Monday, 17 August 2015

Record Review - Warren Haynes

Published in the Shortlist section of The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday August 14.

Warren Haynes
Ashes & Dust
Provogue / Mascot

Perhaps best known as guitarist for Gov’t Mule and, for a long time, The Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes, as is evidenced by his third solo effort, isn’t just about high-octane southern blues rock. The man grew up in North Carolina and from a young age was exposed to the varying shades and styles of bluegrass music. Ashes & Dust, where Haynes teams up with longtime friends, newgrass outfit Railroad Earth, is testament to his understanding of this old-time American music.

Given Railroad Earth are newgrass however, this is somewhat of an exploratory record, certainly not traditional or revivalist – they have a drummer, after all. Haynes switches between acoustic and his trusty Les Paul, on which he displays some tasty slide work, both of which combine with fiddle, banjo and bass to create some extremely interesting journeys into the Americana / bluegrass forms. Most of the songs are reportedly between ten and thirty years old, but they’re revived here with care and love.

Samuel J. Fell

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