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Author: Subject: Gregg Allman's Album Ambition

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 10:18 AM
An album with "all compostitions by Gregg Allman", definely looking forward to hearing it.

quote:
Gregg Allman Reveals Upcoming Album, Songwriting Challenges

By Matt Marshall

– July 29, 2013Posted in: Blues, Blues Articles, Blues-Rock, Country Blues, Interviews, News

“This friend of T-Bone Burnett had this hard drive that had a collection of like eight or nine hundred blues songs on there.” Gregg Allman relaxes deep in his chair and flips his pony tail behind him as he discusses the blues influences that made his 2011 album, Low Country Blues a Grammy-nominated hit. “Most of these blues numbers were obscure, like album cuts. Some of them you can tell are just 78s, sound like those old cone jobs with the wax, Victrola, with the big horn and the spinner. There’s some tunes that maybe they only printed up two to three hundred records total, you know? But it’s on the books!”

When it comes to production, few in the world can claim the experience of twelve-time Grammy award winner T-Bone Burnett. “Good guitar player. He played a lot of guitar on the last album. He played 6 string bass like he played a guitar, played some mandolin… Every now and then he’d just pop out there and jam with us.”

The legendary Allman Brothers Band singer, B3 player, and guitarist has been a lifelong fan of blues music, and part of the Allman Brothers Band’s rocket to success in the early 70s was thanks to rollicking covers of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Blind Willie McTell, and more. Now in his mid-sixties, Gregg has never stopped being a student of the blues. Nestled deep in the Georgia swamps, surrounded by ancient cypress trees and swallowed by endless spanish moss, Muddy Waters’ “Baby Please Don’t Go” blares from the speakers at his house on an otherwise quiet Monday afternoon.

“I listen to country blues, I listen to texas blues… a lot of Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland. Lots of Muddy. Muddy and the Wolf. And Sonny Boy,” he’s quick to add. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, Gregg’s Low Country Blues was a blues lover’s dream come true. An all-star cast including Colin Linden, Dr. John, Doyle Bramhall II, and T-Bone Burnett drew from a deep, deep well to cover songs from Skip James, Sleep John Estes, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Amos Milburn, and more.

Though he hold the blues legends in the highest esteem, Gregg continues to keep an observant ear for the greatest artists of today. “My latest real craze, I guess, would probably be Ray LaMontagne. He’s way past good. He is just, so subtly incredible. That one song he does, ‘Let It Be Me’… God! If you don’t have a bad case of the blues after listening to that!” he exclaims with a world-weary laugh.

After the success of Low Country, what comes next for the famed blues man and rock legend? “What I always wanted to do…” Allman starts off before pausing, deep in thought for a few seconds. “I always wanted to do a record merely called ’All Compositions By…’ and just have my name. I’d like to do a record where I wrote every one. It’s probably a goal of every songwriter in the world. Do one record that you totally create.”

“I mean, you have hundreds if you needed it, different players with you — but you write it all!”

Despite having a lifetime of songs, lyrics, and verses written, the task of an album entirely composed by ones’ self is more of a challenge than it might seem. “You go back and look at [past lyrics] and try to reinterpret it, and… Usually it’s just as bad as it was when you turned it away the first time!” Gregg proclaims with a gravely laugh before pausing to think of his many past lyrics.

According to Allman, sometimes songs can take months, years to ‘ooze out’. “It haunted me”, he recalls the well-worn story of Melissa. “I had one verse… And it hung me up so bad that I never went to the second verse until I finally heard it from that woman and it clicked man, I danced out of that store man.

“If I try to do it… it’s kind of like, you know, the donkey and the carrot. Something has to spark your interest. Could be, sometimes I just hear a rhyme in my head, you know? Where it comes from I don’t have the slightest idea. I could imagine they’re god-given.

“I do believe in my heart that the song’s gonna come out… it’s like anything else. You get out of it what you put into it… I guess. Some of them just come like gangbusters. Like ‘Midnight Rider’, less than an hour. And I never went back and changed one word. Just, bam bam. Showed it to the band the next day and boom. It’s done.” In the same breath, he talks about a song that took a year and a half to complete.

Gregg’s forthcoming solo album may be recorded as early as this year. “I had a date to do it with [Burnett] in May… we weren’t gonna do blues though. Anyways, I call him and talked to him about postponing it ’til September and looks like the 9th month is too much touring, so… November?”


 
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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 10:41 AM
Neverber?




 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 11:01 AM
I'd like it to happen. I guess we'll see if it does.

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 11:07 AM
I wish him success and satisfaction for that ambition.....having goals like that keeps us young and focused on the now.Announcing it can be a great thing....get it out into the air,so then you have to do it! Works for me! Best wishes.It will be a hell of an album!

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 11:10 AM
It will never happen. GA hasn't written anything in many, many years. Why would you expect him to all of a sudden start now...

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 12:32 PM
The auto-pen has written more than Gregg has in the last 20 years
 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 12:53 PM
quote:

Gregg’s forthcoming solo album may be recorded as early as this year. “I had a date to do it with [Burnett] in May… we weren’t gonna do blues though. Anyways, I call him and talked to him about postponing it ’til September and looks like the 9th month is too much touring, so… November?”



