Betty Fox

Betty Fox was captivated by singing from an early age and performed for the first time at a church play at the age of 4. Her family had a deep love for southern country gospel and tight harmonies which fueled her lifelong passion for music. “My uncle Fred would pound on the keys with his monster hands while my (rather large) family and I would all gather around the piano” says Fox. “My grandmother would stand behind me and my cousins would hold my hands as we all sang four and five part harmonies to songs like “It Is Well With My Soul”, “The Old Rugged Cross”, and “Till the Storm Passes By”. To this day, those songs and those moments mean more to me than anything.”

With an extensive background in gospel and soul, Betty — the 2015 representative of the Suncoast Blues Society, an International Blues Challenge Finalist, and 5 time winner of Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay — is truly proving herself a force to be reckoned with, captivating thousands with her raw swagger and unwavering talent.

After honing her craft for 20 years, her debut album, “Too Far Gone”, put her on the international map as a songwriter and vocalist and had critics from American Blues Scene Magazine to Blues Revue Magazine singing her praises. Her Sophomore album, “Slow Burn” was released in June 2015, and received rave reviews from Blues DJ’s, critics, and enthusiasts around the world.

Betty is backed up by musical heavyweights Barry Williams on bass, and Josh Nelms on guitar. In the past year this dynamic quartet has skyrocketed to the Florida spotlight, playing on multiple notable music festivals including the world renowned Tampa Bay Blues Festival, and the largest free music festival in the US: Springing the Blues. This band has competed in the International Blues Challenge making it to the final 8 out of 150 bands. They have opened for such artists such as Mavis Staples, Lucky Peterson, Jimmy Thackery, Marcia Ball, Southern Hospitality, and The Meter Men, for crowds amassing over 6,000 screaming fans. As many will tell you, you definitely don’t want to miss this one of a kind musical experience!

Foy Vance

A letter from Foy:

So much has happened since last we spoke that it’s hard to know where to start. Sounds like a line in a country song. I stopped touring on the 4th November, 2017. The final dates were at Union Chapel, London. When I walked off stage that night I made sure I had some time on my own to savour the moment. That was the first time in over 20 years that I didn’t have any tour dates in my diary. Everyone around me kept asking if I was frightened by the prospect, but I have to be honest, it felt amazing. Liberating somehow. I took my hat off, wiped the sweat from my wee baldy head and thought to myself “thank fuck we’re done with that guy for a while.”

That was about 16 months ago as I type. It took a while to get into the rhythm of being off the road. Living in constant transit does something very peculiar to you. I still have my most worn clothes in a suitcase in my bedroom. Funny, I didn’t think that weird in any way until it came to mind to tell you. Marie told me I treated the house like a hotel when I first came home. I said “Darlin, come on now, calm down… let’s order a bottle of something from room service and talk about this…”

It took some time to calibrate my equilibrium, but I got there by brute force if nothing else. I got a studio space and clocked in like a miner Monday to Friday whether songs came or not. You don’t get that kind of time on the road. And it takes time to create songs. The wondering about it and the singing of it in your head is as important as sitting at the instrument, playing it through. More so sometimes.

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One method I employed was to dig out all the songs that I’ve written over the years that have never seen a release or ever been played live in most cases. I’d then record them to see how they sounded when shown a bit of love and occasionally given a bit of a pruning. I’m still doing that now actually, there are a lot of songs to scour through. I then make collections of familiarity. It was in doing this that I uncovered a handful of songs that I had labeled ‘Soul’ and ‘Americana.’ Pretty rudimentary in this day and age I know, but it was a rudimentary process.
The songs labeled ‘Soul’ were written at various times over the years with as much variety in the impetus to write them. I wrote one for Tom Jones after the guys that were working with him at the time asked me to. I wrote and recorded it in the back seat of my car after a gig in Brighton and sent it to them. Tom liked it but said it was too personal and would prefer it in the 3rd person. I can respect that. I wonder, can you guess which one it is? I’ll leave it to your imagination. When I had demoed these songs years ago I had given them (or more to the point, tried to emulate) the old school southern soul sound of Muscle Shoals. Impossible of course, but these were sketches of what the songs could be.

