Rounder Records is excited to announce that Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame legend Gregg Allman will release his first solo record in 14 years on January 18, 2011. Called Low Country Blues for the coastal Georgia region Allman calls home, the record was produced by T Bone Burnett, recorded at his Village Recorder studio in Los Angeles and features Dr. John on piano, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, and Burnett’s brilliant go-to rhythm section: bassist Dennis Crouch and drummer Jay Bellerose. Low Country Blues is Gregg Allman at his very best — a self-assured, spirited collection that will stand as a major milestone in what is undeniably an exceptional career.
As a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band and in his own storied solo career, Allman has long been a gifted natural interpreter of the blues. His soulful and distinctive voice is one of the defining sounds in the history of American music. Low Country Blues finds him putting his own stamp on songs by some of the blues giants whose work has long informed his own, from Muddy Waters and BB King to Buddy Guy and Magic Sam.
Though constantly on the road, Allman has spent precious little time in the studio since the 2002 death of producer Tom Dowd – the man behind the glass for much of his recorded career. Sceptical at first, Allman and Burnett quickly bonded and work began in January 2010. The powerhouse band – which of course also features Gregg’s own acoustic guitar expertise and trademark Hammond B-3 organ – cooks up an earthy and atmospheric musical stew infused with gritty R&B muscle, spooky Southern psychedelia, and greasy deep soul grooves.
Like any genuine bluesman, Allman’s own life has been colored by myriad triumphs and too many tragedies. Low Country Blues was initially slated for a mid-2010 release, but that plan changed when Gregg, who had long battled chronic Hepatitis C, was notified that he was a candidate for a liver transplant. In June 2010, he entered the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida where he successfully underwent the difficult surgery. Knowing that he had only just made one of the defining albums of his recorded career proved to be the best medicine, giving Allman the inner strength he needed to fully heal.
An inveterate road warrior, Allman is understandably itching to return to the endless highway. He spent the months following the surgery hitting both the gym and the rehearsal studio, working hard to restore his vitality to its requisite level. Moreover, Allman is justifiably proud of Low Country Blues and is eager to get out there to bring these songs to his countless fans.
“When you have a new record it always feels different,” he says. ”Man, you gotta get out there and move the muscles, you gotta move it and shake it.”
“It’s been too long,” he adds. ”I guess I was just born with a lot of gypsy in my soul.”
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