Warren Haynes is back with his third soloalbum called "Ashes & Dust”, an album that features songs written over the past 30 years.
Knowing that he wanted to pursue a more folk-based approach on this project, Haynes brought in the New Jersey-based Americana band Railroad Earth as collaborators.
The record also features Grace Potter, Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quinones from the Allman Brothers Band and Mickey Raphael on harmonica.
And I must say that the result is awesome, they all work beautifully together and the album is full of really nice acoustic arrangements that captures the Southern culture perfect.
All the songs on Ashes & Dust are different from Warren Haynes usual style, with sensitive and passionate songs inspired by blues,folk and country music and Warren Haynes sings these lyrics with a wonderful personal understanding and compassion.
They recorded the songs live in the studio, with Haynes allowing just a handful of takes for each track. “Every time we tackled a song, it was brand new.
There was no rehearsal period,” Haynes says. “I really wanted to capture what happens when people are playing a song for the first time.”
That´s something I appreciate and I think that it makes the music more alive, as he has shown so many times before with his amazing band Gov´t Mule.
The album is full with more acoustic guitar and slide guitar than Haynes has played in a long time and that is really nice and reminds me of the amazing Unplugged live solo album at Bonnaroo from 2004.
But he hasn’t left his jamming roots behind him, check out the lead single “Spots of Time” and you will see what I mean.
The song is co-written by Phil Lesh and The Allman Brothers had played it live for years and Haynes had hoped to get it on an album before they retired last year, but instead it found a home on Ashes and Dust. That song is one of the highlights on this album and absolutely worth checking out.
The album Ashes & Dust also includes a duet with Grace Potter, a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” and this beautiful duet is another highlight on the album worth a listen.
I must say that the whole album is really awesome but other personal hightlights are the opening track "Is It Me or You", "Company Man", "New Year's Eve" and "Hallelujah Boulevard".
And in my opinion Warren Haynes is not just one of the greatest guitarist out there today, he also shows on this album that can write songs based on the tradition of storytelling in folk music and he does in a really trustworthy and convincing way.
It seems like everything Warren Haynes touches turns to gold and despite all the years that he has covered on his musical journey, he still manages to suprise his listeners in a positive way, and with the beautiful new album Ashes & Dust he proves that he still has a lot more to explore and that is for sure