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Feb 28 Warren Haynes and The Ashes & Dust Band Knoxville, TN You think you know someone, and then you realize that there’s more than meets the eye. Grammy Award winning artist Warren Haynes has been recognized as a cornerstone of the American music landscape and revered as one of the finest guitar players in the world. Throughout his prolific career as part of three of the greatest live groups in rock history – Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule and the Dead – his virtuosic artistry has led to thousands of unforgettable performances and millions of album and track sales. Despite all of the ground that Haynes has covered on his musical journey, the impressive thing is that he still has many miles to explore. On his newest solo album Ashes and Dust, he puts forth one of his most gorgeous, musically rich and personal albums to date. It is endlessly exciting to see one of the most brilliant minds in modern music shine an entirely new light on the depths of his creativity. Ashes and Dust, only the third studio album Haynes has ever released under his own name, is a masterful work of art and a particularly important statement for Haynes. The songs are immediately and clearly different from his usual style – encompassing beautiful acoustic arrangements, a rootsy/Americana soundscape and honeyed vocals that cut straight through to the soul. Although many of these songs are brand new, some of the tunes that make up this album have been dear to Warren for years. In some caseshe has been carrying them around for 20 or 30 years, waiting for the right time to record them. “I’ve been writing songs all my life from a more folky, singer-songwriter, even Celtic direction,” he says. “For a while, I’ve been compiling songs that didn’t necessarily fit in with Gov’t Mule or the Allman Brothers or even my last solo album. So this record was really a chance to bring a lot of that music to fruition. It’s really given me the opportunity to take a lot of songs I love, that didn’t have a home, and build a home for them.” learn more
Mar 2 Kurt Vile & The Violators Knoxville, TN Having been the subject and willing conspirator of many intentional lies planted in Sonic Youth bios over the years, I know first hand the way album lore can bend reality to its truth. After the infamous Byron Coley originated the SY “Trilogy” myth in the Murray Street bio, we had no choice but to fulfill those expectations with Sonic Nurse. “Why did you decide to make a trilogy?” was always the first question asked in interviews around that time. But this is Kurt Vile’s bio, and I wont do that to him. Anyway, Kurt does his own myth making; a boy/man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else, which is why this focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid record is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, b’lieve i’m goin down… is a handshake across the country, east to west coast, thru the dustbowl history (“valley of ashes”) of woody honest strait forward talk guthrie, and a cali canyon dead still nite floating in a nearly waterless landscape. The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of singer songwriter upcycling. In Kurt’s words, “I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me. I really wanted it to sound like it’s on my couch — not in a lo-fi way, just more unguarded and vulnerable.” For a record that plays like a cohesive acoustic experience, its musicality marks Kurt’s departure from an electric guitar experience to include a range of instrumentation with a large group of players. From the banjo he plays on “I’m an Outlaw” to the piano and lapsteel on “Life Like This,” and the myriad other instruments on other songs, including farfisa, resonator, arps, horns and synth, one never thinks about what exactly yr listening to as it all serves the song.The heart of the record is “Stand Inside.” The music is quiet and the melody, like a hymn, folds in on itself, and embraces full strength in a sexy, floating forcelessness that slowly gathers into a wave that doesn’t go where you think it will or rather gives in to itself and celebrates a man willing to be defined by a woman and his love for her as witness to each other’s lives… Don’t stand by my side, stand inside gives up roleplaying for true exposure and vulnerability. It’s a weird, accepting, mature record, acknowledging the inherent immaturity of being a person whether father, husband, partner, adult, musician, not perfect, but compelling for its understanding … that’s life though so sad to say… I love this record, b’lieve i’m goin down. -Kim Gordon learn more
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