There’s truly no finer representation of Southern grit and soul mixed with rock ’n’ roll than the late Gregg Allman. Alongside his brother Duane and a revolving 18-pack of rebel rockers, Allman wrote, performed and authenticated the blueprint for Southern Rock and Blues-fusion music.
Though the lineup may have changed over time, the iconic gravel of Southern comfort that embodies the vocal style of Allman remains as true and familiar as fresh-cut grass on a Georgia backroad.
In recent years, Allman was faced with journeys that took his health down some dark paths, and as the inevitable sunset was casting long shadows on a life well-lived, he decided to clear one more pathway in his sonic legacy. Southern Blood was recorded shortly after he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Concerned that his illness might win, he set the clock and pace for nothing short of a brilliant composition of songs.
Most artists who release an album during the dusk of life typically depend on mix arrangements and vocal enhancements to carry the weight, but Allman’s signature voice is robust and powerful in range and resonance. Every track on Southern Blood is a treasure, but he sums his life and love perfectly to a muse on “My Only True Friend.”
“You and I both know, this river will surely flow to an end/Keep me in your heart… I hope you’re haunted by the music of my soul… But you and I both know the road is my only true friend….”
- Chris Rucker