Monday, February 21, 2011

Gregg Allman talks Low Country Blues

Gregg Allman kicked of 2011 in style, with the release of “Low Country Blues,” his first solo album in 14 years.

Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album finds Allman putting his own stamp on songs by some of the blues giants whose work has long informed his own, from Muddy Waters and BB King to Buddy Guy and Magic Sam.

Jeb Wright at Classic Rock Revisited connected with the legend recently, to talk about the new project.

Classic Rock Revisited: This is the highest charting Gregg Allman solo album ever. Are you surprised at the success of Low Country Blues?

I am flabbergasted; it hasn’t all sunk in yet. All we did was go into the studio to cut some tunes.

CRR: You went fourteen years between solo albums. I have to ask if Tom Dowd’s death had something to do with that gap.

It certainly did. He died and, after I got through mourning, I thought, “What are we going to do when it comes time to record?” A producer is like a member of the band who got there late.

CRR: You did make a good choice with T Bone Burnett.

I had never heard his name before. I was out with The Brothers and we had a long tour and I was real tired. We were playing our last gig; this was the latter part of ’09. My manager calls me and says, “Listen, I need you to stop in Memphis on the way to Savannah. There is somebody I want you to meet.” I knew what it was about. I just about said, “Let’s don’t and say we did.” I went and I am so glad that I did.

I went to Memphis and we met at the Peabody Hotel. You can’t miss him; he is about seven-foot two. He is taller than most basketball players; he looks down on us all. He gave me this modem with thousands of old, old blues songs. He said, “I’m going to peel this down to about twenty-five songs and send them over to you. Take the best fifteen of your liking and rearrange them, totally. When you are satisfied with them then let’s hit the studio and cut them.” I said, “Sho ‘nuff.”

I couldn’t even understand some of them. Some of them were public domain and they literally belonged to anybody. Most of them were like 78’s and you could hear all the scratches. We started talking and I asked him, “What are you in Memphis for?” He said, “I am here with two builders and we are measuring out, board by board, the Sun Recording Studio. I am going to build me a Sun Records right next to my house in California.” That is the craziest thing I had ever heard so I thought that this guy has got to be alright. We got closer and closer and we built a good friendship that afternoon.

Check out Gregg’s full interview at Classic Rock Revisited here.

Here’s a cool feature on the new record, as well…

Gregg Allman – The Making Of Low Country Blues (2010)

Gregg Allman Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman – Just Another Rider
The Savannah Rehearsal Sessions

See also:

VIDEO: Gregg Allman on A&E Private Sessions
VIDEO: Gregg Allman rocks Letterman
Allman Brothers Band 1971 archive rerelease set for January
Gregg Allman’s 1st solo album in 14 years due in January