3 Must-Hear Collaborations from Slash’s New Blues Album ‘Orgy of the Damned’

Slash released the new star-studded blues album Orgy of the Damned on May 17. The Guns N’ Roses guitarist teamed with Gibson Records for a collection of covers featuring Billy Gibbons, Chris Robinson from The Black Crowes, Chris Stapleton, Brian Johnson from AC/DC, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Iggy Pop, Demi Lovato, Gary Clark Jr, Dorothy, Paul Rodgers, Tash Neal, and Beth Hart.  

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The album reunites Slash with producer Mike Clink, who also produced GN’R’s Appetite for Destruction, Lies, Use Your Illusion (I and II), and The Spaghetti Incident.

Below are three must-hear collaborations from Slash’s new album.

“Papa Was a Rolling Stone” featuring Demi Lovato

The Temptations version is impossible to beat, but if you’re going to stick a wah-wah pedal under someone’s foot, Slash is as good an option as any. He’s a musical descendent of Jimi Hendrix and Wah Wah Watson, and the pedal is as signature to his sound as the Gibson Les Paul. Meanwhile, Demi Lovato soars to Appetite for Destruction heights as Slash supports her, vocalizing through a talk box. It’s easy to play blues rock on the guitar. It’s incredibly difficult to do it well. Slash echoes Dickey Betts with a wailing solo that wouldn’t have been out of place at the Fillmore East in 1971.

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone

“Killing Floor” featuring Brian Johnson

Howlin’ Wolf is responsible for some of rock and roll’s biggest bands, from Led Zeppelin to The Black Keys. Additionally, both AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses’ foundations rest on his electrified Chicago blues. Slash plays Howlin’ Wolf through the lens of Jimmy Page, and Brian Johnson’s familiar growl pays homage to the pivotal bluesman. Also, the distorted harmonica is performed by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. Though Slash is famous for his epic guitar solos, this track, like “Mr. Brownstone,” puts his snaking rhythm playing on display. Of course, this is a Slash album, and if you enjoy extended guitar solos, you’ve arrived at the right place. You can picture the top hat and cigarette poking through a mess of curls—dazed and confused.

I should’ve went on
When my friend come from Mexico at me
I should’ve went on
When my friend come from Mexico at me
But I’m not foolin’ with you, baby
I let you put me on the killing floor

“Crossroads” featuring Gary Clark Jr.

Slash and Gary Clark Jr. showcase two generations of blues evolution while covering Robert Johnson’s iconic standard. The duo rescue “Crossroads” from years of being butchered by lawyers with guitars, and you can hear the pain the blues was built on in Clark’s voice. Slash and Clark trade lead guitar duties and both styles, uniquely their own, complement each other. Clark’s fuzzed tone is mean and angular, while Slash plays more conventionally yet no less emotionally. Also, Clark’s secret weapon is his falsetto, which he uses to address Johnson’s friend Willie Brown, a pioneer of Delta blues.

I’m going down to Rosedale
Take my rider by my side
Oh, I’m going down to Rosedale
Take my rider by my side

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Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

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