Low Country Blues
REVIEW BY: David Bowling
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/31/2011
Gregg Allman was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of the legendary Allman Brothers. He was one of the band’s founding members and has balanced a solo career with his duties as their vocalist/keyboardist for over four decades.
Low Country Blues finds him returning to his blues roots. There is only one original composition among the twelve tracks. The rest are covers of classic blues tunes by such artists as Sleepy John Estes, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, and B.B. King.
He surrounded himself with a number of excellent sidemen here, including lead guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, pianist Dr. John, drummer Jay Bellerose, Dobro player Colin Linden, and second guitarist T. Bone Burnett. The liner notes by Robert Gordon are also an exceptional addition.
There are a number of worthwhile tracks on this release, and Allman has the perfect voice for classic blues songs. “Floating Bridge,” originally by Sleepy John Estes, benefits from some tasty piano runs by Dr. John. “Little By Little” combines Allman’s vocals and the lead guitar chops of Doyle Bramhall II. The Skip James Tune, “Devil Got My Woman” find Bramhall combining with Dobro player Colin Linden to lay down a firm foundation for Allman’s vocal. And these are only the album’s first three tracks.
“Blind Man” makes use of a horn section, which fuses its blues roots with a rhythm and blues flavor. The Magic Sam tune, “My Love Is Your Love,” adds a female chorus and is a nice counterpoint to the straight blues nature of most of the material. Linden returns with his Dobro to highlight the acoustic jam nature of “Rolling Stone.”
Low Country Blues is an exceptional modern blues album. Allman’s distinctive voice interprets and modernizes all these classic songs well. This is an early entry for one of my top ten albums of the year.