Gregg Allman’s final studio album, “Southern Blood,” was released months after the singer, songwriter, and Allman Brothers Band founder’s death in late May of 2017. Here, around the album’s September release, fellow musicians and collaborators gather at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to discuss “Southern Blood” and Allman’s impact on music, in partnership with the Americana Music Association, Grammy Museum, and Rounder Records.
Scott Goldman, artistic director of the Grammy Museum, introduces Allman’s manager Michael Lehman, North Mississippi Allstars members Luther and Cody Dickinson, and singer-songwriter Joan Osborne, who discuss hearing the Allman Brothers Band’s music for the first time.
Luther Dickinson remembers advice he and Cody received from Allman: “Take care of each other and make every day count,” Allman said, after discovering his openers were brothers. The Dickinsons also perform an original, Allman Brothers-inspired instrumental song.
Lehman shares insight into the new album’s “My Only True Friend,” and the frank discussions he had with Allman, who knew “Southern Blood” would be his last record. Although his declining health made the days in the studio difficult for Allman, Lehman says, he genuinely enjoyed the process.
Rounder Records senior vice president of A&R Scott Billington and Rodney Hall (general manager of Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the son of Fame owner and producer Rick Hall) join the panelists to share personal memories of Gregg Allman and his brother and bandmate Duane Allman, who died in 1971. Hall remembers his father’s initial reluctance to give Duane a chance in the studio, and his surprise at the guitarist’s talent. Billington talks about the honor of signing Gregg to Rounder Records, having been an Allman Brothers fan since 1969.
After listening to a clip, Lehman notes how “Once I Was”—originally recorded by Tim Buckley, covered by Allman on “Southern Blood”—chokes him up, because he and Allman shared a close friendship and professional relationship. Osborne points to Allman’s expert ability to bring something new and different to a previously recorded song.
To close the program, Osborne and Aaron Lee Tasjan perform the Allman Brothers classics “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” and “Melissa.”
Find out more about our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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