Gregg Allman stood at the center of The Allman Brothers Band for an astonishing 45 years. Even after the passing of his brother, guitarist and co-founding member Duane Allman, the band soldiered on with even more heart, soul, and hurt — all of which bled into their incredible southern rock sound.
The Allman Brothers Band was comprised of some of the most talented musicians to ever live, including drummer Butch Trucks, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. As a songwriter, lead singer and founding member, Gregg Allman was no exception.
“Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times,” said a statement posted to Allman’s official website on Saturday. It said he “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia.” He was 69 years old.
Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and had a life-saving liver transplant in 2010. Recent health concerns had caused him to cancel 2017 tour dates, as well as dates last year.
Said Bob Seger in a post on Saturday, “A case can be made, the Allman Brothers established Southern Rock as a musical genre. Gregg was one of my favorite singers of all time, he put immense soul into his music … So sad, we’ve lost another music titan.”
Allman loved and mastered music until the very end. Here’s a look at his best songs.
“Soulshine,” 1994. This was from the band’s 1994 album, “Where It All Begins.” The song didn’t land at the height of the band’s stardom, but it was a heartfelt tune with a lot of emotion behind it. The song marks a very big turning point in the band’s history. It was their last gold-selling release — and this album was the final collaboration with longtime guitarist Dickey Betts.
One can hear the band’s history and its loss on the edge of Allman’s tongue as he sings with pain, but also a sense of hope about the future. “Soulshine” was proof these musicians had the ability to grow far beyond the sounds that had made them famous.
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