New Gregg Allman live set recorded in city he holds dear
Gregg Allman, 67, is one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and awarded icons in rock and roll history. As a founding member of the legendary Allman Brothers Band and as a storied solo recording artist, Allman shines as a “gifted, natural interpreter of the blues; his soulful and distinctive voice is one of the defining sounds in the history of American music.” Although the Allman Brothers officially disbanded in 2014, Gregg Allman shows no signs of slowing down. Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA - January 14, 2014 on Rounder Records marks the singer’s first-ever official solo CD/DVD release, backed by his eight-piece band and Allman’s son, Devon Allman, as a special guest.
Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA - January 14, 2014 captures Allman at the venerable Grand Opera House—a 1,000 seat theatre built in 1884—located in the town where the Allmans got their start. He performs 16 Allman Brothers and solo fan favorites including ‘Whipping Post,’ ‘Midnight Rider,’ ‘Statesboro Blues,’ ‘I'm No Angel,’ and ‘One Way Out.’ The CD/DVD combo also includes the special features such as exclusive interview footage that find’s Allman reflecting on Macon and the history of the Allman Brothers Band.
“Macon is a beautiful, enchanting place, and it truly was home for the Allman Brothers Band,” declares Allman in an album profile posted on GreggAllman.com. “We played, lived, laughed and cried there, and I wrote many, many songs in that town. It’s always good to play Macon, man.” Allman took to the Grand Opera House stage on January 14, 2014, with a group anchored by Scott Sharrard (guitar), Ron Johnson (bass), Ben Stivers (keyboards), Steve Potts (drums), and Allman Brothers veteran Marc Quinones on percussion.
The singer-songwriter settles in behind his trademark Hammond B-3 and kicks off the 16-song live set with the familiar strains of the aforementioned ‘Statesboro Blues.’ He closes out the show by strapping on a Fender Stratocaster and taking the band into a “funky and grooving” rendition of ‘Whipping Post,’ presented as an updated version that Allman admits he rearranged “some years back” on a bet. The band returns for an encore that features an adaptation of ‘One Way Out’ that’s close to the original cut heard on the Allman Brothers’ Eat a Peach album.
Gregg Allman summarizes the experience of recording Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA - January 14, 2014 by paying tribute to what he calls “a wonderful town with wonderful people,” adding, “I still have some dear, dear friends there. Macon holds a special place in my heart; it comes with a lot of different memories, but the good ones are all that matter to me now. I’m so proud of this album; boy, we were smokin’ that night,” he recalls.
Allman is currently touring as a headlining solo artist as well as a special guest at concerts with The Doobie Brothers and Zac Brown Band. He returns to Macon’s Grand Opera House in January 2016 for a three-night stand (Jan. 13, 15, 16), followed by the Rock Legends Cruise 2016, which sets sail Jan. 21 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with Allman and other classic rock greats including Peter Frampton, Grand Funk Railroad, America, John Kay & Steppenwolf, The Marshall Tucker Band, Randy Bachman, and more than a dozen others.
Watch Gregg Allman in the encore performance of the ‘One Way Out’ to close out the new CD/DVD live set titled, Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA - January 14, 2014.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman was born December 8, 1947, in Nashville, Tennessee. He and his older brother, Duane Allman, were raised by their mother after their father was murdered by a “casual acquaintance” he gave a ride to from a bar.
* While their mother attended schooling to become an accountant, the brothers were sent to Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tenn., until she finished her degree. The family settled in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the boys attended high school.
* Both Gregg and Duane were captivated by music at a young age, especially the soul and R&B of Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Patti Labelle, and B.B. King. Gregg was particularly struck by King's Hammond organ player, while Duane excelled at guitar, becoming a noted session player during the early ‘60s.
* Gregg abandoned plans to become a dentist when Duane convinced him to start a band. By the early 1970s the Allman Brothers Band had cemented itself as rock royalty, enjoying global success after the release of the 1971 live set, At Fillmore East, which is widely regarded as one of the best live albums ever made.
* In spite of Duane's death in a 1971 motorcycle accident—followed a year by bass player Berry Oakley’s similar accident—Gregg kept the band together by continuing to record and tour. Allman later developed a solo career and despite a bout with health issues (he underwent a successful liver transplant in June 2010), he continues to record and tour.
* In 1995 Gregg Allman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Allman Brothers Band. The Georgia Music Hall of Fame welcomed him in September 2006, and the artist Rolling Stone ranks No. 70 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time published his memoir titled, “My Cross to Bear,” in May 2012.