Duane Allman 'Skydog' retrospective coming on Rounder

Article Contributed by conqueroo | Published on Friday, January 25, 2013

Even if he’d never formed the Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman would be a major figure in American popular music. Long before his name became known to mainstream audiences, he had already established his credentials as a once-in-a-lifetime guitar visionary, leaving his unmistakable stamp on a broad array of recordings. On March 5, 2013, Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, will release the most ambitious retrospective of Allman’s short but influential career titled Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.

The deluxe seven-disc collection, carrying a list price of $139.98, contains the guitarist’s best-known and most commercially successful recordings with the Allman Brothers Band and Derek & the Dominos, as well as session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Clarence Carter, King Curtis, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Ronnie Hawkins, Otis Rush, Laura Nyro, Lulu, the Sweet Inspirations, Laura Lee, Spencer Wiggins, Arthur Conley, Willie Walker, the Lovelles, the Soul Survivors, Johnny Jenkins, John Hammond, Doris Duke, Eric Quincy Tate, Herbie Mann and more.

The set was produced by Galadrielle Allman (Duane’s daughter) and two-time Grammy® winning producer Bill Levenson. Rounder Records’ Scott Billington served as executive producer. Scott Schinder contributed comprehensive historical liner notes, complemented by additional notes by Galadrielle Allman.

In her recollection of her father, who died when she was a young child, Galadrielle writes, “I am very lucky that my father is Duane Allman, an artist who left behind a wealth of incredible music . . . Working on this retrospective, I have gotten closer than I ever have been to understanding my father’s development as a musician and a man.”

Duane Allman, known to his bandmates as Skydog, was born in Nashville in 1946. With Gregg, his only sibling, Duane had his first moment of musical revelation upon witnessing a late ’50s R&B bill that featured B.B. King and Jackie Wilson. By 1960, both Duane and Gregg owned guitars and played in a series of neighborhood garage bands in Tennessee and Florida. Continuing their interest in blues and R&B in the shadow of blues radio station WLAC-AM’s continent-spanning signal, as well as absorbing the influence of the British Invasion, the brothers launched the Escorts in 1965 and the Allman Joys, who recorded a handful of sides in Bradley’s Barn in Nashville in 1966. By 1967, Duane and Gregg signed to Liberty as the Hour Glass and recorded two albums in Nashville and Los Angeles. When the band sought to defy the label and spread its musical wings, they were dropped. The brothers returned to Florida, hooked up with drummer Butch Trucks, and recorded two sides as the 31st of February, and later at Ardent Studio in Memphis as the Bleus.

By this time Duane had developed a reputation as a leading session guitarist. He was on Fame Studio’s A list, his guitar licks coloring hits by Wilson Pickett. Atlantic Records producer and executive Jerry Wexler took note and hired him to perform on Atlantic sessions by King Curtis, Otis Rush, Arthur Conley, the Soul Survivors and Sweet Inspirations. Wexler signed him to a solo Atlantic deal, resulting in a session that contained the raucous original “Happily Married Man” and more. The session, contained on the Skydog set, was abandoned mid-stream. But by then Capricorn Records’ Phil Walden had noticed the rumblings from Muscle Shoals. Duane gathered up brother Gregg, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Jai Johanny Johanson and others and the Allman Brothers Band was born.

According to reissue annotator Schinder, “The [Allman Brothers Band’s] music was complex and adventurous, yet unfailingly accessible. The subtle and harmonic interplay between Duane and Dickey’s dual lead guitars was matched by the three-man rhythm section’s surging, swinging cross-rhythms, with Gregg’s massively expressive singing and organ playing keeping the music firmly grounded in human emotion.” The band’s profile grew with each release — the self-titled debut, Idlewild South and eventually the band’s breakthrough, At Fillmore East.

Testament to his energy and ambition, Duane still found time for side projects. When bandmates would hole up at home after tours, Duane joined fellow world-class guitarist Eric Clapton on Derek & the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. While not an official member, he quickly emerged as a major contributor to the classic album, his twin guitar interplay with Clapton shaping the hits “Layla” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad.” He also worked with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Laura Nyro between Allman Brothers Band projects.

By then acknowledged as one of rock’s premier guitarists, Duane and the Allman Brothers Band began recording their follow-up to At Fillmore EastEat a Peach. Tom Dowd, another legendary Atlantic house producer, oversaw sessions at Criteria Studios. Then on October 29, 1971, four days after Fillmore had been certified gold, Duane was riding his motorcycle and swerved to avoid hitting a truck. He crashed and died of internal injuries. He was 24 years old. The band forged ahead as a quintet on Eat a Peach, which became one of their best selling albums. The Allman Brothers, led by Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, continue to perform to this day.

