If a musical note has a soul, Duane Allman could slide up to it and hold it beneath a Coricidin bottle in a tremolo seizure of sonic perfection until it screamed. Whether it is the whiplash introduction to "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" or the most perfect electric blues performance recorded on "One Way Out," Allman had a certain radioactive intuition that translated into fire, grace and passion.
Like Schubert, Allman made hay while the sun was shining, Midas- touching the heart of music in innumerable ways in the all-too-brief six years he actively recorded. Six years: 1965 to 1971, almost perfectly overlapping the great period in rock music conveniently delineated by Mick Taylor's equally brief stay with the Rolling Stones. And it ended an age all too soon. It is interesting to note that Duane Allman's tenure with the band he co-founded with his brother Gregg was only 31 months long ( March 26, 1969, when the initial Allman Brothers Band lineup first assembled at Berry Oakley's house, to his death on October 29, 1971).
The contents of Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder, 2013) document Allman's early bands, The Escorts, The Allman Joys and Hourglass, out of which the Allman Brothers Band would morph. While leading Hourglass, Allman came to the attention of Fame Studios owner Rick Hall, who Allman approached about a studio musician job. At the time, Fame had plenty of guitar players (Eddie Hinton, for one), but Allman chose to hang around for something to come up. That something occurred on November 12, 1968, when he was asked to overdub his slide guitar on the Clarence Carter song, "The Road of Love," originally recorded July 26, 1967. This was the first commercially released recording with Allman as session guitarist.
Historical studio highlights followed, all included in this retrospective: lead guitar on Wilson Pickett's "Hey Jude" (Hey Jude (Atlantic, 1969)) and Boz Scaggs' "Loan Me a Dime" (Boz Scaggs (Atlantic, 1969); slide guitar on Aretha Franklin's "The Weight" for This Girl's In Love With You (Atlantic, 1970); and King Curtis' cover of the same on Instant Groove (Atlantic, 1969). Also included are the rarities, other songs recorded for various sessions but not previously released, or only sporadically so. Then, there is the material recorded as the Allman Brothers, Delaney and Bonnie, and Derek and the Dominos.
Sprawling best describes the range of this retrospective, but it always comes back to the central issue, the paramount talent of a 24-year old guitarist who changed the way music was played in so many ways. Allman may be considered the pioneer of the electric slide guitar. What Son House, Robert Johnson and Elmore James began, Duane Allman perfected and Lowell George, Sonny Landreth and Derek Trucks expanded. Allman's spirit may best be captured on The Duck and The Bear's Atlantic single "Goin' Up The Country"/"Hand Jive." A little vanity side jag put together by Johnny "The Duck" Sandlin and Eddie "The Bear" Hinton with the Muscle Shoals Horns and the Memphis Horns, the single featured Allman's smiling, overdriven slide guitar that would go on to define a generation of music.
Track Listing: CD1: The Escorts Turn On Your Love Light; The Escorts No Name
Instrumental; The Escorts What’d I Say; The Allman Joys Spoonful; The
Allman Joys Gotta Get Away; The Allman Joys Shapes Of Things; The
Allman Joys Crossroads; The Allman Joys Mister, You’re A Better Man
Than I; The Allman Joys Lost Woman; Hour Glass Cast Off All My Fears;
Hour Glass I’ve Been Trying; Hour Glass Nothing But Tears; Hour Glass
Power Of Love; Hour Glass Down In Texas; Hour Glass Norwegian Wood
(This Bird Has Flown); Hour Glass B.B. King Medley; Hour Glass Been
Gone Too Long; Hour Glass Ain’t No Good To Cry; 31st Of February
Morning Dew; 31st Of February Melissa; The Bleus Milk And Honey; The
Bleus Leavin’ Lisa; The Bleus Julianna’s Gone.
