All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman – Various Artists (Rounder Records)
On January 10, 2014, a cast of artists – young and old alike – converged on Atlanta’s Fox Theatre to pay tribute to Gregg Allman. Fortunately, the event was captured on both audio and video and now it’s yours to keep. All My Friends is a two CD/one DVD soundtrack that brings together a stellar group of Rock, Blues and Country performers. Backed by a house band that includes Chuck Leavell, Jack Pearson and Don Was (who doubles as the event’s musical director), the album finds obvious performers (Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Widespread Panic, Susan Tedeschi) taking the stage alongside less likely additions (Vince Gill, Pat Monahan, Martina McBride and Jackson Browne). Highlights from the set include Allman and Browne’s duet on “These Days,” Haynes’s searing “Come And Go Blues” and Monahan offering a reverent and soulful version of “Queen of Hearts.” Toss in renditions by John Hiatt, Sam Moore, Dr. John, Trace Adkins and Eric Church among others, and you get the idea that this release is nothing if not diverse. The full ensemble closes out the evening with a take on “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” that brings down the house. All in all, a legendary event for a legendary musical figure.