I’m filled with great sadness as I write this knowing that one of my musical heroes, Gregg Allman, has passed away. The Allman Brothers Band are one of my favourite bands of all time and the world has certainly lost a visionary.
Gregg’s work with The Allman Brothers Band, a band formed by his older brother Duane in 1969, is exceptional on every level. And it certainly wouldn’t be out of the question to call him one of the greatest singers of all time. When you listen back to live recordings of the Allman Brothers from 1970/1971 it’s hard to imagine that experienced, raw and steady voice is coming from a 24 year old. But it is, it was. His talent put him ahead of the pack as a singer and as a songwriter he was excellent as well.
Gregg leaves behind a wealth of material that includes twelve studio albums with The Allman Brothers, six studio albums as a solo artist, and numerous live albums. Some of his most well known songs include Dreams, Melissa, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’, Queen Of Hearts, Wasted Words, Come And Go Blues and Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More to name just a few. Even though The Allman Brothers Band would go through numerous lineup changes over the years, starting in 1971 after Duane’s death, Gregg’s influence remained and lasted throughout every incarnation of the band right up until their last show in 2014.
One of Gregg’s finest songs is Midnight Rider which was released on the second Allman Brothers studio album Idlewild South in 1970. I don’t think there any any words to describe how great this song, it’s best just to listen to it.
When you look back at certain decades there are always a number of musicians or bands that stand out over the rest, the poster bands for the decade. The 60’s include The Beatles, Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The 70’s include Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers Band. Gregg Allman was at the forefront of the success the band acquired with his songwriting, singing and hammond organ playing being a major part of some of the best music ever recorded and played.
I end my post with one of my all time favourite performances by anyone, ever. An acoustic version of Come And Go Blues which Gregg performed on the TV show Flo & Eddie. The first time I heard this I was blown away and every time I listen to it I get goosebumps. The world has lost a music legend.
RIP Gregg Allman. 8th December 1947 – 27th May 2017.