Having been a Punk Rocker who ended up being in one of, if not the biggest band in the world, Duff McKagan, brings us his second solo album after the 1993 release Believe In Me and leaves the Punk and Rock behind on this release. Joining forces with Shooter Jennings, the son of Waylon Jennings of outlaw country fame, allowing the combination to provide a new dimension to that of previous sounds created by the legendary Guns N’ Roses man. Drop all expectations at the door and prepare to experience something equally as special as that which has previously had the privilege of the contributions of McKagan.
In the words of the great man himself “Before beginning this project, I was asked more than a few times if I was going to write a book on my experience of the two-and-a-half-year GN’R Not In This Lifetime … tour,” says McKagan. “While, of course, it had been an amazing experience, in the end, I decided the ideas swirling around in my head were better suited for a record. The heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide I have experienced travelling this globe of ours coerced these words into songs that tell my truth, and one that I hope will spread and help us all.”
It is clear from the opening track ‘Tenderness’ that this down paced album is full of emotion and grit opening with an atmospheric piano piece which is then joined by the haunting voice of Duff before the softness of the guitar joins in and then the steel strings join in to lead us on a blues journey which takes in a strong southern influence along the way that just oozes raw passion and true storytelling.
The album at times makes for uncomfortable listening as the frank honesty that McKagan describes of the sights and experiences he has witnessed through the window of the tour bus from the massive Guns N Roses tour. Magically he has been able to turn the sights into equally haunting sounds and lyrics that really transport you to the scene, using violins and steel pedals to add the Nashville influence to its full extent.
This is an impressive album that gets better with each listen and is certainly worth a little effort to truly appreciate the stripped back style allowing the full effect of wearing his heart on this sleeve and frank lyrics to express his true feelings, whilst sipping on some moonshine or Bourbon.
Tenderness was released Friday 31st May 2019 via Universal Music Group
2. It’s Not Too Late
3. Wasted Heart
4. Falling Down
5. Last September
6. Chip Away
7. Cold Outside
9. Breaking Rocks
11. Don’t Look Behind You