DAVE GROHL Releases First And Only Live Performance Of 'Play'

December 1, 2023

The upcoming release of "The Benefit Concert Volume 20" by Warren Haynes includes a spectacular highlight: the first-ever —and only to date — performance of Dave Grohl's 23-minute instrumental epic "Play", which extends to an extraordinary 36 minutes in its live rendition. This live performance is now available, offering fans the opportunity to witness "Play" being brought to life on that unforgettable evening.

Originally composed and performed entirely by Grohl on every instrument, "Play" is an expansive journey through Grohl's musical prowess and creativity. The video release captures the energy and intensity of "Play" as rendered by Grohl and a veritable murderers row of musical accomplices including Greg Kurstin (keys),guitarists Jason Falkner, Alain Johannes and Barrett Jones, Chris Chaney (bass) and Drew Hester (percussion). The performance's distinctiveness was further elevated by the rhythmic artistry of Abby The Spoon Lady, a prominent Asheville-based busker and advocate for street performance, whose unique spoon-playing skill brought an unexpected and captivating dimension to "Play". Delivering a blend of visual and auditory artistry, this one and only live version of "Play" is a key highlight of "The Benefit Concert Volume 20".

"The Benefit Concert Volume 20" is a collection of standout performances from Warren Haynes's 30th annual Christmas Jam, bringing together a diverse group of artists. The album, as well as the event itself, serve not only as a musical spectacle but also as a philanthropic endeavor, with all proceeds being donated to the Asheville Area Habitat For Humanity. In addition to Haynes and Grohl, other featured artists on the forthcoming set include Eric Church, Joe Bonamassa, GOV'T MULE, Mike Gordon, Marco Benevento, Jamey Johnson, Edwin McCain, Kevn Kinney, Tyler Ramsey, Scott Murawski and Ron Holloway, along with Machan Taylor, Mini Carlsson, Mike Barnes and Ray Sisk sitting in with GOV'T MULE. Recorded on December 7 and December 8, 2018, in Asheville, North Carolina, the concert was not just a musical feat but also a significant charitable event, raising over $2.8 million for the Asheville Area Habitat For Humanity.

"The Benefit Concert Volume 20" will be available physically on four different double vinyl volumes (in different colors: purple, orange, blue, red),2-CD + DVD set, and 3-CD + 2 Blu-ray set, along with a digital-only format. Bundles are also available now to pre-order.

Starting in December of 1988, Warren Haynes launched what would become a cherished tradition in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. Despite its name, the Christmas Jam was less about festive tunes and more about gathering local musicians to celebrate the holidays and give back to the community. Over 30 years later, this humble event transformed into a nationally recognized spectacle, raising over $2.8 million for Asheville Area Habitat For Humanity and the construction of over 50 homes in the region. Reflecting on its growth, Haynes notes: "As an Ashevillean, it's heartening to see the progress Asheville has witnessed over these three decades. In many ways, Christmas Jam mirrors this city's vibrant spirit."

"The Benefit Concert Volume 20" stands out not only as a testament to three decades of musical celebrations, but also the enduring spirit of Christmas Jams. Throughout the years, it's the impromptu collaborations (often times between artists and musicians meeting backstage or on stage),the unwavering commitment of all participants, and the unity in music that truly define this legacy.

"Although Christmas Jam, the main event, is traditionally a one-night event, there have been three occasions where we felt the need to make it two nights — the 20th, 25th, and 30th anniversaries, each of which featured extraordinary lineups," Haynes adds. "The performances being represented in this package are culled from the 30th anniversary in 2018, which was in itself a milestone for 'the Jam.' However, its importance is amplified by the fact that the next year we would take a well-deserved break with every intention of resuming business as usual in 2020, not knowing that 2020 would bring about the COVID-19 pandemic which affected not just the music business, but the entire world. Thankfully, we were able to bring it back in 2022 with a stellar lineup and will continue on this year with another memorable event. It feels great to be back."

Haynes is a cornerstone of the American music landscape, lauded as one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of our time. His prolific career includes his tenure with the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND and THE DEAD and as a founding member of GOV'T MULE. Produced by Haynes and executive produced by Stefani Scamardo, "The Benefit Concert Volume 20" shines a light on the enduring appeal of live music and the camaraderie it fosters. With the purchase of "The Benefit Concert Volume 20", music enthusiasts not only acquire a piece of extraordinary musical history but also contribute to the vital work of the Asheville Area Habitat For Humanity, helping to build homes and hope in the Asheville area.

"Christmas Jam" returns for the 32nd annual event on December 9, 2023.

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