I have no idea why my respose to another thread ended up here, other than it's Audiogon "at it's finest...
Here's what it should have been:
Gregg Allman rolling into Richmond with new album
By: Melissa Ruggieri
For The Richmond Times Dispatch
His voice is soft and grainy, as if he just finished gargling with a shot of whiskey. He's friendly -- a little flirty, even -- as he talks about the wonderful Christmas he had with his kids at his Savannah, Ga., home and his pre-concert ritual of listening to Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf.
But don't think for a second that Gregg Allman is a relic, a legend of his time who now spends his years coasting on the magic of the Allman Brothers Band catalog.
Throughout the years, Allman, 62, has kept his namesake band relevant and organic, with the awe-inspiring Derek Trucks (nephew of original Allman Brother Butch Trucks) joining in 1999 and Gov't Mule founder Warren Haynes returning in 2001.
The band's ritualistic string of shows every March at New York's Beacon Theater -- moving elsewhere for the first time this year -- is the kind of destination event few rock bands can instigate. But, though Allman loves his history, he doesn't necessarily need it.
He's putting the finishing flourishes on a new solo album, 14 tracks recorded in 11 days with ace producer T-Bone Burnett. But before he tackled the studio, the singer with 13 years of sobriety behind him kicked another habit.
"I stopped smoking pot this summer, and you never know what that stuff does to your throat," Allman said last week from a tour stop in Pennsylvania. "Don't get me wrong, cannabis does have its place in society, especially for people in pain. But for singers, it just doesn't work. Makes me wish I had done it 40 years ago."
For his first release since 1997's "Searching for Simplicity," Allman reached back further than ever. He and Burnett dug through blues songs from the 1920s -- "Magic stuff, stuff that B.B. [King] did when he was 19, stuff that I've never heard of" -- and updated them. "A lot of them were public domain, and we had to write in some new words because we didn't understand the old ones!" Allman said.
For the project, he didn't use the touring band that will perform with him at The National tomorrow, but, along with some studio musicians, enlisted his old friend Dr. John to play piano. "We did a methadone thing together. He's always such a pleasure to be around," Allman said.
The album, which Allman hopes to call "You're in Good Hands with Allman," if Allstate insurance gives him clearance ("You're in good hands with Allstate" is the company's trademarked slogan), is due in April.
But first come those New York shows, which attract fans from all over the country but predominantly the Virginia-to-Maine corridor.
Dates for the annual "March Madness" were just announced for March 11-20. And with the venerated Beacon being claimed by a new Cirque du Soleil show next month, the Allman Brothers Band was forced to find a new performance home for the first time since 1989. After looking into nearly every theater in Manhattan -- "We were just short of building our own," Allman joked -- the band settled on the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights.
"The music's going to be the same. Hopefully, the people will be there to add that good old energy and great vibe. I'm hoping that our die-hard New York fans and everybody in the surrounding states will understand about us having to move," Allman said.
Fans also can be assured that the band still plans to recruit its usual jaw-dropping roster of guest performers. During last year's shows celebrating the 40th anniversary of the band, Levon Helm, Robert Randolph and Eric Clapton (who shares Derek Trucks with the Allmans) were among the surprises. "Eric took a private jet in from New Zealand. He's a wonderful man," Allman said. "Those 15 nights last year, they were probably the most exciting 15 nights of my career." Considering his history, that's quite an endorsement.