The only way to truly do it justice is to go to the source of that sound. The room and the musicians at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Rick Hall (El Presidente) along with a group of musicians called the Swampers and a Stirling cast of soul legends like Aretha Franklin, Ottis Redding, Wilson Picket, Percy Sledge, Etta James and The Staples Singers to casually name a few. That room at FAME housed some of the hardest working musicians and artists known to man. There’s something in that struggle that is in the energy of the music they created. You can feel the yearning even in the upbeat happy songs they play and sing like a whipped racehorse on the final furlong. Something in the rawness of this music really affected me from a young age and I had always considered making a record in this vein, but quite simply, I didn’t have enough of them at the time to warrant making an album. Certainly not enough of them that were up to scratch.

So when I saw this collection of songs I knew immediately where I needed to go to document them. I suppose that is really what this project is. Documenting songs that would otherwise go unheard.

It had to be Muscle Shoals and it had to be FAME. I’ll go into that in more detail on my podcast…and I’ll go into more detail on that in a minute. My Rick Hall was Ben Tanner and my Swampers were…well Swampers in a couple of cases. Of all the musicians that were on that session, two were Spooner Oldham and David Hood. Names revered by those that know. I had a few moments looking out of the booth at these two in particular and couldn’t help but think of the amount of time they had spent in that room making music that changed my life for the better!

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Regarding the collection of songs called Americana. They proved intriguing as some were very old and written somewhat wryly, but a good few were songs written in the last 6 months that felt like they belonged to these older ones in some way.

I have always been such a massive fan of American Folk Music in all its many forms. There is a certain candidness to it. My Dad loved this music and would learn it on the guitar and we’d all sing it. Sounds like the fuckin Waltons about now. I’m sure someone was being scowled at as another one was clipped as we sang ‘Grandma’s Feather Bed’ by John Denver, but in my memory it felt like a hoedown and I loved us all singing at the top of our lungs. Certainly I did anyway. It was hard to get me to shut up by all accounts.

Again the room and the musicians are paramount to capturing songs like this. A good sounding live room and a group of musicians that have been raised in the traditions of that music. So I of course went to Sam Phillips Recording Studios in Memphis with a group of folks I refer to as Matt Ross-Spang & The Memphis Secrets, and in two days we cut 11 songs to tape.

This is a long winded letter, but still I am brushing over so much regarding the making of these records. I’ll fill you in over the next couple of months. All this to say, I am releasing a lot of new music over the next year. Music that is very important to my past and to my present. Music that pays homage to the deeply rooted traditions that influenced my own approach to Song.

Last but not least, we’ll also be announcing some live shows…
I hope this finds you and yours in fine fettle.


Peter Levin

Equally at home on the Hammond Organ as he is on a Fender Rhodes or various synths, you’ll find Peter Levin currently on tour with the Gregg Allman Band and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Peter’s most recent studio work includes Piano, Hammond B3, Clavinet, and Wurlitzer Electric Piano performances on Aaron Neville’s 2016 album release “Apache,” and Piano, Wurlitzer and Clavinet credits on Gregg Allman’s new album, to be released in 2017. Allman’s forth coming record was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and produced by legendary producer Don Was.

Peter has performed with a genre-busting who’s who of music: The Allman Brother’s Band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Aaron Neville, The Doobie Brothers, Allen Toussaint and Lou Reed. Peter has also toured in support of such mega-artists as Tom Petty, Robert Plant, and George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars. When not on tour with the Gregg Allman Band or the Blind Boys of Alabama,

Peter performs nationally with his own band, the Peter Levin Band. P.L.B. plays a unique blend of blues inspired funk and soul music. Peter writes, records, and produces the music for his band at his recording studio in Brooklyn, NY, called Moon Palace NYC.

Roadside Glorious

Buckle in and enjoy the ride with Roadside Glorious, the soulful, New Orleans-based, Southern rock n’ roll group. The band features dueling guitars, electrifying harmonies, and an infectious, upbeat energy at live shows. Roadside keeps a busy touring schedule throughout the Southeastern United States, but they can be found playing regular gigs around the Big Easy.

