In his first solo record in more than 14 years, Gregg Allman offers a self-assured, spirited tribute to the many bluesmen who’ve influenced him over his career. Highlights include “Sleepy” John Estes’ ominous “Floating Bridge,” Skip James’ haunting “Devil Got My Woman”— where Allman plays James’ original acoustic guitar accompaniment note for note, then changes up after the first verse by adding greasy electric guitar licks and funereal bass drum—and Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” complete with playfully snapping upright bass. Both Allman’s and Waters’ renditions sound like the jauntiest angry song you’ll ever hear. There’s exuberance as well in Little Milton’s “Blind Man,” and in “Just Another Rider,” written by Allman and Warren Haynes. Also covered are Junior Wells, BB King, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, and more. Throughout the album, Allman incorporates vocal nuances from the original performances, subtly mimicking them without sounding artificial or contrived. Backing musicians include Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack on piano, producer T Bone Burnett and Doyle Bramhall II on guitar, a stellar group of rhythm and brass players, and Allman on both guitar and his trademark Hammond B-3.
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