On Saturday, October 3rd, Warren Haynes took part in Democracy Comes Alive, a one-day, nonpartisan virtual music festival aimed at channeling the power of music to make a critical impact on civic engagement in this November’s elections and beyond. The veteran rock guitarist, whose resume includes roles in bands like The Allman Brothers Band, The Dead, Gov’t Mule, and more, treated viewers to a solo acoustic studio performance in addition to a conversation about the importance of citizens participating in the democratic process alongside HeadCount‘s Andy Bernstein.
Warren’s five-minute conversation with Bernstein was one of the earlier virtual interview segments to air during Democracy Comes Alive, and was filmed backstage during one of Warren’s recent outdoor performances at South Farms in Morris, CT last month. A masked Haynes opened the conversation by talking about how he and his team have been able to adapt and plan for a successful run of outdoor performances on the Connecticut farm property before the two transitioned to discussing the upcoming election.
“I think more people are going to turn out than [they have] in a long time,” Haynes mentioned when asked about how he’s feeling about the need for participation this time around after a 41% percent of registered voters failed to show up to the ballot boxes in 2016. “I think everybody is pretty passionate about whatever it is they feel now, but the one thing everybody feels is that it’s time to use their voice.”
Haynes, a longtime musical ambassador to HeadCount’s voter registration efforts, continued in admitting, “I didn’t vote early on in my adult life, and at some point, I started feeling guilty because I complained a lot and didn’t vote. I think as Americans, we’re lucky to be able to choose our leaders, and I think none of us really get active enough especially on the down-ballot stuff and in the local elections. Sometimes those can be just as important, if not more important than the big ones ya know? I said this once before—I remember Steve Earle saying, ‘If you don’t vote, don’t bitch,’ and that’s kinda the way I feel about it.”
Watch the entire conversation between Haynes and Bernstein during Democracy Comes Alive below.
Warren Haynes & Andy Bernstein – Democracy Comes Alive Conversations
Later on in the broadcast, viewers were treated to Haynes’ solo acoustic performances of “River’s Gonna Rise” from his 2011 Man in Motion album, followed by his take on George Harrison‘s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” from the late musician’s 1973 Living In The Material World LP.
Relive Haynes’ studio performance from Democracy Comes Alive below. If you enjoyed the performance and have the means, consider making a donation to HeadCount and the Democracy Comes Alive artists via DemocracyComesAlive.com.
Warren Haynes – “River’s Gonna Rise”, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” – Democracy Comes Alive
Haynes joined 50+ performers and 10+ other speakers as part of Democracy Comes Alive, presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with voter registration nonprofit HeadCount. The 10-hour streaming event, powered by Nugs.TV and Plus 1, generated $40,000 and counting in funds for HeadCount as well as the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues. In addition to the funds generated, Democracy Comes Alive led thousands of people to HeadCount’s tools to check your voter registration status and register to vote. For more information, head here.