Schinder notes, “More than four decades after his death, Duane Allman remains a towering figure whose stature has only increased in his absence. His influence lives on, not only in the multiple generations of guitarists who have been motivated by his input, but also in the legions of listeners who have continued to find inspiration in his vibrant vision of American music, which remains as fresh and truthful today as when it was created.”

“When a musician of my father’s caliber dies, every note he ever recorded becomes even more precious,” writes Galadrielle. “Each song is pressed into the service of telling his story. The longer Duane is gone, the clearer it becomes that there will never be another like him.”

Over seven discs, Skydog tells the Duane Allman story with rare and never-before-heard gems alongside smash hits.

“I hope the celebration of Duane’s life inspires you to live fearlessly and enjoy life,” Galadrielle concludes. “I know that would have made him proud.”

Disc One
 1            THE ESCORTS  Turn On Your Love Light  2:33
  2            THE ESCORTS  No Name Instrumental  3:13
  3            THE ESCORTS  What’d I Say  4:04
  4            THE ALLMAN JOYS  Spoonful  2:27
  5            THE ALLMAN JOYS  Gotta Get Away  2:38
  6            THE ALLMAN JOYS  Shapes Of Things  2:47
  7            THE ALLMAN JOYS  Crossroads  3:32
  8            THE ALLMAN JOYS  Mister, You’re A Better Man Than I  4:45
  9            THE ALLMAN JOYS  Lost Woman  5:23
10            HOUR GLASS  Cast Off All My Fears  3:31
11            HOUR GLASS  I’ve Been Trying  2:39
12            HOUR GLASS  Nothing But Tears  2:29
13            HOUR GLASS  Power Of Love  2:51
14            HOUR GLASS  Down In Texas  3:08
15            HOUR GLASS  Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)  3:01
16    HOUR GLASS  B.B. King Medley 7:07
17            HOUR GLASS  Been Gone Too Long  3:03
18            HOUR GLASS  Ain’t No Good To Cry  3:08
19            31ST OF FEBRUARY  Morning Dew  3:46
20            31ST OF FEBRUARY  Melissa  3:12
21            THE BLEUS  Milk And Honey  2:34
22            THE BLEUS  Leavin’ Lisa  2:43
23            THE BLEUS  Julianna’s Gone  2:59
Disc Two
 1            CLARENCE CARTER  The Road Of Love  2:54
  2            CLARENCE CARTER  Light My Fire  2:49
  3            WILSON PICKETT  Hey Jude  4:06
  4            WILSON PICKETT  Toe Hold  2:49
  5            WILSON PICKETT  My Own Style Of Loving  2:41
  6            WILSON PICKETT  Born to Be Wild  2:45
  7            LAURA LEE  It’s How You Make It Good  2:32
  8            LAURA LEE  It Ain’t What You Do (But How You Do It)  2:05
  9            SPENCER WIGGINS  I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You)  3:01
10            ARTHUR CONLEY  Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da  3:00
11            ARTHUR CONLEY  Stuff You Gotta Watch  2:15
12            ARTHUR CONLEY  Speak Her Name  2:39
13            ARTHUR CONLEY  That Can't Be My Baby  2:22
14            WILLIE WALKER  A Lucky Loser  2:20
15            THE LOVELLES  I'm Coming Today  2:59
16            THE LOVELLES  Pretending Dear  2:38
17            ARETHA FRANKLIN  The Weight  2:53
18            ARETHA FRANKLIN  It Ain't Fair  3:22
19            SOUL SURVIVORS  Darkness  2:56
20            SOUL SURVIVORS  Tell Daddy  2:30
21            SOUL SURVIVORS  Got Down On Saturday  3:10
22            KING CURTIS  Hey Joe  2:56
23            KING CURTIS  Foot Pattin'  4:49
24            KING CURTIS  Games People Play  2:46
25            KING CURTIS  The Weight  2:47
26            THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS  Get A Little Order  2:06
Disc Three
 1            THE BARRY GOLDBERG BLUES BAND  Twice A Man  4:26
  2            DUANE ALLMAN  Goin' Down Slow  8:44
  3            DUANE ALLMAN  No Money Down  3:25
  4            DUANE ALLMAN  Happily Married Man  2:40
  5            OTIS RUSH  Me  2:55
  6            OTIS RUSH  Reap What You Sow  4:53
  7            OTIS RUSH  It Takes Time  3:25
  8            THE DUCK & THE BEAR  Going Up The Country  2:34
  9            THE DUCK & THE BEAR  Hand Jive  2:41
10            BOZ SCAGGS  Finding Her  4:10
11            BOZ SCAGGS  Look What I Got  4:13
12            BOZ SCAGGS  Waiting For A Train  2:41
13            BOZ SCAGGS  Loan Me A Dime  13:01
14            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Don't Want You No More  2:26
15            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  It's Not My Cross To Bear  5:01
16            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Black Hearted Woman  5:07
17            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Trouble No More  3:45
Disc Four
 1            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Every Hungry Woman  4:13
  2            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Dreams  7:16
  3            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Whipping Post  5:16
  4            RONNIE HAWKINS  One More Night  2:22
  5            RONNIE HAWKINS  Will The Circle Be Unbroken  2:50
  6            RONNIE HAWKINS  Matchbox  3:05
  7            RONNIE HAWKINS  Down In The Alley  5:08
  8            RONNIE HAWKINS  Who Do You Love  2:13
  9            LULU  Marley Purt Drive  3:21
10            LULU  Dirty Old Man  2:20
11            LULU  Mr. Bojangles  3:08
12            LULU  Sweep Around Your Own Back Door  2:40
13            JOHNNY JENKINS  I Walk On Gilded Splinters  5:16
14            JOHNNY JENKINS  Rollin’ Stone  4:56
15            JOHNNY JENKINS  Down Along The Cove  3:02
16            JOHNNY JENKINS  Voodoo In You  4:50
17            JOHN HAMMOND  Shake For Me  2:42
18            JOHN HAMMOND  Cryin’ For My Baby  2:39
19            JOHN HAMMOND  I’m Leavin’ You  3:20
20            JOHN HAMMOND  You’ll Be Mine  2:42
21            DORIS DUKE  Ghost Of Myself  3:06
Disc Five
 1    ERIC QUINCY TATE  Comin’ Down (demo version)  2:52
  2            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Hoochie Coochie Man (live)  5:00
  3            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Midnight Rider  2:58
  4            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Dimples (live)  4:59
  5            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (live) 9:21
  6            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Soul Shake  3:06
  7            LAURA NYRO  Beads Of Sweat  4:47
  8            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’  3:28
  9            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Living On The Open Road  3:03
10            ELLA BROWN  A Woman Left Lonely  3:23
11            ELLA BROWN  Touch Me  2:59
12            BOBBY LANCE  More Than Enough Rain  5:51
13            DEREK & THE DOMINOS  I Am Yours  3:34
14            DEREK & THE DOMINOS  Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?  4:41
15            DEREK & THE DOMINOS  Have You Ever Loved A Woman  6:52
16            DEREK & THE DOMINOS  Layla  7:03
17            ERIC CLAPTON & DUANE ALLMAN  Mean Old World  3:48