CD2: Clarence Carter The Road Of Love; Clarence Carter Light My Fire;
Wilson Pickett Hey Jude; Wilson Pickett Toe Hold; Wilson Pickett My
Own Style Of Loving; Wilson Pickett Born To Be Wild; Laura Lee It’s
How You Make It Good; Laura Lee It Ain’t What You Do (But How You Do
It); Spencer Wiggins I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You);
Arthur Conley Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da; Arthur Conley Stuff You Gotta Watch;
Arthur Conley Speak Her Name; Willie Walker A Lucky Loser; The
Lovelles I'm Coming Today; The Lovelles Pretending Dear; Aretha
Franklin The Weight; Aretha Franklin It Ain't Fair; Soul Survivors
Darkness; Soul Survivors Tell Daddy; Soul Survivors Got Down On
Saturday; King Curtis Hey Joe; King Curtis Foot Pattin'; King Curtis
Games People Play; King Curtis The Weight; The Sweet Inspirations Get
A Little Order.
CD3: The Barry Goldberg Blues Band Twice A Man;Duane Allman Goin' Down
Slow; Duane Allman No Money Down; Duane Allman Happily Married Man;
Otis Rush Me; Otis Rush Reap What You Sow; Otis Rush It Takes Time;
The Duck & The Bear Going Up The Country; The Duck & The Bear Hand
Jive; Boz Scaggs Finding Her; Boz Scaggs Look What I Got; Boz Scaggs
Waiting For A Train; Boz Scaggs Loan Me A Dime; The Allman Brothers
Band Don't Want You No More; The Allman Brothers Band It's Not My
Cross To Bear; The Allman Brothers Band Black Hearted Woman; The
Allman Brothers Band Trouble No More.
CD4:The Allman Brothers Band Every Hungry Woman; The Allman Brothers
Band Dreams; The Allman Brothers Band Whipping Post; Ronnie Hawkins
One More Night; Ronnie Hawkins Will The Circle Be Unbroken; Ronnie
Hawkins Matchbox; Ronnie Hawkins Down In The Alley; Ronnie Hawkins Who
Do You Love; Lulu Marley Purt Drive; Lulu Dirty Old Man; Lulu Mr.
Bojangles; Lulu Sweep Around Your Own Back Door; Johnny Jenkins I Walk
On Gilded Splinters; Johnny Jenkins Rollin’ Stone; Johnny Jenkins Down
Along The Cove; Johnny Jenkins Voodoo In You; John Hammond Shake For
Me; John Hammond Cryin’ For My Baby; John Hammond I’m Leavin’ You;
John Hammond You’ll Be Mine; Doris Duke
Ghost Of Myself.
CD5: Eric Quincy Tate Comin’ Down; (Demo Version) The Allman Brothers
Band Hoochie Coochie Man; (Live) The Allman Brothers Band Midnight
Rider; The Allman Brothers Band Dimples (Live); The Allman Brothers
Band I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (Live); Delaney & Bonnie
& Friends Soul Shake; Laura Nyro Beads Of Sweat; The Allman Brothers
Band Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’; Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Living On The
Open Road; Ella Brown A Woman Left Lonely; Ella Brown Touch Me; Bobby
Lance More Than Enough Rain; Derek & The Dominos I Am Yours; Derek &
The Dominos Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?; Derek & The Dominos Have
You Ever Loved A Woman; Derek
& The Dominos Layla; Eric Clapton & Duane Allman Mean Old World.
CD6: Sam Samudio Me And Bobby Mcgee; Sam Samudio Relativity; Sam
Upstairs; Ronnie Hawkins Don't Tell Me Your Troubles; Ronnie Hawkins
Sick And Tired; Ronnie Hawkins Odessa; Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Gift
Of Love; Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Sing My Way Home; The Allman
Brothers Band Statesboro Blues (Live); The Allman Brothers Band In
Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Live); Grateful Dead Sugar Magnolia (Live);
The Allman Brothers Band One Way Out (Live); Herbie Mann Push Push;
Herbie Mann Spirit In The Dark; Herbie Mann What’d I Say.
CD7: Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Come On In My Kitchen; (Live) Delaney
& Bonnie & Friends Going Down The Road Feeling Bad; (Live) Delaney &
Bonnie & Friends Poor Elijah / Tribute To Johnson (Medley); (Live) The
Allman Brothers Band You Don't Love Me / Soul Serenade; (Live) Cowboy
Please Be With Me; The Allman Brothers Band Stand Back; The Allman
Brothers Band Blue Sky; The Allman Brothers Band Blue Sky (Live); The
Allman Brothers Band Dreams (Live); The Allman Brothers Band Little
Personnel: Duane Allman: guitars, vocals; and a cast of thousands.