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Watch: Dave Grohl Joins Warren Haynes at the 30th Annual Christmas Jam

Just before Christmas in 1988, Warren Haynes and a few friends took the stage at a small (now-defunct) rock club in Asheville, NC called 45 Cherry. The 28-year old guitar prodigy was a still weeks away from being asked to join the reuniting Allman Brothers Band and six years from forming his current band, Gov’t Mule.

The hometown show was originally meant as a way for Haynes and friends to reconnect after spending much of the year on the road or in the recording studio. However, the group ended up earning a decent amount of tip money that night and decided to give it to a local charity, instead of splitting it amongst themselves. Thus began a now 30-year tradition.

This past weekend Haynes and an all-star collection of musicians gathered on a much larger stage – at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville – for the 30th Annual Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam. This two night event included special guests Dave Grohl, Eric Church, Grace Potter and Phish’s Mike Gordon.

Since its inception the Christmas Jam has supported a number of different charities including the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, AIDS charities and homeless relief groups.

The first one we did for a hurricane relief fund. I remember we made $1,700 dollars. We thought we won the damn lottery,” says guitarist Jeff Anders, who played alongside Haynes at the inaugural Christmas Jam.

For the past 20 years, however, the Christmas Jam has been supporting the Asheville area Habitat for Humanity construct energy-efficient new houses. Clearly this is a cause near and dear to Haynes. On Thursday, December 6th, the day before the first show, Haynes was out working in the freezing cold, helping to build a brand new home for the charity.

To date, the Christmas Jam has raised more than $2.3 million and has helped to build more than 40 homes.

There’s something about making music with none of the ordinary pressures of the music business being there. It kind of brings us back to why we all started playing music in the first place,” says Haynes. “Ten or 15 years ago, I was calling as many people as possible trying to get them here. And now? I still do that, but there are so many people calling us to be part of Christmas Jam — and that’s a beautiful thing.”

Check out some of the highlights from this year’s show:

Gov’t Mule and Dave Grohl performing Neil Young’s classic “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World”

Gov't Mule 12/8/2018

Gov't Mule part dose. Warren Haynes and the gang closing out the 30th Annual Christmas Jam. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us. This wouldn't be possible without you. Tune in live at http://nugs.tv

Posted by Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam on Saturday, December 8, 2018

 

Warren Haynes and the 45 Cherry Band – “Just Before the Bullets Fly”

Warren Haynes 12/8/2018

We'd like to thank everyone who braved the storm to be here with us tonight. If you are unable to be here in Asheville, you can stream the entire show live at http://nugs.tv. Proceeds from the stream will benefit the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

Posted by Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam on Saturday, December 8, 2018

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