Gregg Allman

Searching for Simplicity

Released November, 1997, Sony 550 Music
Track List
  • Whippin' Post
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  • House of Blues
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  • Come Back and Help Me
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  • Silence Ain't Golden Anymore
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  • Rendezvous with the Blues
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  • Wolf's A'Howlin'
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  • Love the Poison
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  • Don't Deny Me
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  • The Dark End of the Street
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  • Neighbor, Neighbor
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  • I've Got News for You
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  • Memphis in the Meantime
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  • Startin' Over
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There are singers who never sound like they’re just going through the motions. Like them or not, they show us a glimpse of their soul almost every time out.  They have achieved an aura of credibility that has much to do with how thoroughly we feel they are baring themselves.  Gregg Allman’s work here is as strong — and feels as honest — as anything he’s done since “Laid Back.”  Some highlights:
The album opens strongly with a reworked “Whipping Post” — changed from the original 6/8 time to a 4/4. Even toned down and acoustic, it is still one powerful song.  “House of Blues” may be the best song Gregg’s written in 20 years. An outstanding vocal performance, adequately backed by a fine arrangement.  “Rendezvous with the Blues” has a tastefully funky groove, and a great vocal bridge.  “Don’t Deny Me” is a bluesy shuffle which should have been recorded by the Allman Brothers Band.  “Dark End of the Street” was one of Duane Allman’s favorite songs, and Gregg has said it took him some 25 years to be able to sing it. And Lord does he ever sing it. Again the bridge (“There gonna find us….”) reaches out with a depth of emotion rarely encountered.  Finally, “I’ve Got News for You” is a generations-old big band number that Gregg makes fully his own.  Newest Allman Brothers member Jack Pearson deserves praise for outstanding guitar work throughout. The horn arrangements are worthy of comparison with anything out of Stax, and no rock-&-roll singer ever worked better with gospel-drenched female backup singers.
An impressive collection from a singer with a compelling and ever-improving sense of taste.
-Review / Amazon.com

 

A possible admission of the excess that marred Gregg Allman’s past efforts outside the Allman Brothers Band is the title of his 19997 solo release, Searching for Simplicity. More often than not he finds it. And with the clutter of strings, choirs, and synths removed, Allman’s soulful baritone shines. Except for one lapse into pop excess (“Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore”), the album’s tracks are straightahead blues and soul tunes recorded with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, longtime collaborator Johnny Sandlin, and new Allman Brothers guitarist Jack Pearson. The album begins with an unplugged arrangement of “Whippin’ Post,” continues with several respectable originals and really catches fire on inspired remakes of songs associated with Ray Charles, James Carr, Jimmy Hughes, and John Hiatt. –-Geoffrey Himes / Amazon.com