Gregg Allman’s old soul has bellowed the blues since he was a young man. Whether helming the compositions of the Allman Brothers Band, or reinterpreting the work of others, his passionate wail truly captures the feelings of a blues man, through and through. And on Low Country Blues, his first solo release in 14 years, the 63-year-old shows that he’s still got the touch.
Low Country Blues boasts 12 songs, 11 of which are readings of compositions by the likes of Sonny Boy Estes, Muddy Waters, BB King, and Otis Rush. And in the hands of T. Bone Burnett and with his penchant for spare orchestration, Allman shines. From the spry plodding of Sleepy John Estes “Floating Bridge” to the percussive whimper of Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” the casual flow of Low Country Blues is comfortable and worn in like rockers on a weathered front porch. But the undeniable stand-out here is the lone original, “Just Another Rider,” penned by Allman and cohort Warren Haynes. In the context of a nearly all-covers album, the track binds Allman’s musical influences with his own musical output. On its own, it is a fluid rocker that begs for a spot in the Allman Brothers Band’s repertoire.
Low Country Blues marks the seventh solo release for Gregg Allman, and the seventh time is a charm. Countering the dated feel of much of his work outside of the Allman Brothers, this set – and its less-is-more approach – befits the aging blues man and emits a timeless energy. “Just another rider, on a train to nowhere,” Allman sings, and Low Country Blues offers the hope that his train won’t ever come to a stop.
Low Country Blues is out now on Rounder Records.