Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues – Review

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.

Gregg Allman


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

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8 Responses to “Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues – Review”

  1. Rick January 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    I received this as a pre release. It will make my top 10 list for the year. It took me on a tour past the hotspots of roots blues and delivered me to a finish in the cottonfields of Georgia. Sublime.

  2. marcel lemieux alias starflight January 24, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Great article and real nice to see that Gregg Allman is still around.
    Its been a long time since i,ve played his music..will surely get this album,its full of life and soul.It always fascinates me to know the thoughts and experiences behind the musician and you did a great intro here..wow!…thanks.His matching up with all those other fine musicians is quite awesome..music indeed is healing…

  3. Howard January 24, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Thanks for the introduction to Greg Allman’s latest. As usual your well constructed Blog hits the spot and spreads some of that musical healing to all of us.

  4. Ratbags January 24, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Great blog this week!! I was pleased to see Lightnin’ Hopkins getting a mention – to my mind, he was one of the overlooked treasures of the genre.

  5. Kristofer January 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Hello Blues Blogger… I couldn’t agree more. Gregg’s recovery from surgery and everything he’s been thru is nuthin less than a miracle to me. I’m a singer and a gtr player who’s benefited in ALL areas of my life from Gregg’s up’s and down’s. He’s always been a BIG influence on the way I sing and play. And Gregg is a great song-writer. To say his songs are healin songs is an understatement. I will never forget what John Lee Hooker said… “The Blues are a Healer.” They never stop healin me… I remain plain, deeply grateful.

    Went to the record store today to get a copy of Gregg’s’ new record. An employee said they only bought 3 copies for the store. All three were gone. Lots of Gaga’ was in stock…. My ambition in this lifetime is be worthy of becoming a better “Blues-Healer”. I signed up a long long long time ago…I’ll keep workin’ to be a good-un until the day I die.

  6. Acoustic Guitar Songs January 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Hi,

    I haven’t heard the album yet, but as usual, great post. I specifically like how it draws on the healing power of music, and ties your own personal healing experience to Gregg Allman’s. I’m sure a lot of people can relate, present company included. I hope more people get a chance to read this blog.

  7. Harish February 14, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    The wife gifted me this a couple of days ago on our 15th wedding anniversary. To say I love it would be an understatement. Gregg’s vocals are still powerful as ever and to listen to his interpretation of some old classics is a treat.
    Super article; keep going!

  8. Cynthia Whiteside March 9, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    I grew up on ABB and Gregg Allman,I live in Macon Georgia, and my late husband was a recording engineer at Capricorn records in the seventies. I was blessed to have been around these talented musicians and recording engineers and producers,owners etc.. I feel personally touched by all of his music, but this song especially touches me in a way that makes me feel like it could be me that is just another rider..lol.. He is an inspiration. I am on My Space as one of Gregory’s angels, and I have been on my knees praying for his miracles and the MANY PRAYERS have been answered so far. He looks and sounds better than ever and this is my fav Gregg Allman song at present.

    I have to say thanks for growing up in the middle of the ABB music as well as all southern rock that came from the roots in our once sleepy southern town of Macon Georgia. I get to go to the Museum and sit on the grass, with my fourteen year old daughter as I sat in Central City Park at~ 14 in Macon and she is getting to hear what I heard ~ absolutely the best music around. Like Jimmy Hall,Scott Boyer, Randall Bramlet,and many more who have played with Gregory, also new Macon Talent, musicians that are just out back in the yard and we are all relaxing in the backyard of the Big House Musuem, where the band lived and I passed by on the way to school and saw them in their yard. It has all been a part of my life. I am so blessed.

    Gregg and Duane brought magic to the town that Otis Redding brought it to before them. My life has been magical because of this man and his late brother Duane Allman. I love this new music!! I thank God Gregg made it through the surgeries and that he is still on the road and making music,and I will continue to pray for him in every way. I am so proud! I listen to every note with sincere appreciation and praise for the hard work it has taken for the band and crew to travel and live on the bus while taking this awesome music all over to be heard. The road goes on forever. Everyone should come see the Museum, it is AWESOME! I am so proud of my roots. And so love the new “Low Country Blues.”

    Cynthia from Maconga

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