Thanks to stints with the Allman Brothers, the Dead and his own group Gov't Mule, Warren Haynes has become a legend of the jam band scene, known for blazing guitar solos steeped in the blues.
His new solo album, "Ashes and Dust," which he recorded with Americana band Railroad Earth, shows him in a different light, that of a folk-oriented singer songwriter.
amNewYork spoke with Haynes.
What made you decide to go in this musical direction?
I've actually been planning to make this kind of record for a long time. ... I tend to write a lot of songs that don't fall into the Gov't Mule or Allman Brothers direction. One reason I made [my 2011 solo album] "Man in Motion," was that I accumulated enough songs that seemed to fit together in a soul-meets-blues style. I had even more songs for a singer-songwriter folkie record, and the longer I put it off the more songs I accumulated. I feel like "Ashes and Dust" is the first in a series of two or three records like this.
Some of these songs date back 20 years or more. Why put them out nowo
No time like the present. ... I started going through my newest songs that work in this manner and my old songs and putting them side by side and trying to figure out what worked together. A lot of the older songs are dear to my heart. I wanted to record them for a long time but never had the right reason. In a lot of ways, this is me building a home for songs that never had a home until now.
A lot of the songs seem to be about lost souls struggling with life. Do you see a theme running through the albuml
Yes, in the way that they're story songs based on the tradition of storytelling in folk music. ... Folk music tends to have the ups and downs of everyday life in it. That's one of the things that moves me about that type of music.
Having been part of the Dead, what did you think about the way they went outn
I would love to have seen them or heard them, but I was busy doing stuff for this tour. I'm glad they decided to do some shows. I think like everyone else, I was hoping there would be more. I'm glad they honored their 50th anniversary.
Was it strange to have spring go by without a run of Allman Brothers shows in NYCi
I think all of us knew it would be a little bittersweet for March to come and go without being at the Beacon. We all miss it, I'm sure. That was a group decision to stop touring after the 45th anniversary, and I think it was the right decision. That doesn't mean I won't miss it, and I think everyone else probably feels the same way.
If you go: Warren Haynes with Railroad Earth is at Town Hall on Thursday at 8 p.m., 123 W. 43rd St., $43-$63