Album of the Week: Warren Haynes 'Ashes & Dust'
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:43:25
'Ashes & Dust' is an emotional and evocative journey.
Warren Haynes scores Album of the Week with his phenomenal Ashes & Dust [Concord Music Group]. The Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and guitar legend crafts an intimate and inviting solo offering with the help of Railroad Earth. You've definitely heard Haynes's incendiary playing both with The Allman Brothers Band and his own Gov't Mule. However, you've never heard him like this. Ashes & Dust is a decidedly stripped-down affair. Eschewing that distortion-soaked blues wail in favor of rustic instrumentation and delightfully bright production, his work remains just as powerful as it does when he's turned up to eleven on his own music or alongside many of the greats he's jammed with. Really, what Ashes & Dust does is showcase the expansion of Haynes's own legend.
"Is It Me Or You" begins with a thick acoustic strum complemented by fiddle and strings as his gravelly voice takes hold over the groove. By the middle of the song, he's letting a lyrical solo loose that's among his most incendiary fret work. You can practically hum the lead, really hitting a new plateau for his playing—and that says a whole hell of a lot. "Coal Tattoo" stretches past the seven-minute mark, and it's got some more emotional bluesy fretwork at the beginning with a big refrain. "Blue Maiden's Tale" remains equally epic, sounding as if Led Zeppelin grew up along the Mississippi. It's a different kind of epic.
Hear "Spots of Time" from Warren Haynes:
"Word On The Wind" closes everything out with more impeccable playing that's punctuated by Haynes crooning, "Look around you'll see the world is changing...changing, oh, too fast."
One thing that hasn't changed though is his music. He can play like nobody's business, yet the same goes for his singing. You really feel his voice on each and every note. Ashes & Dust is an emotional and evocative journey and one of the year's best albums.
'Ashes & Dust' by Warren Haynes [feat. Railroad Earth] is available via Concord Music Group.