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Warren Haynes digs into his acoustic roots
"Ashes and Dust," the latest solo album by Allman Brothers Band/Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes, has taken back some fans with its rootsy, acoustic Americana flavor.
But Haynes says the project, which he recorded with the group Railroad Earth, has been a long time coming.
"I've been writing these kinds of songs my whole life," Haynes, 55, says by phone from his home in New York. "As far back as probably six years or something I started thinking about making this kind of record. I just felt like it was time for me to start recording all these songs that were different from the Mule and different from the Allman Brothers and even different from my last album (2011's 'Man in Motion').
"The oldest one is almost 30 years old ('Is It Me Or You'), some of them are brand new, and there's a lot in-between."
Haynes' initially intended to record "Ashes and Dust" with Levon Helm, T Bone Wolk and Leon Russell but scuttled those plans when Helm and Wolk died and moved on to "Man in Motion" as a result. He met Railroad Earth when the group opened for the Allmans in Colorado several years ago and later collaborated with it on some of his solo shows.
"It doesn't sound like their music and it doesn't sound like anything I've done in the past," says Haynes, whose guests on the album include Grace Potter, Shawn Colvin and Willie Nelson's harmonica player Mickey Raphael, while "It just utilized the chemistry that they have together and that we have together and was a really cool process for me.
"I felt like it needed to be different than stuff I'd done before. There were no rehearsals; I would show the guys a song they had never heard, we would talk about what instruments might be cool, come up with arrangements, record it and when we were satisfied move on to another song they'd never heard. It was a great way to work."
While his focus is on "Ashes and Dust," Haynes plans to be plugging in again soon with Gov't Mule. The group has played a few festival dates, but it's also starting to focus on its next album, a follow-up to 2013's "Shout!"
"We've just been talking about it," says Haynes "We haven't started physically working on it. The only thing I know for sure is it will be completely different from 'Shout!' We felt like 'Shout!' was a great way to wrap up the 20th anniversary; to start the next chapter I think we should go back to the beginning and also where we've never gone before to see what happens. We've got a few things floating around but no way of knowing what it'll wind up sounding like yet."
Warren Haynes, Chris Stapleton and ChessBoxer
Tuesday, Sept. 29. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.
Tickets are $45 and $29.50.
Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.thefillmoredetroit.com.
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