|Warren Haynes with Billy and The Kids|
The 26th Annual Christmas Jam presented by Warren Haynes returned to the US Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina for what was unpredictably one of the most diverse events in the show’s long history. The night was a mixed bag full of musical collaborations and musical styles. 2014’s event was chock full tributes. The musicians paid homage to rock and roll legends throughout the night, especially Phish, The Beatles, and Neal Young.
This year featured a performance from a headlining act that was as original a collaboration as ever. Billy and The Kids featured Bill Kreutzman from the Grateful Dead, Aron Magner from The Disco Biscuits, Reed Mathis from Tea Leaf Green, and Tom Hamilton from American Babies/Brothers Past. Their show drew tremendous crowd excitement as they jammed into the night playing mostly Dead songs, but then threw out a surprising cover of Phish’s “Chalk Dust Torture”. They were joined onstage a few times by Colonel Bruce Hampton and Warren, as they went into The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Billy and The Kids then finished off their set with The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
|Hard Working Americans|
While the show raged on until 3 AM, fans also saw performances from Jason Isbell, Hard Working Americans, The Revivalists, and Love Canon (who also played a set with members of Steep Canyon Rangers). Of course, Warren Haynes’ own Gov’t Mule also played a stellar set with Jackie Greene that also kept fans guessing. The set was a direct tribute to Neil Young, featuring eight of the legend’s songs including “Cinnamon Girl” and “Down by the River.” Their show ended with Mule’s own “Trampled Under Foot.” Asheville’s own Caleb Johnson, this past year’s American Idol winner also joined Mule for several songs. Johnson and Haynes had also performed a duet of Haynes’ iconic song, “Soulshine”.
|The 26th Annual Xmas Jam|
As always, the entire event was a charity benefit for Habitat for Humanity which provides housing for in Western North Carolina. This year’s event is providing funding for a house for the Garcia-Sanchez family of Asheville. The project started December 9, 2014 and will be known as the “2014 Christmas Jam House”. This project comes following Haynes’ massive $500,000 donation from last year’s event’s proceeds. Haynes and his wife Stefani have donated an incredible total of $1.8 million to Habitat for Humanity. They are the largest donators in the history of the philanthropic organization.
|Jackie Greene Performing with Gov't Mule|
|Reed Mathis performing with Billy and The Kids|
|Tom Hamilton performing with Billy and The Kids|
|Warren Haynes and David Shaw performing with The Revivalists|
|Zach Feinburg performing with The Revivalists|
|Billy and the Kids|
|Neal Casal performing with Hard Working Americans|
|Aron Magner performing with Billy and the Kids|
More photos of the 26th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam up at Performance Impressions concert photography archives