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Gregg Allman|Low Country Blues

Low Country Blues

Gregg Allman

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Given his place in the pantheon of American rock music, Gregg Allman's solo career away from the Allman Brothers Band has been generally disappointing. Perhaps that's why it took nearly a decade between his previous album, 1997's Searching for Simplicity (its title alone indicates his frustrations) and 1988's over-produced yet underwhelming Just Before the Bullets Fly. A whopping 14 years later, Allman joins forces with roots producer to the stars T-Bone Burnett, hoping that some of the latter's mojo can rub off on a singer who is one of the great white soul and blues vocalists in rock music. For the most part it does, as the duo choose 11 relatively obscure covers from classic artists such as Bobby "Blue" Bland, Junior Wells, and B.B. King that have clearly influenced Allman's musical approach. The backing is organic but far from stripped-down with horns, multiple guitars, and even background vocalists supporting the singer's patented crusty growl. From the opening raw thump of the ominous Sleepy John Estes' "Floating Bridge" to a peppy yet intense take on Muddy Waters' "I Can't be Satisfied" and a fiery reworking of Magic Sam's "My Love Is Your Love," Allman sounds invested and inspired by this material and his musical surroundings. Veterans such as Dr. John (credited here with his real name, Mac Rebennack), Doyle Bramhall II, and Burnett's often used rhythm section of drummer Jay Bellerose and Dennis Crouch on bass keep a taut yet easygoing lock on the groove. That's particularly evident on the predominantly acoustic version of Skip James' "Devil Got My Woman." The horns that appear on five tunes never overpower the sound yet help propel Allman's soul-searing performance of Bland's "Blind Man." Ditto for Otis Rush's slow blues "Checking on My Baby," which brings the vocalist back to his "Stormy Monday"-styled beginnings. One original co-written with Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, "Just Another Rider," while not a terrible song, pales in comparison with the rest of the material and could have been saved for the next Brothers album, where it might make a better fit. Allman is credited with B-3 on the majority of the tunes, but his contributions are generally mixed so low as to be nearly inaudible. His organ can be heard on a low-down run-through of Amos Milburn's "Tears, Tears, Tears" that captures a sweet, jazzy noir West Coast blues. It adds up to Allman's best and surely most focused and cohesive solo release, and one where the template can hopefully be repeated in less time than it took this to appear.
© Hal Horowitz /TiVo

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Low Country Blues

Gregg Allman

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1
Floating Bridge
00:04:45

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - John Adam Estes, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

2
Little By Little
00:02:45

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Melvin London, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

3
Devil Got My Woman
00:04:52

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Nehemiah James, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

4
I Can't Be Satisfied
00:03:32

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Muddy Waters, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

5
Blind Man
00:03:46

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Joseph Scott, ComposerLyricist - DON ROBEY, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

6
Just Another Rider
00:05:39

Warren Haynes, ComposerLyricist - Gregg Allman, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

7
Please Accept My Love
00:03:07

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - B.B. King, ComposerLyricist - Sam Ling, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

8
I Believe I'll Go Back Home
00:03:49

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Traditional, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

9
Tears, Tears, Tears
00:04:55

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Amos Milburn, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

10
My Love Is Your Love
00:04:14

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Samuel Maghett, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

11
Checking On My Baby
00:04:06

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Otis Rush, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

12
Rolling Stone
00:07:04

Gregg Allman, MainArtist - Traditional, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2011 Rounder Records Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group

Album Description

Given his place in the pantheon of American rock music, Gregg Allman's solo career away from the Allman Brothers Band has been generally disappointing. Perhaps that's why it took nearly a decade between his previous album, 1997's Searching for Simplicity (its title alone indicates his frustrations) and 1988's over-produced yet underwhelming Just Before the Bullets Fly. A whopping 14 years later, Allman joins forces with roots producer to the stars T-Bone Burnett, hoping that some of the latter's mojo can rub off on a singer who is one of the great white soul and blues vocalists in rock music. For the most part it does, as the duo choose 11 relatively obscure covers from classic artists such as Bobby "Blue" Bland, Junior Wells, and B.B. King that have clearly influenced Allman's musical approach. The backing is organic but far from stripped-down with horns, multiple guitars, and even background vocalists supporting the singer's patented crusty growl. From the opening raw thump of the ominous Sleepy John Estes' "Floating Bridge" to a peppy yet intense take on Muddy Waters' "I Can't be Satisfied" and a fiery reworking of Magic Sam's "My Love Is Your Love," Allman sounds invested and inspired by this material and his musical surroundings. Veterans such as Dr. John (credited here with his real name, Mac Rebennack), Doyle Bramhall II, and Burnett's often used rhythm section of drummer Jay Bellerose and Dennis Crouch on bass keep a taut yet easygoing lock on the groove. That's particularly evident on the predominantly acoustic version of Skip James' "Devil Got My Woman." The horns that appear on five tunes never overpower the sound yet help propel Allman's soul-searing performance of Bland's "Blind Man." Ditto for Otis Rush's slow blues "Checking on My Baby," which brings the vocalist back to his "Stormy Monday"-styled beginnings. One original co-written with Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, "Just Another Rider," while not a terrible song, pales in comparison with the rest of the material and could have been saved for the next Brothers album, where it might make a better fit. Allman is credited with B-3 on the majority of the tunes, but his contributions are generally mixed so low as to be nearly inaudible. His organ can be heard on a low-down run-through of Amos Milburn's "Tears, Tears, Tears" that captures a sweet, jazzy noir West Coast blues. It adds up to Allman's best and surely most focused and cohesive solo release, and one where the template can hopefully be repeated in less time than it took this to appear.
© Hal Horowitz /TiVo

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