Roadside Glorious features Evan Hall (New Orleans, LA) on lead guitar with Basch Jernigan (Gulf Shores, AL) on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. Tyler Self (New Orleans, LA) handles the bass guitar, and Aydan Closson (Gulf Shores, AL) plays the drums. The band described their catchy single “Lay Your Weapons Down” as “inspired by early rock ‘n’ roll from the ‘50s and ‘60s, in the same city that one of rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneers Fats Domino was born and raised”.

Roadside Glorious recently recorded their debut full length album, Brawn and Bone, at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in November 2017. The album was recorded by 2018 Grammy nominated sound engineer John Gifford III and mixed/mastered by 2018 Grammy nominated engineer Don Syrgley.

Karen Lee Batten

Karen Lee Batten just returned home from Muscle Shoals Alabama completing her 4th independent record. This new album titled “Under The Covers” is poised to be her most critically acclaimed thus far. “Under The Covers” is an album recorded entirely in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, inside the same landmark studio “Fame Studios” that produced hit records and shaped the history of popular music. On “Under The Covers” Batten worked with some of ‘the Shoals’ original studio musicians and only recorded songs that originated in Muscle Shoals – a city known for its musical history. And, it’s that history which serves as the underlining pulse that makes Batten’s project so unique and innovative. How many people have actually stood in the historic ‘Fame Studio’ – in the same spot as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more – singing and recording songs from these same musicians while founder, Rick Hall, listened and watched approvingly from behind the console.

When Hall heard that an unknown female artist from Vancouver Canada was in town, making waves and recording an album in tribute to the songs he played an instrumental part in making famous around the world, he had to check it out for himself. The rest is history. “This album is unlike anything I have ever done, and I am more than excited to reveal this new project.” She says. Karen Lee can’t wait for you to hear what she has coming up in 2018!!

Karen Lee Batten is the recipient of 6 BC Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year including 2017-2018. In 2014 Karen was the winner of the The Provincial CCMA/BCCMA Spotlight competition and 2014 Entertainer of the Year at the East Texas International Country Music Awards.

Karen Lee was a Top 10 finalist on Canadian Idol in 2003, and went on to release her debut album Every Moment in 2006. She released 4 singles on this album and a CMT Music Video. Her last album, Cause a Scene, was released in June 2014, and hit #1 in Canadian album sales and #40 on Billboard Soundscan in the first month.This album currently has 4 radio singles and 2 videos both directed by Canada’s multi award winner Stephano Barberis.

Rachel Applehans “Fia Nyxx”

Fia NyXX adds a unique flair to pop-dance music paying tribute to the soulful sounds of the Motown era. Her emotionally-rich lyrics are heavily influenced by the indulgent and passionate culture of the South, complimented with a masterful vision for storytelling and larger-than-life performances. Fia NyXX’s music embodies a fresh, electrifying sound that molds her tracks with an unexpected depth and timelessness – transcending what it means to be a pop artist.

A veteran in the industry, Fia NyXX has toured the United States and Asia, as part of the girl group ‘SHE’ and has released her first solo record in March 2018. The EP entitled ‘Everything Girl’ was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. under the musical direction of Will McFarlane (Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Bobby “Blue” Bland), Emmy-winning producer Lance Bendiksen, multi-platinum producer and mixer Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna) and features players from the iconic Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, ‘The Swampers.’

Fia NyXX recent release of “Everything Girl” was celebrated with a sold out release party at The Mint in Los Angeles. Her Telly Award-Winning music video, “Maybe Just Love Me” was also released on June 1, 2018. It is currently in consideration for the Cannes Short Film Festival as well as the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

Fia has been featured on the back cover of Billboard Magazine, Elicit Magazine, The Hype Magazine, 303 Magazine, Bolder Beat, FEMMUSIC, Hunnypot Unlimited, Westword Magazine and Wire Image. Spotify playlists include iTunes U.S. Top 100, Droplist, Dig! By CD Baby and Play It Till You Hate It.

