The Warren Haynes / Louis Electric Story
Welcome back to our "Meet the Builder" series. Stories of the early days of the Louis Electric Amplifier Company.
I'm a lucky gal. It's a cold and snowy winter afternoon and I'm sitting in my kitchen with Louis Rosano, sharing some hot Tuscan soup. "Tell me a story," I say to him..... "you know, from the early days." He leans his head back, thinking and begins.
"Did I ever tell you how I met Warren Haynes? Well, it all started with my good friend Danny Gatton. He and I were very close. Danny was a big fan of my 80 Watt Tweed Twinnmaster.” The Twinnmaster is an 80 watt Louis Electric amp. It possessed all the feel, all the warmth of the late 1950's. The realm of fat, rich and perfect tone.
Lou goes on to tell me how, after Danny passed in 1994, a group of artists got together to organize a benefit to raise money for Danny's family. The artists donating their time were all leading stars of the time: Arlen Roth, Warren Haynes, Les Paul, James Burton, Albert Lee, Allen Woody to name a few. "I was honored to be asked to backline the benefit with my amplifiers," Lou tells me. He regularly brought in amps for shows in the early 1990's; this was around the time Louis Electric was getting established.
While Lou was setting up the amps for the Danny Gatton benefit at Tramps in New York City, he walked up to Warren Haynes and said "Hey, man, I'm Lou and I'm the amp builder for the show.... would you like to try an amp?" Warren replied, "Nah...I'm good; I have my own rig."
On the second night of the show, after hearing the other artists play Lou's amps, Warren came back and said "Hey, Lou... I think I'll take you up on that offer. Let me try out an amp." Lou said great and turned one on for him. Warren hit one chord on his guitar and said "Leave it right there and turn it up to 8!" Lou recalls, "that's when I knew Warren and I would get along!"
That night, Warren asked Lou to come up to Woodstock, NY to record Gov’t Mule's first album. Warren said, "I finally got the guys together for this band I have been wanting to put together." Lou said, "Warren is such a great guy. He even offered a car service to take me up there … I said, "Nah, I'’m good, I can drive."
Lou Arrives in Woodstock
When Lou got to Woodstock, he was able to sit in and watch a bunch of the recording sessions of Gov't Mule's first album. Lou tells me, "When I walked into the studio, I heard someone mention that I was Danny's amp builder... and the room got really quiet for a few moments… They wanted to hear some stories."
Lou concludes by telling me "When I got back down to my shop in Jersey, Alan Woody called me about an amp I was repairing for him and he said, "Man, my knees were shaking in the studio from that amp. Boy, those were some great times!"
-Story by Lynne Vellucci
Lynne Vellucci on interviewing Louis Rosano
Sitting with Lou is always a treat for me. Lou's talent is apparent... he is able to uniquely and expertly amplify the amazing sounds of gifted musicians around the globe. I look forward to bringing you more stories in the months to come. And remember, Legendary Tone Lives at the Louis Electric Amplifier Company.
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