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Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:46 am
by blueswriter
As some of you might have noticed, I haven't been around for a while. However, I'm back and a healthy number of reviews should be coming regularly for the forseeable future. Hope everyone has been well. Lots to catch up on, I'll start with this one...

Gregg Allman
Low Country Blues
Rounder (2011) 11661


12 tracks, 51 minutes. Highly recommended. It’s been nearly a decade-and-a-half since Gregg Allman’s last solo effort (Searching For Simplicity - 1997). Because of that fact, it would be easy to enough to say his newest is a necessity, but that wouldn’t do justice to this very recent slice of work. Whether touring with The Allman Brothers Band (every year from March to September), or doing solo shows through the fall and winter months, Allman seems to work tirelessly. His deeply rich and powerful voice, like many of the greats who influenced him, has aged incredibly well over four-plus decades and the proof resides in Low Country Blues. Although more than a potent songwriter in his own right, Allman traverses an ample portion of the blues landscape through eleven hand-picked covers and one original. Whether it’s the understated, down-home feel of Sleepy John Estes’ Floating Bridge and Skip James’ Devil Got My Woman, or the grinding toughness of Checking On My Baby from the pen of Otis Rush or Magic Sam’s My Love Is Your Love, Allman displays a deep reverence and respect for the music that’s been the foundation of his artistry from the beginning. Produced (and produced extremely well) by T-Bone Burnett, there’s nothing flashy and no need for testosterone anywhere. Guitar efforts from Doyle Bramhall II quietly lay underneath, weave simply in-and-out and occasionally strut across the dozen tracks, while Doctor John’s piano adds effective flavor. Horns bolster a handful of cuts, especially well on the frighteningly good Don Robey by-way-of Bobby “Blue” Bland Blind Man and Amos Milburn’s Tears, Tears, Tears. What speaks loudest though is the decidedly effortless ‘smokes and whiskey‘ voice of Gregg Allman. While there’s a palpable sense of weariness to what he offers, that weariness stems from a passionate understanding of how the language of blues is best spoken and delivered. In addition to the CD version, there’s also a superb sounding 180g vinyl edition (2 LP set) available with two bonus tracks (Out Of Bad Luck and Reconsider Baby). Either way, don’t miss this!

Gregg Allman

© 2011 by Craig Ruskey

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:32 pm
by The Saint
I highly agree. This is a necessity! Greg hit on tunes that represent the Low Country on this effort. The players are top notch, and the material is understood and presented nicely. I still feel that searching aspect in Gregory's music again, and he is paying homage to the roots. If you listen the the Allman Brothers 4 CD set, you can hear that same searching in the earliest work before Berry, Jaimo, and Butch arrived. Greg and Duane touched a searching aspect often, but it seemed the the other musicians didn't know how to follow them in their search.
Just Another Rider hits a nerve, listen close!

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:48 pm
by southernstunna
I couldn't be further away from you guys in terms of Gregg's new album. I thought it was TERRIBLE. My Dad claims that it "gets better with each listen" but I do not buy it. The cover of "I Can't Be Satisfied" is probably the worst Muddy Waters cover I have ever heard. I was not a fan.

Re: Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:44 pm
by 1armbandit
Great to see you back around BW. I have had this CD in the car since it came out and still love it.