Warren Haynes review…September 5, 2015…

WARREN HAYNES

FEATURING RAILROAD EARTH

ASHES AND DUST

CONCORD RECORDS  CRE 37469-02

IS IT ME OR YOU–COAL TATTOO–BLUE MAIDEN’S TALE–COMPANY MAN–NEW YEAR’S EVE–STRANDED IN SELF-PITY–GLORY ROAD–GOLD DUST WOMAN (FEAT. GRACE POTTER)–BEAT DOWN THE DUST–WANDERLUST–SPOTS OF TIME–HALLELUJAH BOULEVARD–WORD ON THE WIND

With Warren Haynes, it’s always been about the musicianship.  Whether he’s doing an acoustic set at Bonnaroo or in the studio with the Allman Brothers or Gov’t Mule, you can bet the talents of this man will always make for something special.  With “Ashes And Dust,” he’s surrounded himself by the very talented  Americana outfit, Railroad Earth, to bring forth a rootsy, folk-filled set of songs with predominantly acoustic arrangements that play well over Warren’s soulful vocals.

Combining his  own originals with those of other notable writers, this set gives his storyteller’s soul room to ramble.  He plays the tortured lover trying to figure out his lover, wondering “Is It Me Or You that’s killing you,” with Tim Carbone’s fiddle as the perfect foil.  “New Year’s Eve,” one of Warren’s originals, chronicles the somber tale of a man who finds himself drinking alone and remembering “old friends and good times,” even tho they have all passed on.   A love affair that’s gone sour takes an almost ragtime-ish turn with its use of acoustic piano and Andy Goessling’s clarinet.  It seems that “she’s in New York City, and I’m Stranded In Self-Pity.”  “Wanderlust” may be a bit autobiographical, following a Waycross boy” in pursuit of his dreams, with that lonesome harp courtesy of Mickey Raphael.  And, perhaps Warren’s most inspired slide playing surfaces on the set-closing appeal for our future, “Word On The Wind.”

We had three favorites, too.  Warren and Grace Potter turn in an excellent read of “Gold Dust Woman,” while Warren’s tributes to the perseverance of the little man at the mercy of Big Business shows up in his own “Company Man” and in a fine take of Billy Edd Wheeler’s “Coal Tattoo.”

We’ve never been disappointed by any of Warren Haynes’ side projects, and his collaboration with Railroad Earth on “Ashes And Dust” continues to show just how versatile this man is!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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