Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
04 FEB 11 DAVID VIENNA
Gregg Allman has been there, man. As a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, he helped create some of the most iconic music of the late-'60s and '70s. He also released a series of stellar solo albums, battled addiction and had tumultuous relationships with famous women. His Rounder release Low Country Blues, his first solo effort in 14 years, captures the genuine weight and swagger of a life lived hard.
Expertly produced by the hardest working Americana producer in the business T Bone Burnette, the collection of 11 obscure blues cuts and one original offer no trickery, but rather straight-ahead blues. "Devil Got My Woman," a slow and lonely dirge, stays true to the tone of its author, Delta bluesman Skip James. It begins and ends with solitary guitar and Allman's weathered vocals, perfectly setting the mood.
B.B. King's "Please Accept My Love" historically demonstrates how blues became R&B, which then became rock 'n' roll. The sway-and-strut rhythm and classic arrangement highlights the piano work of Dr. John, credited on the album under his real name Mac Rebennack.
Of course, the real jewel on Low Country Blues is Allman. Equal parts soul, gospel, blues and rock, his sturdy voice seems made specifically for these songs of the downtrodden. Like the master bluesmen he covers, Allman finds power in telling these stories, no doubt drawing from his own trials and tribulations.