Allen Woody


Woody joined The Allman Brothers Band along with guitarist Warren Haynes upon the group's reunion in 1989. Woody and Haynes formed side project Gov't Mule in 1994 with former Dicky Betts drummer Matt Abts. Haynes and Woody decided to leave The Allman Brothers Band in 1997 to put a full-time effort into Gov't Mule.

Woody was found dead sitting up in a chair in the morning of Saturday August 26, 2000 at the Marriott Courtyard Motel in Queens, New York. A preliminary autopsy performed was inconclusive and showed no immediate cause of death. He is survived by his wife Jenny and daughter Savannah.

Woody's death helped Haynes in his decision to return to The Allman Brothers Band. Gov't Mule continued on after Woody's death with Andy Hess assuming bass duties after a three-year period that saw a rotating group of bass players including Mike Gordon, Dave Schools, Oteil Burbridge (Woody's replacement in the Allman Brothers Band), George Porter Jr. and Les Claypool.

Woody was a respected bass guitarist - he had a large collection of bass guitars (around 450), featured in his own bass instruction video and was held in high esteem for his playing. The Epiphone Rumble Kat signature bass was similar to two specially built double-neck instruments that Gibson made him: a bass/guitar and a bass/mandolin. With the Allman Brothers, although Woody used many different basses, Gibson Thunderbirds were his preferred instruments, along with Alembic basses. With Gov't Mule, Allen usually played the Gibson EB series, particularly the hollow-bodied EB-2 and the solid-bodied EB-3. At times he played a Rickenbacker or Gibson Thunderbird. Ampeg SVT was his amp of choice most of the time. Epiphone posthumously released an Allen Woody Limited Edition Bass, a semi-hollow arch-top similar to the Rumble Kat.

The movie Rising Low, directed by fellow bass player Mike Gordon, is a documentary about bass players dedicated to the memory of Allen Woody and features bass players that he respected and knew in his lifetime.

Allman Brothers Band albums featuring Allen Woody

Seven Turns (1990)
Shades of Two Worlds (1991)
An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set (1992)
Where It All Begins (1994)
An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set (1995)

Gov't Mule albums featuring Allen Woody

Gov't Mule (1995)
Live from Roseland Ballroom (1996)
Dose (1998)
Live... With a Little Help from Our Friends (1998)
Life Before Insanity (2000)
The Deep End, Volume 1 (2001)
Mulennium (2010)

Source: accessed 4th July 2013

Allen Woody broke into music scene with Artimus Pyle Band, but made his name in The Allman Brothers Band and especially in Gov’t Mule. Allen was widely respected bass player among musicians and avid collector of bass guitars.

Allen Woody was born and raised in Nasville, Tennessee and majored in music at at Middle Tennessee University. Allen started as a guitar player, but later on switched to bass. After graduating, he worked at local Guitarshop in Nashville for eight years, where he met Artimus Pyle, ex-drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd , who gave Allen his first big break by giving him a job as bass player for APB.

After short stint in The Artimus Pyle Band, Allen joined The Allman Brothers Band in 1989 and recorded five albums with them. In 1994 Allen Woody and Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes put together Gov’t Mule to release some of the songs they had wrote.

Gov’t Mule was a strongly southern rock influenced power-trio and jam-band that cathered a large cult following fron the very beginning. Woody and Warren Haynes finally left The Allman Brothers Band in 1997 to concentrate on Gov’t Mule full-time.

Allen was a enthusiastic bass collector with almost 500 different instruments and he was also widely known for his custom-made bass guitars, including double-necked combination of guitar and mandolin and a sitar-like bass.

Gov’t Mule recorded three albums with Allen Woody and they were enjoying growing success when disaster stroke in summer of 2000.

Death of Allen Woody

Allen Woody was found dead in a Marriott Courtyard motel in Queens, New York on Saturday Aug. 26th in 2000. He was 44 at the time of his death. The cause of his death has not been publicly confirmed, which has caused a lot of speculation among Gov’t Mule fans, but is widely believed to be drug related.

Allen Woody is survived by his wife Jenny and daughter Savannah.

Source: accessed 4th July 2013

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