Which album is this?

Not the "All Compositions By...." because that hasn't been written yet.

Not another Blues set apparently.

A GAF album?

Or more BS....?








[Edited on 8/2/2013 by Shavian]

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 01:07 PM
Yes, he has the right to say what he wants and he's certainly earned the right to never put anything out ever again.

That said, it's crummy that he keeps talking about this without any shred of evidence that it's true. "Just Another Rider" is the only song with Gregg's name attached to it in over a decade. There were promises of new Gregg songs before the Beacon run, but nothing.

It's a joke at this point. Neil Young is the model and Gregg is nowhere near that.

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 01:20 PM
quote:
I wish him success and satisfaction for that ambition.....


I really do wish this as well. We all gain from a work like this....

I'll believe it................when I hear it.

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 02:45 PM
quote:
The auto-pen has written more than Gregg has in the last 20 years
So true...

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 04:13 PM
quote:
Which album is this?

Not the "All Compositions By...." because that hasn't been written yet.

Maybe he's saying they were going to do some sessions and he decided to postpone and do something different. I'm skeptical about new material, but jeez, what a fanbase they have around here. I wonder how much overlap there is between ABB site posters and people who go to ABB concerts at this point.

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 05:47 PM
quote:
Neil Young is the model and Gregg is nowhere near that.


I do agree, however, I will say that given the choice, I would take one 'Hittin' the Note' before a handful of latter-day Neil albums. Neil is the guy for me, always has been always will, BUT...y'know, some albums over the last ten years or so have been lukewarm IMO.

The whole quality vs. quantity thing and all...I'd rather wait for a great album than get a bunch of lackluster ones.

'Fork in the Road', I'm talking to you...





 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 06:35 PM
"I wonder how much overlap there is between ABB site posters and people who go to ABB concerts at this point."

That's an interesting question Marley. Very few people post on this site anymore, so regardless of how you do the math, this site represents a tiny percentage of Allman Brothers Band fans.

The folks on this site can be a little cynical about the ABB, but the fact that we even take time to complain shows that we care about the ABB and want them to be the best they can be. The "casual" ABB fan has already long since given up on new albums and those kind of things, while we argue about those topics passionately.

 
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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 06:54 PM
Reading between the lines ... with aging eyes - I can't find where it says "NEW songs" by GA. Maybe this will be one of those revisited projects, where he re-records (in new style?) songs that he has written through the years. If this is the case, hopefully there will be a new song or two.

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 07:14 PM
quote:
The folks on this site can be a little cynical about the ABB, but the fact that we even take time to complain shows that we care about the ABB and want them to be the best they can be. The "casual" ABB fan has already long since given up on new albums and those kind of things, while we argue about those topics passionately.

There's plenty to be cynical about on different fronts. But a lot of this isn't passion. It's just obnoxiousness and bitterness and entitlement.

quote:
Reading between the lines ... with aging eyes - I can't find where it says "NEW songs" by GA. Maybe this will be one of those revisited projects, where he re-records (in new style?) songs that he has written through the years. If this is the case, hopefully there will be a new song or two.

That thought crossed my mind, too. But he already did alternate versions of Midnight Rider and Please Call Home on Laid Back and Whipping Post on Searching for Simplicity. And Midnight Rider and Melissa are both credited to Gregg and another writer, so they wouldn't even fit the concept. I think he's at least implied he'd write new songs.

 

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  posted on 8/2/2013 at 11:36 PM
quote:
quote:
Neil Young is the model and Gregg is nowhere near that.


I do agree, however, I will say that given the choice, I would take one 'Hittin' the Note' before a handful of latter-day Neil albums. Neil is the guy for me, always has been always will, BUT...y'know, some albums over the last ten years or so have been lukewarm IMO.

The whole quality vs. quantity thing and all...I'd rather wait for a great album than get a bunch of lackluster ones.

'Fork in the Road', I'm talking to you...







But on Hittin' The Note, Warren is the only member of the band that has a writing credit on all the songs with the exception of the 2 cover songs Heart of Stone and Woman Across the River.

My point being is that HTN is really more of a Warren album. Gregg has co-writing credits on only 5 of the 11 songs and Warren helped write all 5 of them.

Warren co-produced and mixed the album as well.

But if Gregg can pull off writing and recording an album of only his material I'll be the first in line to buy it as long as it's not the same old songs rehashed all over again.







 

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  posted on 8/3/2013 at 12:03 AM
Gregg always says there are albums coming out and he is writing like a machine. It is his stock response during interviews and pretty much an industry given to say. It is funny that people always get all worked up. You can't ecpect any artist to tell you that he really has no inspiration to write. It would be like an athlete saying he is all washed up and not willing to make an effort. Not a good career move.

quote:
I’d like to do a record where I wrote every one. It’s probably a goal of every songwriter in the world. Do one record that you totally create.”



A goal that is taking 50 years.

Ummm there have been at least a couple of artists to do that.

