while former Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and frequent Gov't Mule guest Johnny Neel is contributing to several cuts, including "Babylon Turnpike" with Alphonso Johnson (The Weather Report), "Sun Dance" with Chris Squire (Yes) and a cover of "What is Hip?" with original Tower of Power player Rocco Prestia. A collaboration between Haynes and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter entitled "Lay of the Sun Flower" will feature Lesh, his Phil & Friends' stage partner Rob Barraco (Zen Tricksters) and Garcia's Old & In The Way pal David Grisman. Bootsy Collins has confirmed participation while funk brother Maceo Parker remains on the list of potentials. Contrary to some rumors, Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea has not confirmed involvement in the project. The album is tentatively scheduled for release in the fall. In other news, Haynes, who performed with the Allman Brothers Band during the One for Woody tribute show last September at New York's Roseland Theater, will be a special guest on guitar and vocals during the annual ABB run at the Beacon Theater in New York City, March 15th-17th, 19th-20th and 22nd-24th. The current Allmans line-up also includes Gregg Allman, Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, Marc Quinones, Oteil Burbridge and Derek Trucks. ROBIN A. ROTHMAN (rollingstone.com)
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