Warren Haynes’s first solo studio album in nearly 2 decades isn’t far from a Gov’t Mule record. Mule fans know that Haynes is a soulful singer when he isn’t wailing away on guitar, and his soul leanings take center stage here. But Man in Motion is a soul record by way of Humble Pie, the Faces, and, yes, the Allman Brothers Band, and the opening title track’s wah-wah guitar shows he hasn’t left his favorite blues-rock references behind. The main difference is one of tone: After the doomsaying big-picture songs on the Mule’s recent By a Thread, this is an album of romantic confessions and inspirational moments (the gospel-ish “River’s Gonna Rise”), nodding to classic Stax for only a solid cover of William Bell’s oft-recorded “Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday.” Haynes testifies with heart on the ballads, but few traditional soul singers would give every song a long instrumental coda, stretching most tracks to 7 or 8 minutes. Those add to the album’s spontaneous feel, and if you had a band this good (including Ruthie Foster, Ivan Neville, Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, and Meters bassist George Porter, Jr.), you’d be in jam heaven, too.
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