Warren Haynes’ “Star-Spangled Banner” evokes the beauty of the States, not its bombs

Anyone who knows the Newt knows that I’m crazy about Warren Haynes, guitarist-vocalist-songwriter for Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. Everything he touches musically is magic to me, and I write about it whenever I can.

As such, I heard a lot I liked in this reverb-heavy version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, which he recently recorded for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of  American History in honour of the song’s 200th anniversary.

As a peace-lovin’ Canuck, when a person sings the U.S. national anthem at a hockey game or something I feel a little weird when they get to the part about the bombs bursting in air. It makes me think about all the explosives the country has dropped on folks over the years in the name of “foreign policy” (and that whole military-industrial thing they got goin’ on down there).

And we all know that’s a bummer, man. Especially when there’s no WMDs.

But when Haynes uses his trusty red Gibson ES-335 to solemnly tackle the tune derived from the lyrics in Francis Scott Key’s 1814 poem, “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, the simple beauty of “The Star-Spangled Banner” helps you ponder the good stuff about the ol’ U.S. of A.

Thanks Warren.

Now when the hell is the Mule coming back to Van?


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