With a band built around Mac “Dr. John” Rebenack on piano and Doyle Bramhall II on guitar, with Low Country Blues, Allman has made an album of the type many artists in the later middle stages of their career have tried to make – one that pays homage to their personal musical journey and roots, their heroes, and to what experience has helped them find what is, for them, most real and valid.
This collection includes a version of Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied” (with Allman joining Bramhall and T-Bone Burnett on guitar), a hallelujah version of Don Robey’s “Blind Man,” and a classic take on Amos Milburn’s “Tears, Tears, Tears” where Allman lets Rebenack and Bramhall take the spotlight. The songs, it would seem, are included because they are part of Allman’s musical core; this is where he’s at and where he’s always wanted to be. B.B. King’s “Please Accept My Love” is straight out of a Beale Street juke joint Saturday night, with Allman’s journeyman-soul-singer’s vocal call matched by Bramhall’s tasteful guitar response. Low Country Blues brings out the positive implications of the phrase “tried and true” with the emphasis on “true.”
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.