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Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:18 pm
by garth cartwright
As I've mentioned here before, Kiwi radio in the 70s was very much modelled on US AM stations so I never got to hear Tiger Feet but I sure did get to hear Ramblin' Man (by The Allman Brothers).

At some point in my adolescence I picked up a 2nd hand copy of Live At Filmore East and was duly impressed. Then a friend played me Gregg Allman's first solo album Laid Back and it was anything but, a real monster of a swampy white soul album. Robert Elms still plays its opening track Midnight Rider and it still sounds better than 99% of what else is on the radio. By this time - the 80s - the Allmans were so out of fashion and seemingly lost in opiates I never thought I would hear anything new of interest from them. Recent reports that they were once again apparently a hot live band in the US trickled back here but they never come to Europe so I rarely thought of them (but I do own several of their CDs and love to listen to 'em). And as all Southern soul nuts know Duane plays all over some great Wilson Pickett, Aretha, Boz Scaggs sides. Lovely band of their time.

Then Gregg's first solo album in 14 years or so - and I haven't heard anything he's done since the 70s - turns up. It's produced by T Bone Burnett and features Dr John on keys so I know it will sound good. Actually, it doesn't sound good it sounds great! Nothing new under the sun here but across 11 blues/r&b covers and one original he proves himself again to be a truly inspired singer and the band lock in beautifully. Nothing flashy, just beautifully felt playing on largely forgotten songs. What a treat.

I headed over to West London this morning and interviewed Gregg. Considering the lifestyle he lived for such a long time - just think excess all areas - he appears surprisingly well preserved and compos mentis. He got a new liver last year and complains that it still aches and makes him pee all the time (he did get up every 15 mins or so and head to the loo). Beyond that he was all charm - he knows he's lucky to be alive. A nice man. Gentle in that way Southerners can be. I got him to sign my CDs! Fan boy!

Any of our US correspondents ever see the Allmans when they were one of the world's great live bands?

Feature is for this week's Sunday Times - as it's behind a paywall it means I can't post it here. But if you do that old school thing of buying a Sunday paper you get me and AA Gill for £2.20. Now back to finishing feature - deadline tomorrow morning and I just can't get the damn first paragraph right!

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:43 pm
by Adam Blake
I like all the Allman Brothers albums that have Duane on them. But you knew that.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:25 am
by Nigel w
Totally agree about Laid Back - what a great album. Midnight Rider and a killer version of Jackson Browne's These Days the best tracks. Check it out on Spotify.

Like the new album, although apart from one song (Just Another Rider) it is purely covers. It's also on Spotify , folks.

As for Duane, his playing on Loan Me A Dime on Boz Scagg's first Atlantic album is among my five favourite guitar solos of all time. Once more, Spotify in all its 13 minute glory, if you don't know the track.

Saw the Brothers at Knebworth in '74, alongside Tim Buckley and the Doobies. Fantastic bill.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:44 am
by will vine
Strangely coincidental after all these years I recently acquired the Allmans Live "71 record, and on first play was disappointed. I too saw them at Knebworth and heard tracks over the years without actually getting round to owning any of their records. I recently read a short interview with Gregg, in the Telegraph of all places, which suggested that this recent record is special but I'm putting Live At The Fillmore in my bag again today.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:15 pm
by gary booth
[
Nigel w"
Saw the Brothers at Knebworth in '74, alongside Tim Buckley and the Doobies. Fantastic bill.[/quote][/quote]

[quote="will vine wrote:
I too saw them at Knebworth


I too saw them and let's not forget the Mahavishnu Orchestra....on second thoughts.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:15 pm
by will vine
Wasn't Van Morrison on that bill as well ?

Anyway, I gave The Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore another listen today - still didn't get that old buzz. I seem to remember The Allmans as great rolling seas of guitar and piano. This album sho' nuff shows 'em as an A grade southern rock-a-boogie band but.......well I can see why the 18 year old me would've loved it but.......maybe my memory is shot.

Gregg was flogging his "I have sure lived the blues and survived to tell the tale" tale on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning. I hope the new album is as good as it is being talked up.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:05 am
by gary booth
[quote="will vine"]Wasn't Van Morrison on that bill as well ?
quote]
Yes, he was Will, and lastly The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Some line up.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:15 am
by Alan
http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event- ... p?ID=11974

Gregg Allman The Low Country Blues Tour 1 July 2011 / 19:30 Barbican Hall
Tickets: £10 / 30 / 35
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As a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band and in his own solo career, Allman has long been a gifted natural interpreter of the blues. His soulful and distinctive voice is one of the defining sounds in the history of American music. Low Country Blues finds him putting his own stamp on songs by some of the blues giants whose work has long informed his own, from Muddy Waters and BB King to Buddy Guy and Magic Sam. This is Gregg Allman at his very best - a self-assured, spirited collection that will stand as a major milestone in what is undeniably an exceptional career.

Low Country Blues is out now on Rounder Records.

'An unexpected Triumph' The Independent 4*

'A roaring return to form. Allman sounds like he’s singing for his life.' Uncut 4*

'Gregg Allman is the archetypal survivor, a hero of the Allman brothers. Amazing, both his distinctive voice and Hammond keyboard playing have remained intact.' The Guardian 4*