Never give for grant what Warren Haynes' next project may be. In his long and successful career, the American guitarist has often surprised medias and fans with his unpredictable and highly brilliant changes of music direction, incontrovertable sign of great knowledge, appreciation and deep understanding of music at 360 degrees.
Ashes & Dust is a record that Haynes had in his mind for a very long time, given the fact that some of the songs of the album have been written almost 25 years ago. Somehow, though, for various reasons, those songs never managed to fit on any record that Haynes had previously done with the Mule or with the Allman Brothers, right until now.
Lyrically, the album is an intimate excursion into friendship, loss, distance and redemption, sang with that typical honesty and pathos by Haynes. In some aspects, Ashes & Dust, musically speaking, is a true revelation. The guitarist manages to assemble a wonderful combustion of Americana with hints of folk, blues and roots, splendidly supported by the Railroad Earth, a group of musicians that Haynes has been knowing and played with for quite some time. The quality, the beauty and the intensity of Warren Haynes' slide guitar sound too, on this record, is a further demonstration of the immense skills in the music repertoire of the American guitarist/singer/songwriter.
Blue Maiden's Tale, one of the tracks of the album, echoes almost an ethereal, Celtic type of sound that works wonderfully as a platform for Warren Haynes' lyrics: "There's a story, no one knows if it is true, about a maiden, just as pretty as you."
Haynes' new record is possibly one of the most personal and passionate music journey that this fabulous artist has created throughout his entire career. A truly, fabulous album.
Giovanni "Gio" Pilato