Thursday, July 27, 2017

AUDIO: Gregg Allman single previews final studio album Southern Blood

Gregg Allman’s new single, “My Only True Friend”, marks the first preview of the late rocker’s final studio album, “Southern Blood”, following his May 27 passing from complications of liver cancer at the age of 69.

Due September 8 and produced by Don Was, the project delivers a collection of songs written by Allman’s friends and favourite artists, including Jackson Browne, Willie Dixon, Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter, Lowell George and Spooner Oldham & Dan Penn, meant to serve as a farewell to his legion of devoted fans and admirers.

“As his producer, I was dedicated to helping Gregg crystallize his vision for the record and to help make sure that this vision made it to the tape,” says Was. “He was a musical hero of mine and, in later years, had become a good friend. The gravitas of this particular situation was not lost on me. Gregg was a sweet, humble man with a good heart and good intentions and it was a great honor to help him put his musical affairs in order and say a proper farewell.”

Allman, well aware his time was short, approached the project with an unambiguously realistic agenda. High atop his list of goals was to capture the sound of the ultimate Gregg Allman Band in full flight, considering them the tightest knit combo of all the line-ups that had backed him over his 40+ year solo career.

“Gregg was very excited to be in the studio,” says friend and collaborator Michael Lehman. “He was especially thrilled to be recording this studio album with his solo band – he was so proud of them and loved the sound that they produced together. Gregg felt close to every single one of them. The Gregg Allman Band was like a family or a well-oiled machine, always knowing what the other band members were thinking and doing.”

The Southern rock and jam band legend recorded “Southern Blood” at the world-renowned FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL.

“A constant discussion during all of my nearly 15 years working with Gregg was his desire to return to Muscle Shoals,” explains Lehman. “He always would talk about how he needed to get back to FAME Studios to bring him full circle.”

“Muscle Shoals is hallowed musical ground,” Was adds. “FAME was the place where Gregg’s brother Duane first started making waves in the music world and where the earliest seeds of The Allman Brothers Band were sown in a back room during their first, seminal rehearsals. Duane’s presence is still ubiquitous in that building. Recording there was Gregg’s way of making his spirit a part of this album, in the same way that his spirit continued to be part of Gregg’s life.”

Allman co-wrote the lead single with Gregg Allman Band guitarist/musical director Scott Sharrard.

“‘My Only True Friend’ was Gregg’s attempt to contextualize the course of his life,” says Was. “The man that his fans saw performing onstage was the essential Gregg Allman – he was whole and truly satisfied when he was up there playing music. The trials and troubles he faced in life were mostly the result of not knowing what to do with himself in between shows.

"In this song, he’s addressing a woman and explaining that, although he loves her and doesn’t want to face living his life alone, being away on the road and performing every night is his lifeblood. If you understand this about Gregg Allman, every other aspect of his life makes complete sense.”

Ahead of its September 8 release, a limited-edition, numbered double-sided picture disc of “Southern Blood” will be available at some local record shops to be announced or with pre-orders of the album via

Gregg Allman
“Southern Blood”

Release date: September 8

01. My Only True Friend
02. Once I Was
03. Going Going Gone
04. Black Muddy River
05. I Love the Life I Live
06. Willin’
07. Blind Bats And Swamp Rats
08. Out Of Left Field
09. Love Like Kerosene
10. Song For Adam (ft. Jackson Browne)

See also:

Gregg Allman laid to rest in Macon, Georgia
Gregg Allman funeral details announced
Gregg Allman dead at 69
Gregg Allman denies hospice rumors
Search The Allman Brothers at hennemusic