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Southern Blood

I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time talking about the departed these days. Sorry about that. But here I go again. Gregg Allman’s final album Southern Blood was released posthumously on September 8, just a few days ago. Fittingly, it was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals. Heavy on covers, most of the songs were composed by friends and favorite artists, including Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Tim Buckley, and others. Jackson Browne even contributes vocals on one track, “Song for Adam.” There is only one song on which Gregg shares writing credit, “My Only True Friend,” a song about (what else?) the road.

Still on and on I run
It feels like home is just around the bend
I got so much left to give
But I’m running out of time, my friend
I hope you’re haunted by the music
Of my soul
When I’m gone.

Yes, there is a certain resignation and melancholy in some of the lyrics, but the vocals are amazingly strong. I’ve given it a few spins, enough to say it’s a fitting farewell. Love the muted trumpet on that track by the way — Marc Franklin, I believe.  Jay Collins also plays flute and sax on the album. You may know Jay is ex-hubby of Amy Helm and has performed with the Dukes. My favorite tracks on the album are currently “Blind Bats and Swamp Rats” and “Love Like Kerosene,” which is decidedly upbeat.  Don Was, who produced the album, discusses it below.

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