This is the second album from the legendary collaboration of Devon Allman and Duane Betts. With these two guys involved, you know there’s going to be a healthy dose of great southern rock contained within.
First track, `Pale Horse Rider’ has Allman’s strong gravelly tones taking on lead vocals. Echoey twin guitar chords and a funky groove dripping with melodies galore make this a brilliant bluesy desert song. The keys focused `Carolina Song’ is up next and takes on a country feel. Some tasty slide guitar parts and smooth blues licks keep this one rocking however.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0SCZ3FSamg&w=560&h=315]
King Crawler’ brings with it a meaty snare kick, a bouncy infectious rhythm and some saxophone passages that brighten this bass heavy groove monster. We go syrupy smooth next with `Ashes Of My Lovers’ whose slick organ intro merges seamlessly with bright clean guitars and a good helping of harmonica on this Rockabilly edged track.
Barry Oakley takes up lead vocals on `The Doctor’s Daughter’ with a snappy piano lead blending with a keys background, all underpinned by a grooving guitar rhythm section which makes for a spine-tingling delivery.
Savannah’s Dream’ is jazz blues at its finest and when it’s played my musicians of this calibre then you know its gonna hit home and is classic Allman Brothers material.
Airboats And Cocaine’ is a killer track with a thick blues riff laying the foundations for a gritty, melodic vocal which owns this jumping number. The organ takes up rhythm duties on the driven rock sound of `Southern Rain’ aided by a funky bass lines and great guitar hooks that punctuate the arrangement.
Rivers Run’ moves things along in a country vein before we travel along `Magnolia Road’ bringing gritty guitar hooks and pounding bass on the journey which is smoothed by melodies pouring out at every twist and turn.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okdcPis_byM&w=560&h=315]
The smooth ride continues with `Should We Ever Part’ but this time we are treated to some tasty slide guitar all held together by a solid bass and punchy snare. The smooth slide guitar riffs remain present on `Much Obliged’.
The last song, `Congratulations’ pulls together sweeping blues vocal overtones with honky tonk piano arrangements bring things to a fantastic finish.
This album is a fine example of what Messrs Allman and Betts do best. All the tracks are brilliantly arranged and subtly diverse enough to retain interest. If blues tinged southern rock is your bag then this will blow you away!
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Review by Paul Sabin for MPM