 

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  posted on 8/3/2013 at 12:51 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Neil Young is the model and Gregg is nowhere near that.


I do agree, however, I will say that given the choice, I would take one 'Hittin' the Note' before a handful of latter-day Neil albums. Neil is the guy for me, always has been always will, BUT...y'know, some albums over the last ten years or so have been lukewarm IMO.

The whole quality vs. quantity thing and all...I'd rather wait for a great album than get a bunch of lackluster ones.

'Fork in the Road', I'm talking to you...







But on Hittin' The Note, Warren is the only member of the band that has a writing credit on all the songs with the exception of the 2 cover songs Heart of Stone and Woman Across the River.

My point being is that HTN is really more of a Warren album. Gregg has co-writing credits on only 5 of the 11 songs and Warren helped write all 5 of them.

Warren co-produced and mixed the album as well.

But if Gregg can pull off writing and recording an album of only his material I'll be the first in line to buy it as long as it's not the same old songs rehashed all over again.




Yeah I knew that HTN was largely a Warren thing, but still, if the ABB or Gregg ever does put anything new out and it's really good, it's something that I could--and will--listen to forever as opposed to some weak, tossed off material. I still listen to HTN;but Neil's Are You Passionate ? Probably not for ten years.

 

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  posted on 8/3/2013 at 02:01 AM
quote:
quote:
Reading between the lines ... with aging eyes - I can't find where it says "NEW songs" by GA. Maybe this will be one of those revisited projects, where he re-records (in new style?) songs that he has written through the years. If this is the case, hopefully there will be a new song or two.


That thought crossed my mind, too. But he already did alternate versions of Midnight Rider and Please Call Home on Laid Back and Whipping Post on Searching for Simplicity. And Midnight Rider and Melissa are both credited to Gregg and another writer, so they wouldn't even fit the concept. I think he's at least implied he'd write new songs.


In the other interview in which this project was mooted, it was written:

"Allman also has his sights set on an album of all-original material he promises will be worth waiting for. 'The title will be All Compositions By… I’m working on it,' Allman said. 'That’s going to be my crowning glory because that is at the top of my bucket list: All Compositions By… and then it will simply have my name.' ”

I think the words "all-original" and "I'm working on it" gave the impression that this was going to be an album of new material.

I think it would be, with respect, less than a crowning glory if it turned out to be a rehash of old material.








[Edited on 8/3/2013 by Shavian]

 

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  posted on 8/3/2013 at 06:54 AM
People need to stop taking these comments from Gregg seriously.

Apparently, it only encourages him to keep saying things like, "I've been writing a lot lately" and "I'd like to do an 'all songs by Gregg Allman' album in the near future."

If you really need an definitive answer to this, Red Dog stated on this site YEARS ago that the song writing element of music was, I believe the word he used was "dead" for Gregg.

It ain't gunna happen.

 

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  posted on 8/3/2013 at 11:59 AM
You may be right, axeman. The most interesting thing about this interview was how honest Gregg was about the fact that songwriting is very difficult for him, and doesn't come easy.

“If I try to do it… it’s kind of like, you know, the donkey and the carrot. Something has to spark your interest. Could be, sometimes I just hear a rhyme in my head, you know? Where it comes from I don’t have the slightest idea. I could imagine they’re god-given."

Occasionally things come to him, he's not sure from where. Some of them are great, some not so much. He doesn't really have a process where can sit down, craftsman-like, and say "I'm going to write a song." It's more like the songs happen to him, and that hasn't been happening lately.

The whole reason that Gregg's "All Compositions By" album is such a dream for him is that, like most dreams and goals, it would represent a great accomplishment for the dreamer, something they haven't done before.

I'm glad Gregg still has dreams and goals, but unless the songs materialize out of the ether, seems like it's not likely.

 
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  posted on 8/5/2013 at 04:11 AM
I hope Gregg pulls this off,but he has a reputation for promising new music and never happening. I just hope a few of the guys from GAF get to play on some of these songs like scott sharrard,bruce katz and jay collins.
 

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  posted on 8/5/2013 at 06:09 AM
I do like the GAF lineup he has put together. But he hasn't written a song in ages. He needs to stop saying in interviews that he's been writing his butt off whe we know he has not been writing anything...

 

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  posted on 8/5/2013 at 06:29 AM
quote:
He doesn't really have a process where he can sit down, craftsman-like, and say "I'm going to write a song." It's more like the songs happen to him, and that hasn't been happening lately.


I'm thinking that most craftsmen have "a process" of some sort when attempting to write music, it's called discipline. I'm also thinking that regardless of how many song ideas, "just come to you" you still have to make the effort of writing them down and shaping them into songs. You have to make the attempt. It's just like anything else in this world, you have to want it.

I don't believe writing has been very important to Gregg for some time now.....and do not expect it to change.

But you just never know.

 

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  posted on 8/5/2013 at 08:25 AM
Whenever a Gregg article is posted here you can count on the same posters jumping in the thread to dump personally on Gregg; often multiple times in the thread. They seem to enjoy slamming him. Odd on an Allman Brothers site.

 

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