Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues (Rounder, 2011)

Organist, occasional guitarist and singer Gregg Allman has seen a fair amount of ups and down during his lengthy career, none more serious than the serious health problems that required a liver transplant last year. But Allman is nothing if not a survivor, and delving deeply into the blues he has recorded an excellent album that marks a hard won victory over adversity. He knows the blues well, both musically and personally and that really shows in the music, as he covers a wide range of music from the haunting version of Skip James' epochal "Devil Got My Woman" with its sinister overtones of mystery and fear to the playful version of Muddy Waters' "Can't Be Satisfied" featuring some buoyant slide guitar, and a sense of fun that borders on the giddy. Horns are added on a few tracks, and are particularly useful on the soul blues of Bobby Bland's "Blind Man" where they frame Allman's deeply emotional voice and add to the flavor of the music. This was a very fine and consistent album, Allman is in very good voice throughout and there is not hint of weakness or aftereffects of his health problems. This album is accessible to both rock and blues fans and even the purists should find it to be a worthwhile effort. Low Country Blues - amazon.com

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