"I hope you're haunted by the music of my soul / When I'm gone, please don't fly away / And find you a new love / I can't face living this life alone / I can't bear to think that this might be the end."
It's hard not to get emotional hearing the somber "My Only True Friend", the lead off track of Gregg Allman's new, and, now last, solo album Southern Blood. As the only original song on the record, it serves as somewhat of a eulogy for the fallen Allman, who died earlier this year of liver cancer and clearly knew his time on earth was not going to be long when he wrote the song. Despite his declining health, the Allman Brothers Band legend sounds spectacular, his voice rich & poignant, making it all the more bittersweet for the listener. The remainder of Southern Blood contains a wealth of cover tunes, all songs very special to Allman but again, continuing on with the somber mood. Bob Dylan's "Going Going Gone" is just spectacular, featuring stinging lead & pedal steel guitar to go along with Gregg's strong vocals, while "Black Muddy River" is just a heart tugging, rootsy blues/country flavored song in the hands of the legendary Allman. Scott Sharrard's gritty blues guitar shines on the swamp drenched "I Love the Life I Live". Fans of groove laden Southern Rock will love "Blind Bats and Swamp Rats" as well as the upbeat "Love Like Kerosene", another vehicle for some tasty guitar picking from Sharrard. Old friend Jackson Browne shows up for a cover of his own "Song for Adam", an emotional country rocker that sees both singers working so well together...it's a shame that Allman's death has prevented another pairing of these two legends.
Not exactly an uplifting listening experience, Southern Blood is still a treasured collection of songs from the late Gregg Allman that provides a haunting look into his very essence over the last remaining months of his life. It will bring a tear to your eye but at the same time allow you to marvel at his historic career. RIP Gregg, you will be missed...however, you are no doubt jamming with Duane, Berry, and Butch once again.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. "My Only True Friend"
Gregg Allman Scott Sharrard
2. "Once I Was"
Tim Buckley Larry Beckett
3. "Going Going Gone" Bob Dylan 4:29
4. "Black Muddy River"
Jerome J. Garcia Robert C. Hunter
5. "I Love the Life I Live" Willie Dixon 3:31
6. "Willin'" Lowell George 3:36
7. "Blind Bats and Swamp Rats" Jack Avery 4:32
8. "Out of Left Field"
Dewey Lindon Oldham Jr. Dan Penn
9. "Love Like Kerosene" Sharrard 4:17
10. "Song for Adam" (featuring Jackson Browne) Jackson Browne 6:21