To the editor:
I enjoyed David Sachss review of Gregg Allman’s latest album, Low Country Blues, (January 20, 2011) and I look forward to hearing it. I’ve long been an Allman Brothers fan, having been hooked by the Eat A Peach album when it first came out during my high school days. That dates me!
I’m originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and our state is the home of the blues, of course. It originated among Mississippi Delta bluesmen, dating back to Robert Johnson and beyond, as I’m sure you know, and three of the three blues greats you mentioned in your article hail from our Magnolia State: Muddy, BB, and Little Milton. We similarly lay claim to the birth of rock and roll modest, ain’t we? As Muddy once famously sang, “The blues had a baby, and they called the baby rock and roll.” Elvis, Jerry Lee those rock pioneers are Mississippi boys.
Now, I am guessing that Mr. Sachs is not a Southerner. I dont think he refers to the Civil War” as the War of Northern Aggression. We’ll, many Americans think of the South as a single region, but we have a lot of diversity down there! To a Deep South guy like me, Virginia used to seem way up north. There is southern diversity pertaining to accents, food, religion, music and so forth.
What I’m getting to is Mr. Sachss comment associating Allman with the phrase “gumbo blues. Well, gumbo is a dish very much associated with Louisiana. In fact, the stew originated in Louisiana and, although you’ll find that gumbo is popular around the Deep South, we are generally well aware of its Louisiana roots.
And, ole Gregg is a Florida boy! He was actually born in Tennessee, but grew up in Florida, and the Allman Brothers Band was formed in Jacksonville. So, “gumbo blues” is a bit of a misnomer or sounds so to this southern ear.
Still, I really liked the review, and long live Southern blues and rock and roll!