Gregg Allman: living proof of music's healing power

Mon Jul 4, 2011 8:40am EDT
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By Andrew Dobbie

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Gregg Allman is a believer in the healing power of music.

Barely a year after undergoing a liver transplant, the veteran American musician is back on the road with his regular band, looking a little frail but in good voice and excellent spirits.

The Gregg Allman band kicked off a European mini-tour at London's Barbican Center on Friday, with two further UK dates scheduled plus more in Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany before they head home next month for a lengthy tour of the United States and Canada.

The backbone of their set is a series of songs from the album "Low Country Blues," his first record for 14 years.

It was released in February to critical acclaim and commercial success to match, debuting at No. 7 in the U.S. Billboard chart.

Diagnosed with hepatitis C and advised he needed a new liver, Allman decided to go into the studio to record an album of songs by his blues heroes, before going under the surgeon's knife in June last year.

With award-winning producer/guitarist T-Bone Burnett at the helm, the result is a spare, no-frills collection of classics by the likes of "Sleepy" John Estes, Skip James, B.B. King and Muddy Waters.

It shows off Allman's skills as a hollering blues performer and a musician of eclectic good taste.   Continued...

<p>Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee Gregg Allman arrives at the 28th Annual Awards Banquet sponsored by the Friends of Georgia Music Festival at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia September 16, 2006. REUTERS/Erik S. Lesser</p>