By Robyn Collins
Gregg Allman’s posthumous Southern Blood album has been set for release on Sept. 8. The haunting first single, “My Only True Friend,” almost feels like a warning from the late rocker, who died of health issues in May of 2017.
“You and I both know this river will surely flow to an end, keep me in your heart, keep your soul on the mend,” Allman sings. “I hope you’re haunted by the music of my soul when I’m gone, please don’t fly away and find you a new love, I can’t face living this life alone. I can’t bear to think this is the end. But, you and I both know the road is my only true friend”
Allman was working on the project with his touring band at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, during the months and weeks leading up to his death.
With Don Was producing, the singer tracked the new songs with drummer Steve Potts and bassist Ron Johnson, percussionist Marc Quinones, keyboardist Peter Levin and a horn section featuring saxophonists Jay Collins and Art Edmaiston and trumpeter Marc Franklin.
Guitarist Scott Sharrard, who helped assemble Southern Blood, both as a player and a composer, worked with Was to complete the tracks after Allman died.
Sharrad co-wrote two of the tracks, “Love Like Kerosene,” and “My Only True Friend,” Of the latter he says, “We performed it live one time, but I honestly think … I didn’t press Gregg too hard on it, but I think the song was very personal for him, and I think he had a hard time performing it live, because of the nature of that. But I know that he really loved the song, and he was proud of the work we did together on it. So I think it will be a centerpiece of the record.”
“All the vocals were cut live on the floor, and I think Gregg wanted to redo them, but we didn’t get that chance, because of his illness,” Sharrard continued. “But I can tell you that the stuff that I have — the roughs and a couple of the final mixes — sounds just spectacular.”
Listen to “My Only True Friend” below.