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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gregg Allman CD Preview - Reverend Keith A. Gordon (Keith's Blues Blog)

After a life-changing liver transplant surgery, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band climbs back in the saddle in 2011 with the January 18th release of Low Country Blues, the singer's seventh solo album and his first to be released in almost 14 years. Allman applies his weathered, soulful voice to a wide range of blues and R&B covers from artists like Muddy Waters ("I Can't Be Satisfied"), Skip James ("Devil Got My Woman"), B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton, and Magic Sam, among others. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, Low Country Blues also features a single Allman original, "Just Another Rider," co-written with Allman Brothers/Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes.

Low Country Blues resulted from a chance meeting between Allman and musician/producer Burnett, the two sharing memories of favorite records, mutual friends, and even WLAC-AM, the groundbreaking Nashville radio station that blasted out blues and R&B records to a large audience across the Southeast and Southwestern U.S. during the 1950s and '60s with its 50,000-watt clear channel signal. The two talked about working together, "he told me some guy gave him a hard drive, it has 10,000 obscure blues songs," Allman says in press materials for the album. "He says, 'I'm gonna pick out twenty of 'em and send 'em to ya and you tell me what you think.' He said, 'they're old, like Billie Holliday old, and when you listen to 'em, I want you to think about us getting' in there and about bringin' 'em up to today'."

Allman entered a Los Angeles studio in January 2010 with Burnett, guitarist Doyle Bramhall III, bassist Dennis Crouch, and drummer Jay Bellerose to record what would become Low Country Blues. The album was originally scheduled for mid-2010 release, but when Allman, who suffered from chronic Hepatitis C, received the chance for a liver transplant he underwent the successful surgery. He spent months rehabbing both physically and artistically, getting his body and voice back in shape to tour in support of Low Country Blues, the album promising to become another triumph in a lengthy career with several such landmark moments.

Cover Photo courtesy Rounder Records

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