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Review: Warren Haynes, acoustic band shine on 'Ashes & Dust'
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Review: Warren Haynes, acoustic band shine on ‘Ashes & Dust’

This CD cover image released by Concord Records shows "Ashes & Dust," the latest release by Warren Haynes. (Concord Records via AP)

Warren Haynes featuring Railroad Earth, “Ashes & Dust” (Concord)

Thirty-five years in to his career, Warren Haynes returns home to the Appalachian mountains for “Ashes & Dust,” a collaboration between the veteran jam-band guitarist and vocalist and the adventurous acoustic band Railroad Earth.

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Haynes grew up in a center of bluegrass and mountain music. Yet he gained his reputation with his hard-charging, blues-rock band Gov’t Mule; in a lengthy stint with the Allman Brothers Band; and occasional appearances with the Grateful Dead. Known for his beefy, adventurous solos, Haynes takes an earthier approach on “Ashes & Dust.”

The collection includes a moody version “Coal Tattoo,” the Billy Edd Wheeler classic on hard-working miners. Grace Potter duets with Haynes on a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” which is both ethereal and muscular. Haynes brings in former Allman Brothers cohorts Oteil Burbridge on bass and Marc Quinones on percussion for “Spots of Time,” the album’s most expansive, jam-scene tune. It’s not a surprise since Haynes co-wrote it with Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead.

Haynes has long been known for fitting into a variety of ensembles. “Ashes & Dust” expands that reputation, revealing just how wide-ranging his talents are.

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