Low Country Blues (Rounder)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., June 24, 2011
Gregg AllmanLow Country Blues (Rounder)
Soulful and earthy in a way few are, scraped and shaped by hard luck, bad love, and the devil's music, Gregg Allman's voice has carried him through decades of solo recordings and all incarnations of the mighty Allman Brothers Band. On Low Country Blues, it's rightly his instrument of choice, a weapon of mass seduction. "I'd rather be the devil than be that woman's man," he growls on Skip James' "Devil Got My Woman," typical of Low Country's lesser-known titles from better-known bluesmen (Muddy Waters' "I Can't Be Satisfied"). Allman's joy obviously lies in not overproducing the music, and T Bone Burnett pulls players whose credentials flash beyond platinum, including Dr. John and Doyle Bramhall II, with his rhythm dream team, Jay Bellerose and Dennis Crouch. The noncover is too good to be called a vanity track; "Just Another Rider," co-written with the Allman's first guitar Warren Haynes, conjures the "Midnight Rider" of its singer's repertoire, yet doesn't resound with the classic weight of Otis Rush's "Checking on My Baby" or the sweet swamp pop of B.B. King's "Please Accept My Love." Low Country Blues is a long exhale after day fades to night and the moon is on the rise.