Gregg Allman @ Talking Stick Resort
On "Just Another Rider," from 2011's Low Country Blues, Gregg Allman's first non-compilation album since 1997, raw emotions well up on this heavy Southern-blues tune as he sings, "Just another rider on that train to nowhere." And nowhere was where the Allman Brothers Band namesake was headed had it not been for a 2010 liver transplant (necessitated by a hepatitis C infection). The track is strong testament to his songwriting prowess, as Allman subtly instills his own raw, gritty, and soulful edge here and throughout this album mostly comprising songs by the likes of Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Junior Wells, Skip James, Sleepy John Estes, and others. These artists always influenced Allman's work, beginning with the earliest ABB blues jams "Jessica," "Whipping Post," and "Ramblin' Man." And though that bluesy component persisted, Allman's focus indeed rambled from time to time as he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction plus a four-year marriage to Cher (the pair released the universally panned Two the Hard Way). Now clean, sober, single, and with a new liver, the organist is back on track and at his performance peak again. He's still got the blues, but lately, that's primarily in song alone. — Glenn BurnSilver
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