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Warren Haynes teams with Railroad Earth for new album, shares “Spots of Time” — listen

on May 19, 2015, 12:00pm

As a member of the Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule and The Dead, Warren Haynes has released dozens of records over the years. Even still, the legendary jam guitarist hasn’t touched upon every strain of music he’d like to. Case in point: his new solo album, Ashes and Dust, out this July 24th via Concord Records.

For upwards of 30 years, Haynes has been writing songs from a “folky, singer-songwriter, even Celtic direction,” material that wouldn’t fit on any of his past recorded efforts. He finally decided to put those more Americana-styled tunes to tape, and he brought along an Americana band to help him do it. New Jersey’s own Railroad Earth joined Haynes in the studio, and together they recorded over 30 songs, many of which went through multiple versions before being whittled down to the 13 tracks of Ashes and Dust.

The record sees Haynes exploring a more song-based style of writing than he’s known for. To that end, he played a different instrument (a hollow-body D’Angelico “jazz guitar”) than he’s used to, and in different ways. “I played a lot more slide guitar than I’ve played in a long time,” he explains in a press release, “and a lot of acoustic guitar, things that were more directed to weaving themselves into the fabric of this music.”

But he hasn’t left his jamming roots behind him, either, as demonstrated on lead single “Spots of Time”. Co-written by Phil Lesh, Allman fans may already be familiar with the song. It’s something the Allman Brothers had played live for years, and Haynes had hoped to get it on an album before they retired last year. Now, it’s found a home on Ashes and Dust, and it settled in with the help of some old friends. “We have been playing it with the Allman Brothers in recent years,” Haynes tells Consequence of Sound, “so bringing in Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quinones from the ABB and mixing that chemistry with the chemistry of the Railroad Earth guys made for a fresh take on the song, and a very inspired performance.”

“The album version is the most ‘jam-oriented’ song on the record,” Haynes notes, “but there is also a short version that stands by itself as a song representing the most important memories in one’s life.” The track is a dusky road song that highlights both Haynes’ reliable, sturdy guitar work and Railroad Earth’s elevating string section. There’s an equal sense of sorrowful nostalgia and a restorative strength both in the musical progression and the lyricism. “Spots of time like windows appear,” Haynes sings, “you can look out or in/ But you can’t get to the future, I regret/ without going through the past my friend.”

Take a listen to the full version of the track below

Ashes and Dust is available for pre-order now through Haynes’ official website. The deluxe edition features a bonus CD of demos and a live recording from 2006. Find the tracklist, which also includes a guest appearance from Grace Potter, below.

Ashes and Dust Tracklist:
01. Is It Me Or You
02. Coal Tattoo
03. Blue Maiden’s Tale
04. Company Man
05. New Year’s Eve
06. Stranded In Self-Pity
07. Glory Road
08. Gold Dust Woman (feat. Grace Potter)
09. Beat Down The Dust
10. Wanderlust
11. Spots Of Time
12. Hallelujah Boulevard
13. Word On The Wind

Deluxe Edition Bonus CD:
01. Company Man (demo)
02. New Year’s Eve (demo)
03. Glory Road (demo)
04. Wanderlust (demo)
05. Hallelujah Boulevard (live from 12/28/2006)