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Skydog, Celebrated: Life of Duane Allman Explored in New Career-Spanning Box Set

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Skydog - Duane Allman Retrospective

Duane Allman was just 24 when he perished on the streets of Macon, Georgia, the victim of an accident involving his motorcycle and a flatbed truck carrying a lumber crane. Yet in a short but intense period of time, the Nashville-born slide guitar virtuoso had established a reputation as a creative and versatile musician with invention to spare.  His distinct tones on a Wilson Pickett recording caught the ear of Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler, and while based at Rick Hall’s Muscle Shoals studio, Allman graced albums by everyone from Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin to Lulu and Laura Nyro.  As leader of The Allman Brothers Band, Duane had only participated in three studio albums and one groundbreaking live set before his death, but his music still resonates today for anyone who’s ever felt a connection to soulful southern rock.  Now, more than 40 years after his 1971 death, Rounder Records is celebrating the legacy of Duane Allman with the release of a comprehensive, career-spanning box set.  Due on March 5, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective is a 7-CD, 129-track box set drawing on every period of Allman’s career from session stalwart to adventurous bandleader.  Rare album tracks and long out-of-print singles sit alongside hits and fan favorites for a box that could easily be called The Ultimate Duane Allman.

Skydog is the first box set to put the entirety of Allman’s too-short career in perspective.  The first disc chronicles Duane’s pre-Allman Brothers bands.  His early band The Escorts, with brother Gregg, opened for The Beach Boys before morphing into the Allman Joys.  Though that pun is hard to resist, it wasn’t long before The Allman Joys joined with the remains of The Men-its to become the trendier Hour Glass. Signed to Liberty Records, the Hour Glass made its name opening for the likes of The Doors and Buffalo Springfield, and recorded two albums of pop-soul very much of its time.  Though Duane and Gregg’s heart was in a sound much earthier, the works of The Hour Glass showed the Allman brothers’ flexibility.  Disc One of Skydog features recordings by The Escorts, The Allman Joys and Hour Glass as well as 31st of February and The Bleus.

Allman’s remarkable session guitar takes precedence on the second disc, adorning tracks by such Atlantic Records artists as Clarence Carter (“Light My Fire”), the “Wicked” Wilson Pickett (“Hey Jude”), Arthur Conley (“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”), Aretha Franklin (“The Weight”), King Curtis (“Games People Play”) and the Sweet Inspirations (“Get a Little Order”).  By the third CD, you’ll find Allman Brothers Band recordings starting to alternate with Duane’s still-busy session career, as well as three tracks from an abortive solo session helmed at Muscle Shoals by Jerry Wexler.  Duane’s “Goin’ Down Slow,” “No Money Down” and “Happily Married Man” are all treats you’ll hear from that date.

What else will you find?  Plenty!  Hit the jump for all of the details, including a full track listing and pre-order link!

As the box set progresses, there are vibrant gems from rockabilly great Ronnie Hawkins (“Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “Matchbox”), soulful pop queen Lulu (“Marley Purt Drive,” “Mr. Bojangles”), sensual singer-songwriter Laura Nyro (“Beads of Sweat”) and the ramshackle aggregation of Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (“Living on the Open Road,” “Soul Shake”).  Allman was a professed fan of jazz, devoted to the early recordings of Miles Davis and John Coltrane; he worked with jazz flute great Herbie Mann on a number of tracks including “Push Push,” “Spirit in the Dark” and “What’d I Say,” all reprised on the box set.  A handful of tracks from Sam Samudio, of Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, also appear from Samudio’s soon-to-be-reissued Atlantic solo album.  And no Allman retrospective would be complete without tracks from Derek and the Dominos.  When Allman joined Eric Clapton, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon and Bobby Whitlock at Miami’s Criteria Studios, Clapton found a sympathetic musical partner the likes of which he had never before experienced.  Songs like the iconic Top 10 single “Layla” resulted from Allman’s immensely creative participation as guitarist.  “Layla” is included on Skydog along with a number of other Dominos tracks such as “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” and the Clapton/Allman collaboration “Mean Old World.”

Skydog ContentsThis isn’t to say that Skydog doesn’t pay full homage to Duane’s key work in the Allman Brothers Band.   Capricorn Records’ Phil Walden recognized the unique amalgam of blues, country, soul and rock created by Duane (slide guitar and lead), Gregg (vocals/organ), Dickey Betts (lead guitar/vocals), Berry Oakley (bass), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums) as the original Allman Brothers Band.  By the conclusion of the seventh disc, many of the Allman Brothers’ most famous live and studio tracks (including renditions of “Blue Sky” in both settings) will have been heard alongside all of the diverse music to which Allman contributed.  All in all, more than 20 Allman Brothers tracks are present.  [Longtime fans will note that this release handily supplants the original double-vinyl set Duane Allman: An Anthology.  Each of that collection’s nineteen tracks appears to be included in the new box.  Where An Anthology Vol. 2 is concerned, every track from that 2-CD set appears to be present with the exception of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Leave My Blues at Home” and “Done Somebody Wrong.”)

Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective has been produced by Duane Allman’s daughter Galadrielle Allman and Grammy winner/Allman aficionado Bill Levenson.  Scott Schinder provides copious liner notes, with additional annotation from Galadrielle Allman.  The ambitious and lovingly-curated release from Rounder Records arrives in stores on March 5, and you can pre-order the box set below!

Duane Allman and Various Artists, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder, 2013)

CD 1

1 THE ESCORTS Turn On Your Love Light 2:33
2 THE ESCORTS No Name Instrumental 3:13
3 THE ESCORTS What’d I Say 4:04
4 THE ALLMAN JOYS Spoonful 2:27
5 THE ALLMAN JOYS Gotta Get Away 2:38
6 THE ALLMAN JOYS Shapes Of Things 2:47
7 THE ALLMAN JOYS Crossroads 3:32
8 THE ALLMAN JOYS Mister, You’re A Better Man Than I 4:45
9 THE ALLMAN JOYS Lost Woman 5:23
10 HOUR GLASS Cast Off All My Fears 3:31
11 HOUR GLASS I’ve Been Trying 2:39
12 HOUR GLASS Nothing But Tears 2:29
13 HOUR GLASS Power Of Love 2:51
14 HOUR GLASS Down In Texas 3:08
15 HOUR GLASS Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 3:01
16 HOUR GLASS B.B. King Medley 7:07
17 HOUR GLASS Been Gone Too Long 3:03
18 HOUR GLASS Ain’t No Good To Cry 3:08
19 31ST OF FEBRUARY Morning Dew 3:46
20 31ST OF FEBRUARY Melissa 3:12
21 THE BLEUS Milk And Honey 2:34
22 THE BLEUS Leavin’ Lisa 2:43
23 THE BLEUS Julianna’s Gone 2:59

CD 2

1 CLARENCE CARTER The Road Of Love 2:54
2 CLARENCE CARTER Light My Fire 2:49
3 WILSON PICKETT Hey Jude 4:06
4 WILSON PICKETT Toe Hold 2:49
5 WILSON PICKETT My Own Style Of Loving 2:41
6 WILSON PICKETT Born to Be Wild 2:45
7 LAURA LEE It’s How You Make It Good 2:32
8 LAURA LEE It Ain’t What You Do (But How You Do It) 2:05
9 SPENCER WIGGINS I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You) 3:01
10 ARTHUR CONLEY Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 3:00
11 ARTHUR CONLEY Stuff You Gotta Watch 2:15
12 ARTHUR CONLEY Speak Her Name 2:39
13 ARTHUR CONLEY That Can’t Be My Baby 2:22
14 WILLIE WALKER A Lucky Loser 2:20
15 THE LOVELLES I’m Coming Today 2:59
16 THE LOVELLES Pretending Dear 2:38
17 ARETHA FRANKLIN The Weight 2:53
18 ARETHA FRANKLIN It Ain’t Fair 3:22
19 SOUL SURVIVORS Darkness 2:56
20 SOUL SURVIVORS Tell Daddy 2:30
21 SOUL SURVIVORS Got Down On Saturday 3:10
22 KING CURTIS Hey Joe 2:56
23 KING CURTIS Foot Pattin’ 4:49
24 KING CURTIS Games People Play 2:46
25 KING CURTIS The Weight 2:47
26 THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS Get A Little Order 2:06

CD 3

1 THE BARRY GOLDBERG BLUES BAND Twice A Man 4:26
2 DUANE ALLMAN Goin’ Down Slow 8:44
3 DUANE ALLMAN No Money Down 3:25
4 DUANE ALLMAN Happily Married Man 2:40
5 OTIS RUSH Me 2:55
6 OTIS RUSH Reap What You Sow 4:53
7 OTIS RUSH It Takes Time 3:25
8 THE DUCK & THE BEAR Going Up The Country 2:34
9 THE DUCK & THE BEAR Hand Jive 2:41
10 BOZ SCAGGS Finding Her 4:10
11 BOZ SCAGGS Look What I Got 4:13
12 BOZ SCAGGS Waiting For A Train 2:41
13 BOZ SCAGGS Loan Me A Dime 13:01
14 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Don’t Want You No More 2:26
15 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND It’s Not My Cross To Bear 5:01
16 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Black Hearted Woman 5:07
17 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Trouble No More 3:45

CD 4

1 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Every Hungry Woman 4:13
2 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Dreams 7:16
3 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Whipping Post 5:16
4 RONNIE HAWKINS One More Night 2:22
5 RONNIE HAWKINS Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2:50
6 RONNIE HAWKINS Matchbox 3:05
7 RONNIE HAWKINS Down In The Alley 5:08
8 RONNIE HAWKINS Who Do You Love 2:13
9 LULU Marley Purt Drive 3:21
10 LULU Dirty Old Man 2:20
11 LULU Mr. Bojangles 3:08
12 LULU Sweep Around Your Own Back Door 2:40
13 JOHNNY JENKINS I Walk On Gilded Splinters 5:16
14 JOHNNY JENKINS Rollin’ Stone 4:56
15 JOHNNY JENKINS Down Along The Cove 3:02
16 JOHNNY JENKINS Voodoo In You 4:50
17 JOHN HAMMOND Shake For Me 2:42
18 JOHN HAMMOND Cryin’ For My Baby 2:39
19 JOHN HAMMOND I’m Leavin’ You 3:20
20 JOHN HAMMOND You’ll Be Mine 2:42
21 DORIS DUKE Ghost Of Myself 3:06

