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BLUES

Gregg Allman

Low Country Blues

By Stuart Munro
Globe Correspondent / January 18, 2011

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Gregg Allman’s last solo release, “Searching for Simplicity,’’ could have passed for an Allman Brothers record. He’s waited 14 years to release another (it would have come out earlier, but Allman’s plans were interrupted by a liver transplant), and aside from a few Brothers-like moments (“Just Another Rider,’’ “Little by Little’’), it sounds, more than anything else, like a T Bone Burnett record. It’s a collection of covers that dips deep into blues history, but it shouldn’t be construed as some conscious roots revisitation by Allman; the exercise itself, as well as the choice of material, was more producer Burnett’s doing. Allman’s role is principally that of performer and, especially, vocalist — his voice gruff and ragged at one moment, pleading and yearning at another, and still a remarkable expression of the blues. When he sings surrounded by a straight-up, horn-fueled electric blues sound (“Tears, Tears, Tears,’’ “My Love Is Your Love’’), the results are interesting enough, but when he’s accompanied by Burnett’s rootsy signatures — ghostly reverbed guitar, gauzy brushed snare, thunking acoustic bass — the effect is mesmerizing. (Out now)

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