We are big Warren Haynes fans and Warren’s latest solo album — Man in Motion — is available today for purchase. Warren is in fine form here. His guitar playing is relaxed and thoughtful. He makes every moment count.
Last week, Rolling stone live-streamed Warren’s album. I listened to the entire thing several times across several days to get a good and robust understanding of what he’s trying to do here with the fusion between Allman-style Country Rock and a more mainstream Religio-Pop sound.
Warren is known for playing guitar in the Allman Brothers Band and in Gov’t Mule and while I understand the want to break out of his own talented mythology — by infusing horns in his music — the effort to expand the musical palette does not work well in “Man in Motion.” The saxophone is jarring and doesn’t fit into the methodology of the melody.
The evidence that Warren agrees with me, and not his own album cuts, is made clear with the inclusion of the gritty demo version of “Sick of My Shadow” — and it is just raw Warren Haynes unplugged. The official version of of the song is peppered with a saxophone and a Hammond organ and the overproduced effect is not as great as the plainspoken demo and Warren knew it and shoved in the demo track to satisfy hardcore Haynes fans like me.
As added empirical evidence of Warren’s love for his guitars, you’ll see lots of images of Warren variously posing with his instruments in the included iTunes digital booklet — always, and strangely, with his head down and slightly cocked to the right, looking down while looking at nothing:
Here is my all-time favorite shot: Warren Hanes making out with his Custom Gibson ES-335 on a 1970’s black and red shag carpet.
“Take a Bullet” sounds like it was plucked straight off an Allman Brothers record. “Hattiesburg Hustle” is a fun and jaunty song:
Here’s the iTunes Ping! proof-of-purchase that proves I put my “Man in Motion” review where my money is spent:
Here is Warren singing “Man in Motion” live in performance:
I love the sound of Warren Haynes’ fingers on a guitar!
“Man in Motion” is worth your time and your money — and I hope you’ll show Warren Haynes some love and support and make his new album part of your record collection.