Gregg Allman Low Country Blues
“This record’s one of the things that’s held me together… Because when I woke up in the hospital from this incredibly big surgery, I held on to the idea that, hey man, you’ve got a record in the can!”~ Gregg Allman
Music Is a Healer
Throughout this blog’s journey one the central themes you’ll find in many of the articles is the healing power of music. It was while recovering from a heart attack in the fall of 2007 that I created The Blues Blogger as a therapeutic means to help through a difficult time. I reflected on aspects of my life; weaving online articles along with the music which surrounded the scenes I was reflecting upon. I discovered firsthand that through the sharing of each other’s life experiences, the blues had a way of generating positive energy. So when you hear a good thing, especially one that motivates you, I believe it’s important to share the information.
Low Country Blues
Last week when I heard Gregg Allman’s first solo release in fourteen years Low Country Blues, I was totally knocked out. I even made a quick comment on my Twitter and Facebook accounts mentioning how hooked I was. The songs, musicianship, production and back story moved me and forced me out of my shell.
Named for the coastal Georgia area Allman calls home, Low Country Blues acknowledges the blues titans that originally inspired Allman’s music as a solo performer and as a continued member of The Allman Brothers Band. The choice of tracks (all covers with the exception Just Another Rider) is heartfelt and extremely tasteful.
For the recording, producer T-Bone Burnett brought in extraordinary musicians, which include Jay Bellerose on drums, Dennis Crouch on upright bass, Doyle Bramhall II on guitar and Allman’s old friend Dr John on piano.
While listening to the wonderful selection of tunes, it was difficult to find the appropriate words for a review because my mind was viewing images and scenes, not prose. Right from the opening track “Floating Bridge,” a Sleepy John Estes treasure, you’re taken on a cool trip down a reflective blues entrenched path.
Along the way my visions were placed in more of a screenplay format. I drifted through old memories of blues masters, American history and the vibe surrounding the hardships and successes of an era too often forgotten.
As the record progresses we hear the Mel London tune “Little by Little” made popular by Junior Wells. Allman’s voice is robust and supple; showing a deep bond for the music he’s cherished for the past 50 years.
Some of my favorite songs that required several listens were “Tears, Tears, Tears,” “Blind Man,” “I Can’t be Satisfied” and the Allman and Haynes original “Just Another Rider.”
Gregg Allman and T-Bone Burnett’s choice of tunes are right on the money. The retrospective raw and earthy production with the horn sections add weight to the arrangements and capture the overall experience magnificently.
Here’s a complete list of all the tracks:
1. Floating Bridge – Sleepy John Estes
2. Little by Little – Junior Wells
3. Devil Got my Woman- Skip James
4. I Can’t Be Satisfied – Muddy Waters
5. Blind Man – Bobby Bland
6. Just Another Rider – Gregg Allman & Warren Haynes
7. Please Accept My Love – B.B. King & Sam Ling
8. I Believe I’ll Go Back Home – John Lee Hooker
9. Tears, Tears, Tears – Amos Milburn
10. My Love Is Your Love – Magic Sam
11. Checking On My Baby – Otis Rush
12. Rolling Stone – New Arrangement by Gregg Allman & T Bone Burnett
Suffering from chronic Hepatitis C, Allman was on a waiting list for two years for a liver donor. The album was recorded just 6 months before his transplant, and is proof that music is an extremely powerful source of positive energy. Allman is unquestionably an experienced natural interpreter of the blues genre and a survivor having endured several of life’s tragedies.
On Low Country Blues Allman utilizes his experience and the positive energy of the blues to generate an enriching landscape. The whole vibe and story centering on this new release is very motivating indeed. You’ll want to check this record out for sure; it’s definitely food for the soul.
As a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, the group continues to perform and are still one of the most electrifying live bands to witness. The Allman Brothers band has inspired music lovers worldwide for the last 42 years, and their debut album back in 1969 set the tone for that famous southern rock sound.
If you’re curious, here is a link to the CBS interview last week where you can hear Gregg Allman talk about his life, recent surgery and thoughts for his first solo release in 14 years.
With Gregg Allman’s career now in its sixth decade, it’s impossible to cover everything in one article. But that’s where you come in. What are some of your favorite Allman tunes? What are your thoughts on his collaboration with producer T-Bone Burnett? Please share your thoughts regarding Gregg Allman and Low Country Blues in the comments section below.
The Blues Blogger