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Warren Haynes - 'Man In Motion' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e1/64/42/1404_warrenhaynesmaninmotion_1309974147.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 06, 2011    
 
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This album got  blues, soul and groove.

With his band Gov't Mule taking a well-earned vacation and a seemingly-inbuilt inability to sit still, Warren Haynes has spent the down time working on his second studio solo album. For 'Man In Motion' he has taken his two primary influences, blues and soul, mixed them together and come up with a beautiful and harmonious collection of toe-tappin', heart-rendin' songs which have one foot in the now and the other firmly in the music past as he pays homage to his roots.

As you'd expect from someone with Haynes' pedigree – a renowned singer/guitarist, a member of both The Allman Brothers Band and The Dead, amongst others, and a songwriter with numerous credits to his name – there's a lot to recommend on this album. The songs themselves are well written and beautifully executed, and most then go on to feature – as you might expect – drawn-out jams as the instrumentalists are allowed to flex their muscles. Haynes is known for improvising his solos live in the studio, and this gives the guitar work-outs a freshness and vitality which is often missing in these days where technical perfection often comes before playing from the heart. And the band he's recruited is a real 'who's who' in its own right. Bassist George Porter Jr, drummer Raymond Webber and keyboard-player and singer Ivan Neville are all renowned New Orleans players, and were joined on the sessions by backing singer and folk-blues legend Ruthie Foster, tenor saxophonist Ron Holloway, and at the last minute, Faces and Rolling Stones pianist Ian McLagan.

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Highlights come thick and fast, although the standout track for me is 'Hattiesburg Hustle', which probably pricked my attention first because it's a tad heavier than anything else on offer. The title cut which kicks things off and which sets the scene, is also quite an attention grabber, and 'Save Me', performed by just the two keyboard players and featuring Haynes voice at its 'honey and gravel' best – or worst – is an evocative and atmospheric way to bring things to a close.

'Man In Motion' has got blues, soul and groove, great performances from all concerned, stunning solos, and real songs, songs that you can get lost in both lyrically and instrumentally. What's not to like?

John Tucker

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