By DIG Staff
A legend is making his way back to Louisiana, and this time Baton Rouge will host his talent. Gregg Allman of both the Allman Brothers and solo fame will be coming down from Georgia on his latest tour to play at the Baton Rouge River Center on Saturday, Jan. 2. DIG Magazine was able to catch Allman, who is known for his classic Southern rock, and ask him some questions before his Saturday show.
DIG Magazine: How did you separate the success you had with The Allman Brothers Band from your solo career?
Gregg Allman: I always looked at playing in two different bands as being a positive, a win-win, for both groups—and for me. It was good to step away from the Brothers and do my own thing for a while, so when I came back the music felt fresh again. Now, it’s fair to say there could be some drama in the band from time to time, so I think that’s why almost all of us had solo projects; it was just healthy to do that, man, and I think playing solo actually kept the Brothers going for a lot more years.
DIG: Was it difficult to differentiate the two?
Allman: No, not at all. I had plenty of material from my solo albums to play, and I would re-arrange some of my tunes from the Brothers—like “Whipping Post” and “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’”—to better fit the sound of my band.
DIG: Has going solo changed your musical style at all?
Allman: Well, I’ve had a solo career for 40 years now, so it’s not like this is something new, man! The only difference now is I only have one band to focus on, and I couldn’t be happier. The Brothers had a great run and I’m proud of how we closed it out, but I truly enjoy what I’m doing now.
DIG: What’s different about your current music vs. The Allman Brothers Band sound?
Allman: For one thing, I’ve got a kick-ass horn section in my band, and I love that. I’ve always loved horns, man; they bring a real sway to the music. There’s more of an R&B feel to my band than there was in the Brothers, and the guitar solos are shorter now, no doubt about that! Scott Sharrard is the perfect guitar player for my band; he can really play, but he doesn’t feel like he’s getting paid by the note!
Also, in my band, there’s only one cook in the kitchen, if you follow me, and that makes things so much easier.
DIG: How does it feel to still be playing music after so many years of success?
Allman: I’ve said this many, many times; music is my life’s blood, and I’m blessed that I’m still doing this. I feel great, and I’m going to play for as long as I can; they’re going to have to drag me off that stage, man!
DIG: What can fans expect from your show?
Allman: I can promise everyone that they will have a good ol’ butt-shakin’ time. There’ll be some songs from my solo albums, some Brothers’ tunes and a few killer covers. My band is smoking right now, man; I worked for about eight years to put this line-up together, and let me tell you, these guys are something special.
DIG: What do you hope fans will take away from your show?
Allman: I want people to sing, dance, laugh and forget about their troubles for two hours, and then leave with big smiles on their faces. That’s the power of music, man, and that’s one of the reasons I still love to play.
DIG: Are you currently working on anything new?
Allman: Yes, I am; in March, I’m going to head down to Muscle Shoals Studio to cut a new album with Mr. Don Was producing. Don has worked with everyone who is anyone, man; The Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne—the list goes on and on. I’m really looking forward to those sessions, and then going back out on the road. I truly believe the best is yet to come for me, man.
Tickets for the show are on sale now. Please either visit the River Center’s website or Ticketmaster.com for ticket prices and options.