“A rare opportunity to explore a unique side of his playing”: Slash hangs up his Les Paul for a 335 in the first taste of his solo blues album – a covers record featuring Brian Johnson, Billy Gibbons, Iggy Pop, Gary Clark Jr. and Demi Lovato

After publishing a brief social media tease earlier this week, Slash has now finally announced details of his long-awaited blues solo album – and with it, he’s unveiled the guest stars he’s recruited for the ride.

Slash’s sixth solo album – a blues cover record officially named Orgy of the Damned – was first revealed to be in the works back in 2023, when the Guns N’ Roses titan surprisingly shared the fact it would take the form of a fully fledged blues record.

Since then, anticipation surrounding the LP has only grown, with an all-too-brief audio clip posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday of this week heralding the onset of the album’s marketing campaign.

Now, the floodgates have opened, and the Gibson Les Paul loyalist has revealed both the tracklist (complete with a full list of guest musicians) as well as its lead single – a cover of Howlin’ Wolf classic, Killing Floor, which features AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson.

Johnson will be joined on the 12-track album by Tash Neal, Beth Hart, Paul Rodgers, Iggy Pop, Dorothy, Chris Stapleton, Billy Gibbons, Gary Clark Jr. and Chris Robinson, as well as pop star-turned rock artist Demi Lovato, whose own involvement in Orgy of the Damned had already been confirmed.

Neal, who sings on a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City, will also make up part of Slash’s blues band, which is rounded out by his ‘90s-era Blues Ball collaborators Johnny Griparic (bass) and Teddy Andreadis (keyboard), as well as drummer Michael Jerome.

The ensemble can be heard (and seen) in action alongside Johnson for Killing Floor, which also features Steven Tyler on harmonica.

For it, Slash swaps his Les Paul out for a more traditionally blues-style, Bigsby-clad ES-335, which plays host to his swampy 7th chords, shuffle-y arpeggios, and a guitar solo that leans heavily into B.B. box bends and searing pentatonic runs.

Killing Floor is one of my favorite Howlin’ Wolf songs, but also one of the iconic blues riffs that turned me on as a young guitar player,” Slash reflects. “I’ve always wanted to cover it in some capacity and this record was the perfect vehicle. 

“But playing it with this band, and with Brian Johnson singing, it was an achievement I would never have imagined back then. Let alone Steven Tyler providing the harp.”

Johnson added, “I had a ball with Slash in the studio, and I think we did this great old song justice.”

Not only is it set to be an all-star blues party, Orgy of the Damned is also positioned to be a celebration of the genre that has had a deeply influential impact on Slash’s own style.

Having been introduced to blues and British rock ‘n’ roll early on by his family, Slash immediately took to the music of B.B. King. Since then, the blues has had an informative presence on his playing.

Slash Orgy of the Damned

(Image credit: Press)

Orgy of the Damned showcases a lesser-heard aspect of Slash’s musical prowess,” a statement reads. “While he has always embraced a broad range of styles and genres, the album offers a rare opportunity to explore a unique side of his playing and bring to the forefront a rollicking journey through his strong, blues inspirations, that have long been in the background of his illustrious career.” 

As Slash himself has previously stated, “I’m a rock guitar player that’s firmly rooted in blues. If you were to listen to anything that I do, you can see how big the blues influence is.”

Orgy of the Damned will see Slash tackle historic blues standards and some lesser-known cuts originally penned and performed by the likes of Robert Johnson, T. Bone Walker, Albert King, Willie Dixon, Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins and more.

There is also one new original track that has been composed by Slash for the record: Metal Chestnut.

A full tracklist can be found below.

  1. Crossroad Blues feat. Gary Clark Jr. (written by Robert Johnson)
  2. Hoochie Coochie Man feat. Billy F. Gibbons (written by Willie Dixon)
  3. Oh Well feat. Chris Stapleton (written by Peter Green)
  4. Key to the Highway feat. Dorothy (written by Charles Segar, William Broonzy)
  5. Awful Dream feat. Iggy Pop (written by Sam (Lightnin’) Hopkins, Clarence Lewis, C Morgan Robinson)
  6. Born Under a Bad Sign feat. Paul Rodgers (written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones)
  7. Papa Was a Rolling Stone feat. Demi Lovato (written by Barrett Strong, Jesse Norman Whitfield)
  8. Killing Floor feat. Brian Johnson (written by Howlin’ Wolf)
  9. Living for the City feat. Tash Neal (written by Stevie Wonder)
  10. Stormy Monday feat. Beth Hart (written by T-Bone Walker)
  11. Metal Chestnut (written by Slash)

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