Archive for Gregg Allman

More Monday Blues

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by 30daysout

Sonny Boy Williamson II

In most places it is still probably way too hot to feel good about gettin’ up and goin’ to work on a Monday. So let’s blow some blues today.

MP3: “Fattening Frogs For Snakes” by Sonny Boy Williamson

MP3: “Tell Me Mama” by Little Walter

MP3: “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Midnight Special” by Odetta

MP3: “Who Do You Love” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Evil (Is Going On)” by Howlin’ Wolf

MP3: “Trust In Me” by Etta James

MP3: “I Ain’t Gonna Do It No More” by Jimmie Vaughan

MP3: “Floating Bridge” by Gregg Allman

MP3: “Whipping Boy Blues” (Swamp mix) by Whitesnake

A Mess O’ Monday Blues

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by 30daysout

The apocalypse has come and gone, we’re still here. Gasoline prices are still high, the bills are still unpaid and we have to go to work. What better reason to have the blues on a Monday …

MP3: “Snatch It Back and Hold It” by Junior Wells

MP3: “Fixin’ To Die Blues” by Bukka White

MP3: “Liberation Conversation” by Marlena Shaw

MP3: “Key To The Highway” by Big Bill Broonzy

MP3: “Fattening Frogs For Snakes” by Sonny Boy Williamson

MP3: “Gun Slinger” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Tom Cat” by Muddy Waters

MP3: “Whiskey and Wimmen” by John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Tears, Tears, Tears” by Gregg Allman

MP3: “You’re My Best Poker Hand” by T-Bone Walker

MP3: “Bright Lights Big City” by Jimmy Reed

MP3: “I Got What It Takes” by Koko Taylor

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack – Gregg Allman … and Woman

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , on January 9, 2011 by 30daysout

Click to unfold Miss July 1957, Yvette Vickers (NSFW!)

Have to admit, I have given a lot of thought recently on whether we should continue this series.  The original concept was to give a spin to old records that were not famous or well-remembered for one reason or another – mainly because they weren’t as good as classics like Pet Sounds or Sgt. Pepper’s.  But it was getting to be slightly depressing, because these mostly forgotten albums are still light years better and more listenable than much of today’s musical offerings.

As you can see, I decided to soldier on – but with an eye toward balance, I’ve resolved to seek out albums that were recognized as not so good in their time.  And, ho ho, that’s what we have today – the 1977 masterpiece Two The Hard Way, billed to “Allman and Woman,” who were of course Gregg Allman and his then-wife Cher.

The story starts in 1975 when Gregg Alllman, the only living Allman Brother in his eponymous band, married pop singer and TV star Cher in Vegas.  At the time most people felt they took this unlikely step because he was coked out of his gourd and because Cher was batshit crazy – at the time she and Allman married, her divorce from Sonny Bono had been official for only three days.

Of course, nine days after the marriage Cher filed for divorce.  He pledged to dry out and eventually won her back within a month.  But the stress of the whole thing aggravated Cher’s acne and she couldn’t tape her TV show.  Early the next year, in 1976, she re-teamed with ex Sonny for a new “Sonny and Cher” TV show and that freaked out Gregg and he left – but they got back together and had a son, Elijah Blue.

Whew!  The Allman Brothers Band had pretty much broken up by this time because Gregg was busted for drug possession in 1976 and in exchange for immunity from prosecution, Allman testified against tour manager John “Scooter” Herring and threw him under the bus.  For supplying drugs to Allman, Herring got 75 years in prison (he actually served only 30 months before the sentence was overturned).  The rest of the band considered Allman’s testimony an act of betrayal, so the band soon broke up.

Amid this soap opera, at some point Allman and Cher decided to cut an album together.  Allman served as the album’s producer, and he enlisted the help of rock heavyweights like guitarist Fred Tackett (Little Feat), bassist Willie Weeks and, on horns, Jim Horn and Randall Bramblett. The album was a mix of Allman’s Southern soul-rock and Cher’s pop stuff.

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Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Dickey Betts

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2010 by 30daysout

Now this is one from my own record collection … today we blow the dust off Highway Call, the 1974 solo album by Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts.  But for his first solo album, he’s billed as “Richard Betts.”

In 1974 the Allman Brothers Band had hit a crossroads: both Duane Allman and bass player Berry Oakley had died, and the album Brothers and Sisters (mostly recorded after the death of Oakley) had been a hit.  But the album introduced a softer, country-rock direction thanks to Betts’ “Ramblin’ Man,” which was a radio hit.  Pianist Chuck Leavell was also heavily featured, and the result was a sound that strayed a bit from the Allmans’ trademark dual-guitar attack.  With the direction of the band in question, both Betts and Gregg Allman set out to cut solo albums.

Betts’ Highway Call was an extension of his country-rock approach, and the album’s opener “Long Time Gone” could be the sequel to “Ramblin’ Man.”  Instead of an extra guitar, though, this song has a steel guitar (played by John Huhgey) that opens up this road-ready album.  “Rain” adds the country backing vocals of the Rambos (Buck, Dottie and Reba) for yet another dip into Betts’ country-rock pool.

The title song, coming third in the lineup, is a slow one that steers us closer to pure country thanks to Leavell’s honky-tonk plinking.  “Let Nature Sing” begins the second half of the program (this is a short, six-song album) with down-home gospel harmonies and banjo pickin’.  To me, it’s a little reminiscent of the Byrds’ country sound on Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

Fiddler Vassar Clements kicks off the  stomp “Hank Picked,” and a square dance breaks out for 14 minutes on this extended instrumental.  This song puts Betts’ guitar work into a stricter country context, and he shines on this cut – it’s certainly the album’s centerpiece.  “Kissimee Kid,” another fiddlin’ instrumental (this one actually written by Clements), ends the album on an upbeat note.

Highway Call was successful but it didn’t get the attention that Gregg Allman’s solo album Laid Back did about the same time.  Allman had a radio hit with his remake of the Bro’s “Midnight Rider” and maybe Betts got lost in the shuffle.  But the two albums couldn’t be more different – Allman’s was more of a singer/songwriter move, while Betts’ was meant to showcase some superior musicianship.

Of course, you know the rest – the Allmans would record intermittently in the ensuing decades and finally they parted ways with Dickey Betts in 2000.  He formed the Dickey Betts Band and played also with an outfit called Great Southern, which featured Betts’ son Duane (guess who he was named after).  In December 2009 Dickey Betts announced he was no longer going to tour, although he played some dates as recently as July with Great Southern.

MP3: “Long Time Gone”

MP3: “Let Nature Sing”

Dickey Betts official website

Sampler Daze: Capricorn’s Dixie Rock

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by 30daysout

The Allman Brothers Band

The Warner/Reprise sampler series wouldn’t have been the same without the contributions from Capricorn Records, the Macon, Georgia, label that put out down-home Southern rock.  Phil
Walden, who served as Otis Redding’s manager until the singer’s death in 1967, found this young Florida kid playing guitar and nutured the kid’s talent into a rock band.

That, of course, was Duane Allman and as the Allman Brothers Band took off Walden founded a record label with the blessing of Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler (whose own label distributed Otis Redding).  Capricorn Records didn’t take off immediately – as the Allmans’ first album sold poorly – but when the group put out their classic double live set At Fillmore East in 1971, Walden left Atlantic and signed a new distribution deal with Warner Bros.

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