Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues (Universal)

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Gregg Allman: I Believe I'll Go Back Home
Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues (Universal)

Gregg Allman is as well known for his marriage to Cher in the 70s and battles with drug'n'alcohol as he is for co-founding the seminal Southern blues-rock Allman Brothers Band with his long-gone sibling Duane.

Sober and straight these past 15 years (and a new liver installed last year), the 63-year old singer/keyboard player here delivers his first solo album in 14 years and gets fine assistance from Dr John, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II (from Clapton's band) acoustic bassist Dennis Crouch and drummer Jay Bellerose on a collection of mostly old blues songs.

There's some workmanlike stuff here (notably Junior Wells' Little By Little) but the opener Sleepy John Estes' mysterious Floating Bridge is an ace played early, Allman inhabits the spooky Skip James number Devil Got My Woman, Muddy Waters' I Can't Be Satisfied belongs to the band which gets into swamp-blues mode and they turn B.B. King's Please Accept My Love into a Fats Domino-like New Orleans pop-blues romp. On the sole original Just Another Rider, Allman sounds reflective about the dangerous life he has survived.

Produced by T Bone Burnett and with an excellent horn section on Tears Tears Tears, Low Country Blues has enough highlights to not disappoint, but also one too many lesser versions to be fully satisfying.

Still, it's been quite a life and he pours hard-won lessons into this.


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Relic - Feb 1, 2011

Should us music fans question people that have had a hard life? Yes. I love old Allman bros live recordings and have consistently played them over the years for the fluid guitar work. Thing is I cannot abide snitches and Allman sent a ‘roadie’ to a long stretch inside in the 70s rather than take the rap. Put me off him thenceforth. Blues is not a genre known for squeaky clean crews so maybe his visibility did him in and lesser knowns get away with worse.

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