Robben Ford

Robben Ford is one of the premier electric guitarists today, particularly known for his blues playing, as well as his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical contexts. A five-time Grammy nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb Mo, Larry Carlton, Mavis Staples, Brad Paisley, and many others. Born in 1951 in Woodlake, California, and raised in Ukiah, Robben was the third of four sons in a musical family. His father Charles was a country and western singer and guitarist before entering the army and marrying Kathryn, who played piano and had a lovely singing voice. Robben’s first chosen instrument was the saxophone, which he began to play at age ten and continued to play into his early twenties. He began to teach himself guitar at age thirteen upon hearing the two guitarists from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. In the late 1960’s, Ford frequented the Fillmore and Winterland auditoriums in San Francisco to see Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Albert King, B.B. King and all of the progenitors of blues.

After high school, Robben and his brothers Patrick (drums) and Mark (harmonica), formed The Charles Ford Band, named after their father and recorded for the Arhoolie label. Robben (on sax and guitar) and Patrick went on to tour the U.S. with Chicago harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. Robben’s first attempt at forming his own jazz quartet was picked up by legendary blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon, which brought Robben to L.A. He toured the U.S. and Europe with Witherspoon and was seen by Tom Scott and members of The L.A. Express, who were about to begin a promotional tour with Joni Mitchell for her recording, Court and Spark. Robben was invited to play guitar on the tour and played on two recordings with Mitchell and The L.A. Express.

Beatle George Harrison invited Robben to join him on his Dark Horse tour of the U.S. and Canada, raising his musical profile even further. Shortly after the two month stint with Harrison, Robben moved to Colorado to take a much-needed break from music and to study with Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa. In 1977, he was approached by Elektra Records, which produced his first solo recording, The Inside Story, with a group of musicians who went on to become the Yellowjackets. Elektra closed their doors in the early 1980’s, leading to a time of uncertainty. Robben moved to San Francisco to be close to family and his early musical history. Soon his career would take another upward swing, recording and touring with Michael McDonald, securing a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records, and meeting his soon-to-be wife, actress Anne Kerry. Subsequently, they would collaborate on 3 albums on their own label, Illyria, most notably, Weill, recorded live with the West German Radio Big Band at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall.

After moving to New York, Robben was invited to play with musical icon Miles Davis. Robben’s 1988 release for Warner Brothers, Talk to Your Daughter, brought his first Grammy nomination (Best Contemporary Blues Recording), and he started touring the world under his own name. Still based in New York, he backed David Sanborn on the television show “Night Music,” on which Sanborn hosted a variety of musical acts. Robben toured with him in 1990, then moved back to southern California shortly thereafter to be closer to his own band. After leaving Warner Brothers, Robben signed with Stretch/GRP Records, where he finally found a real home for his creativity, recording three CDs for them with his band,The Blue Line (Tom Brechtlein on drums and Roscoe Beck on bass). After a very fruitful eight years, Robben disbanded the group and recorded two more CDs for the label which had then become Stretch/Blue Thumb: Tiger Walk, an instrumental recording produced in New York with Keith Richard’s rhythm section, and Supernatural, his most accomplished work up to that point as a songwriter.

In 2000, Robben was invited to tour with Phil Lesh and Friends on a co-bill with Bob Dylan, reuniting him with Billy Paine and Paul Barrere of Little Feat, as well as drummer John Molo. When his contract expired at Stretch/Blue Thumb, Robben signed with Concord Records, the largest independently-owned record company at the time. In 2002, he released Blue Moon, and in 2003, Keep On Running, a recording full of the 60’s blues/R&B feeling he grew up on. His third release for Concord was titled Truth. During that same period, a super group-Jing Chi-came into being, founded by bassist Jimmy Haslip, with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and Robben. They released three records, the first, self-titled (2001), followed by Jing Live ( 2003), and Jing Chi 3-D (2004). In 2007, Robben toured with the legendary guitarist, Larry Carlton, resulting in Live in Tokyo, and an “unplugged” DVD, The Paris Concert 2008. Robben’s fourth release for Concord, Soul on Ten, is a live recording performed in San Francisco (2009). The record also includes two studio tracks which feature Larry Goldings on B3 organ and John Button on bass.

