Willie Nelson is “On The Road Again” for another edition of his traveling Outlaw Festival, boasting another impressive and surprisingly jam-heavy lineup. The rotating roster includes appearances from jam banders Gov’t MuleThe String Cheese IncidentBob Weir, and others alongside the folk/country staples The Avett BrothersMargo PriceWhiskey Myers, and more. Before heading out on Outlaw Fest, The Avett Brothers linked up with Mule in Peoria, IL last week, where they invited frontman Warren Haynes out for some choice covers by Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard.

“We’d like to bring out a hero of ours, a fellow North Carolinian,” Scott Avett said before calling up the Asheville native. “I hope it’s not awkward for him, but I spent a lot of time on the bus watching YouTube videos of him playing guitar. Don’t worry about what YouTube is, Warren. … It’s like VHS.”

The fellow Tar Heelers are already well-acquainted, with The Avetts appearing in 2012 and 2017 at Haynes’ long-running Xmas Jam in his Western North Carolina hometown. The familiarity was apparent as the sit-in began with Haggard’s “Rainbow Stew”, with Haynes injecting his Allman Brothers Band-esque leads in between Scott’s country hollerings in an idyllic blend of their distinctive styles.

For the second of two songs, the ensemble borrowed from Haynes’ tenure as leader of The Last Waltz Tour with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”. One of The Avett Brothers’ secret weapons is their stable of singers, of which fiddler Tania Elizabeth is perhaps the most clandestine. Setting down her instrument of choice, Elizabeth took the first verse before the entire line of stringed musicians stepped forward to take on the song’s cathartic chorus. Tania and Warren batted the verses back and forth before the entire band finally brought the song to a crescendo and bid farewell to Haynes.

Related: Warren Haynes Weighs In On Jorgen Carlsson, Kevin Scott Following Gov’t Mule Lineup Change

Watch Warren Haynes sit in with The Avett Brothers for Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard covers in Peoria. Gov’t Mule links up with Outlaw Festival on July 29th in Bethel, NY while The Avetts follow on August 2nd in Gilford, NH. Mule and The Avetts will share the Outlaw Fest lineup for a run of Florida and Alabama dates in October. For complete touring info and lineups by date visit the Outlaw Festival website.

The Avett Brothers, Warren Haynes – “Rainbow Stew” (Merle Haggard) – 6/20/23

[Video: Jeffrey Hunt]

The Avett Brothers, Warren Haynes – “I Shall Be Released” (Bob Dylan) – 6/20/23

[Video: Jeffrey Hunt]