Disc Six
 1            SAM SAMUDIO  Me And Bobby McGee  3:31
  2            SAM SAMUDIO  Relativity  3:14
  3            SAM SAMUDIO  Goin' Upstairs  5:06
  4            RONNIE HAWKINS  Don't Tell Me Your Troubles  2:13
  5            RONNIE HAWKINS  Sick And Tired  2:45
  6            RONNIE HAWKINS  Odessa  3:19
  7            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Gift Of Love  2:09
  8            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Sing My Way Home  4:02
  9            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Statesboro Blues (live)  4:17
10            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (live)  13:04
11            GRATEFUL DEAD  Sugar Magnolia (live)  7:20
12            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  One Way Out (live)  4:57
13            HERBIE MANN  Push Push  10:03
14            HERBIE MANN  Spirit In The Dark  7:59
15            HERBIE MANN  What’d I Say  4:57
Disc Seven
 1            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Come On In My Kitchen (live)  3:42
  2            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (live) 4:03
  3            DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Poor Elijah / Tribute To Johnson (Medley) (live)  4:54
  4            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  You Don't Love Me / Soul Serenade (live) 19:25
  5            COWBOY  Please Be With Me  3:41
  6            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Stand Back  3:24
  7            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Blue Sky  5:09
  8            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Blue Sky (live)  11:24
  9            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Dreams (live)  17:56
10            THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Little Martha  2:07