32nd Annual Christmas Jam, presented by Warren Haynes, brings rock royalty to Asheville, NC.

Rock Concert benefits  Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Warren Haynes and Billy Gibbons .Photos copyrighted by SW Newsmagazine.

For the 32nd annual installment of the former Allman Brothers Band member’s charity get-together for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and BeLoved Asheville, Warren Haynes assembled a stellar lineup including Rock Icons  Slash from Guns n Roses, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. The theme was clear on that rainy evening. Let the guitars roar, and they did spectacularly, playing to an enthusiastic crowd of over 7,000 music lovers.

Kicking off the evening’s highlights, Clutch delivered a rousing set that set the tone for the festivities. The stoner rock group intertwined blues influences with its twist, especially on songs like “Cypress Grove” and “Electric Worry .” Warren Haynes joined the band, as he did graciously with every act on the bill, for a raucous cover of Black Sabbath’s “Lord of this World.”

Karina Rykman
Karina Rykman. Photos copyrighted by SW Newsmagazine.

Up next, the sold-out crowd was treated to New York City native Karina Rykman with her infectious brand of rock, and the audience quickly took notice of her and her band. Fun-loving Rykman entertained the crowd with her virtuoso bass-playing and singing prowess. Put her on your playlist, and watch for upcoming shows.

After that set by Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening took the main stage and delivered an inspired interpretation of Led Zeppelin classics such as Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (Joined on stage by Warren Haynes) When the Levee Breaks, and more; Jason addressed the crowd to pay tribute to Andy Johns, the recording engineer who captured Jason’s dad’s thunderous drums on the track back in 1970.

Photos copyrighted by SW Newsmagazine. Jason Bonham addressing the crowd.

Gov’t Mule ( Warren Haynes’ band)  took the stage with special guest  ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons sitting in for a rebel rousing set of ZZ Top classics, including “Waitin’ for the Bus,” “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers,” “Blue Jean Blues,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and, as the Rev. Billy G Gibbons referred it to as that thang, “ La Grange.”  Smiles were seen throughout the crowd, including on Winder Georgia native Chad Adcock, who came with his brother, son, and friends to attend this year’s jam.

As he stated to SW News, “This is my second time attending this worthy benefit concert presented by my favorite musician, and I plan to come again next year, It is an outstanding show.”

By 12:30, after nearly six hours of unadulterated rock bliss, Slash and his angel-voiced co-conspirator Myles Kennedy appeared onstage and delivered the goods. Kicking off with Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love” and then tore into AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long, Slash and company paid homage to their roots led by Warren Haynes and his outstanding band. Songs included Temple of the Dog‘s “Hunger Strike,” Traffic‘s “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” Bob Dylan‘s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Simple Man,” with the latter joined by Billy Gibbons. By the time the clock struck 1:30 am, all musical bases were covered, reminding us of the power of Rock N Roll. In the words of Chuck Berry, “Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll! “

Within the diversity of each Christmas Jam lineup, Haynes and company always manage to find common musical ground, and this year was no exception to the delight of the gathered crowd. SW Newsmagazine is looking forward to edition 33 of Christmas Jam next year, which will be tough to beat.

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