CD 5

1 ERIC QUINCY TATE Comin’ Down (demo version) 2:52
2 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Hoochie Coochie Man (live) 5:00
3 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Midnight Rider 2:58
4 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Dimples (live) 4:59
5 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (live) 9:21
6 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Soul Shake 3:06
7 LAURA NYRO Beads Of Sweat 4:47
8 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ 3:28
9 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Living On The Open Road 3:03
10 ELLA BROWN A Woman Left Lonely 3:23
11 ELLA BROWN Touch Me 2:59
12 BOBBY LANCE More Than Enough Rain 5:51
13 DEREK & THE DOMINOS I Am Yours 3:34
14 DEREK & THE DOMINOS Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? 4:41
15 DEREK & THE DOMINOS Have You Ever Loved A Woman 6:52
16 DEREK & THE DOMINOS Layla 7:03
17 ERIC CLAPTON & DUANE ALLMAN Mean Old World 3:48

CD 6

1 SAM SAMUDIO Me And Bobby McGee 3:31
2 SAM SAMUDIO Relativity 3:14
3 SAM SAMUDIO Goin’ Upstairs 5:06
4 RONNIE HAWKINS Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles 2:13
5 RONNIE HAWKINS Sick And Tired 2:45
6 RONNIE HAWKINS Odessa 3:19
7 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Gift Of Love 2:09
8 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Sing My Way Home 4:02
9 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Statesboro Blues (live) 4:17
10 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (live) 13:04
11 GRATEFUL DEAD Sugar Magnolia (live) 7:20
12 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND One Way Out (live) 4:57
13 HERBIE MANN Push Push 10:03
14 HERBIE MANN Spirit In The Dark 7:59
15 HERBIE MANN What’d I Say 4:57

CD 7

1 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Come On In My Kitchen (live) 3:42
2 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (live) 4:03
3 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Poor Elijah / Tribute To Johnson (Medley) (live) 4:54
4 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND You Don’t Love Me / Soul Serenade (live) 19:25
5 COWBOY Please Be With Me 3:41
6 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Stand Back 3:24
7 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Blue Sky 5:09
8 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Blue Sky (live) 11:24
9 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Dreams (live) 17:56
10 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Little Martha 2:07

Written by Joe Marchese

January 28, 2013 at 10:11

8 Responses

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  1. I have ordered this set about à week ago. It looks very interesting. Hello from
    Hans

    Hans lindskog

    January 28, 2013 at 11:03

  2. This is an exciting time for those of us who crave exhaustive excavations from the labels’ vaults, but THIS box has truly been a long time coming. Howard Duane Allman was the greatest guitarist who ever lived (yes people, even your beloved Jimi said so), and I’ve been wishing for his own retrospective separate from his ‘Brothers since Polygram aborted their plans for a box set back in 1995. I’m wet with anticipation!

    Eric M. Vaughnes

    January 28, 2013 at 11:12

  3. Okay, I’m a long-time fan and I’m sure I’ll buy it. It sounds like they did a pretty thorough job in compiling this. It’ll be nice to have some of the rarities, and all in one place, too. But, if I read this correctly, there is not a single previously unreleased track.

    ronfrankl

    January 28, 2013 at 12:07

  4. This is an exciting surprise! I love the Allmans and the first Duane Anthology is a real favourite so this looks great. And he played with Lulu?!

    Heavy Metal Overload

    January 28, 2013 at 14:17

  5. Excited about this set. I will declare my own ignorance and say that I don’t know a lot about Duane Allman, but impressed at the number of recordings he played on, and in particular, a number of my favourite female artists – Lulu, Laura Nyro, Aretha Franklin and Laura Lee.

    Tom

    January 28, 2013 at 20:26

    • Tom, if you’re not all that familiar with the Allman Brothers Band, or Derek & the Dominos, for those reasons alone you’re in for a real treat. But add in all that great session work — Pickett’s “Hey Jude,” Aretha’s “The Weight,” and Boz Scaggs’ “Loan Me a Dime” are standouts — and prepare to have your mind blown.

      Side note, I’ve got all that ABB and Dominos stuff already, so I’m mostly wanting this just for the session work, but I’m impressed that they got the rights to Duane playing “Sugar Magnolia” with the Dead at Fillmore East. That track was sorely missing from the “Ladies and Gentleman…” set the Dead released a while back. Too bad they didn’t get both songs Duane played (he also played on “It Hurts Me Too”) that night.

      Shaun

      January 28, 2013 at 23:11

      • The Duane and the Dead tracks were released on Wolfgang’s Vault Dead performance (4/26/71, Set 2) a couple of years ago, but I agree that it’s nice to see Sugar Magnolia receive wider distribution; it’s a special performance.

        ronfrankl

        January 29, 2013 at 08:49

      • Thanks, Ron!

        Shaun

        January 30, 2013 at 20:55


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