Monday, December 26, 2011


Gregg Allman is one of the great blues singers still walking the earth.  He just needs to have good material.  Happily, he decided to work with T-Bone Burnett for his new solo album, Low Country Blues.

People who aren't familiar with the guy may wonder why he even needs to make a solo album, since he is the leader of The Allman Brothers Band. The difference is that the Allmans are a jazz-influenced blues band, and are the gold standard in improvisational rock music (what is now known as "jam band" music). But Gregg is mainly interested in singing blues and soul, and seems happy to keep the length of his songs under five minutes.  While I love the Allmans, and they've undeniably had a huge influence on rock music, I also love to hear Gregg belting out blues tunes without all the jamming that is sometimes part of the Allmans music.

It's not the most innovative record of the year, and I don't care. And I don't see it on many (or any) "Best of 2011" type lists... again, I don't care.  It seems that the main "heritage" artists being celebrated this year are Paul Simon for his excellent So Beautiful Or So What, and Robbie Robertson for his great How To Become Clairvoyant. But this album needs to be recognized.  Gregg's last solo album, released in 1997, was called Searching For Simplicity.  But this one could just as easily have gotten that title. And sometimes what I want to hear is simplicity.  Especially when it sounds as soulful as this.

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