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Interview:
Gregg Allman is happy to have the blues
 

by GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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When it comes down to it, having the blues is a good thing for Gregg Allman.

The Allman Brothers Band co-founder's latest solo album 2011's "Low Country Blues," featured a collection of blues material chosen by producer T-Bone Burnett, digging into the catalogs of B.B. King, Otis Rush, Amos Milburn and others. "That kind of music means a lot to me," says Allman, 65, who continues to tour with the ABB as well as on his own.

"I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing that. It's just a settling of the soul, mostly."

Allman's relationship with the blues began in the mid-60s, when he and older brother Duane were playing together in bands such as the Escorts and the Allman Joys, touring the chittlin' circuit in the American southeast from July of 1965. "At night in the car you could get this (radio) station called WLAC out of Nashville, and they had some shows that were mostly blues," he recalls. "They played Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter...They played, everybody, man. They played Bobby Bland -- that's there I got turned on to him. And B.B. (King) and Sleepy John Estes, Magic Sam, all kinds of dudes.

"And, of course, my brother was just in hog heaven, too."

"Low Country Blues" also features one original, "Just Another Rider," that Allman co-wrote with current ABB guitarist Warren Haynes. He's hoping that's a harbinger of things to come -- possibly on his own or with the band.

"I'll tell ya, I can't wait to get back in there and cut another one," Allman says. "That would be fine with me. It really would. It seems like for some reason every time we do a record it somehow gets your writing juices flowing. That kind of stuff just starts to come forward, so I'm hoping that maybe (for) the next one I can write a bunch of them."

Gregg Allman performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $38-$45. CAll 1-866-782-9622 or visit www.soundboarddetroit.com.

Web Site: www.soundboarddetroit.com

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