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Gregg Allman's Last Album
Southern Blood out now
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Gregg Allman
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Gregg Allman worked on what is his final studio album, Southern Blood, up until the day he died, and today (Friday) we get to hear the results. Produced by Don Was, Allman recorded the album at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where his late brother Duane worked as a session musician in the late '60s.  Don Was on the album:

"Southern Blood is a real album. Every song is there for a reason and you take any one of them away and your understanding of Gregg's life diminishes a little bit. It's a very complete statement."

When Allman went into the studio to record the album, he knew he was dying from liver cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2012. Gregg Allman's manager Michael Lehman on Gregg's liver cancer diagnosis:

"At the time of the diagnosis he was told his prognosis was 12 to 18 months if he took a full course of treatment. Gregg decided not to receive treatment. And typical of Gregg, you know, where a cat has nine lives if their lucky, Gregg had 99 lives. So, that 12 to 18 months with meds turned out to be five years without any treatment."

While only writing one original song for the album, the first single, "My Only True Friend," Gregg's goal was to have Southern Blood be a companion piece to his first album, 1973's Laid Back. Michael Lehman on Gregg Allman making Southern Blood in the vein of his first album, Laid Back.

"That was his favorite solo album as he always spoke about it. And that was the start of his career and he knew this was gonna bookend and be close to, if not the end of his career. So, there was a relationship between that and I think in many ways, although the records are so different, they're also so similar because they were raw and real and very, very meaningful and intimate and shared two different points in his life, but the circle of life was ever present in both of them."

Gregg Allman on Laid Back:

"There was a term I used to use in the studio, which was a long time ago, and that was, 'If you want it a little softer, play it a little more laid back.' And that's how I got the name for my first record."

In addition to the one original song, Allman covered tracks by Bob Dylan, Little Feat, the Grateful Dead, Willie Dixon and his longtime friend, Jackson Browne. Jackson Browne remembers Gregg Allman.

"He was ironic. He had a great sense of humor and he had a kind of stoicism that I really admired, you know, I think it was pure American - quiet courage in the face of adversity."

Browne also sings on the album, trading vocals with Gregg on "Song For Adam" from Jackson's self-titled 1972 debut album. Southern Blood is available in numerous configurations, including vinyl and a deluxe set. Gregg Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia on May 27th at the age of 69.

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