In 2010, Robben and a group of musical friends who have played in different combinations and contexts over the years decided to focus on a project which became the formation of Renegade Creation, with Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak and Michael Landau. Two records, Renegade Creation and Bullet, came out of the effort and the group toured widely to much fan appreciation. 2012 found Robben playing internationally with the Miles Davis tribute band, Miles Smiles, featuring past Miles’ alums, Omar Hakim, Darryl Jones, Wallace Roney and Joey DeFrancesca, as well as touring with Bill Evans and Randy Brecker’s group, Soulbop.

Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group released Bringing It Back Home in February, 2013, to critical acclaim both in the U.S., Europe and Japan. This album revisits and reshapes Ford’s musical roots, with studio accompaniment from Harvey Mason, Larry Goldings, David Piltch and Stephen Baxter. In March, 2014, Provogue released A Day In Nashville, a tour de force of live studio recording, accomplished literally, in just one day in Nashville.

Robben’s last release, Into The Sun, came out in March 2015. Debuting at #2 on the Billboard Blues Chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Contemporary Blues Category. Featured guests are Warren Haynes, Keb’Mo, Robert Randolph, ZZ Ward, Sonny Landreth and Tyler Bryant. His latest recording, Purple House (2018) is a remarkable collection of songs featuring Ford’s enlightened approach to composition and production. Exploring the range of the studio with a fresh approach, he weaves in and out of surprising musical moments, ear-wormy hooks, and thoughtful lyrical themes. His sophisticated approach to the blues is evident throughout, yet the record is far more diverse regarding song structure and style.

Eric Essix

Eric Essix, the Birmingham, Alabama based contemporary jazz guitarist released “More”, his 25th full length recording since launching his recording career in 1988 with the album, First Impressions. That debut recording was the start of a creative journey that has made him a genre icon – not only for his keen ability to fashion a continuous flow of infectious melodies and funky grooves, but also because while delving into several sub-genres (pop, R&B and Gospel among them), he has artfully dismantled past ideas of what jazz is and reinvented them.

During his first decade as an artist, Eric recorded four well received albums on Nova Records his own label S6 and Ben Tankard’s Spirit Jazz, and earned a degree from Berklee College of Music. In 1998, he reached an exciting plateau when he was signed by legendary Warner Brothers Vice President Ricky Shultz to his new Warner distributed Zebra Records. Schultz took a liking to Essix’s latest self-produced album Small Talk and gave the guitarist his first taste of national promotion and radio exposure. Eric’s single “For Real” was on the airplay charts for 25 weeks, reaching the Top 5. Southbound, the guitarist’s second album on the label, included a re-imagining of the Brook Benton classic “Rainy Night in Georgia,” which likewise became a radio hit in 2001. Eric has scored numerous further radio hits, starting with “Sweet Tea” from 2004’s Somewhere in Alabama and continuing with “Shuttlesworth Drive,” which spent 7 consecutive weeks at #1 on and over 20 weeks in the Top 10; “New Focus,” which reached #27 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart; and “Foot Soldiers,” which hit #1 on the Indie Chart and #9 on the Top Fifty chart among numerous other industry airplay lists. Five years after its release, “Foot Soldiers” remains in regular rotation on SiriusXM Watercolors.

Among Eric’s most renowned and acclaimed works is his “Southern Roots” trilogy, starting with Southbound and including Somewhere in Alabama and Birmingham (2009). When his beloved mother Imogene’s passed away in 2004, Eric drew on the power of his faith and music to create a moving tribute of spirituals and hymns called Abide With Me (2005). The guitarist’s most recent album, This Train: The Gospel Sessions (2016), continues this theme dramatically.

Eric’s 2013 collection Evolution combines the spirit of his Southern and gospel recordings, with songs dedicated to the four young women who lost their lives in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street. Baptist Church. The guitarist reached another milestone with the subsequent release of The Isley Sessions (2014), celebrating one of his favorite bands of all time, The Isley Brothers. To date, the album has sold more physical copies and digital downloads than any previous release.

The guitarist’s catalog also includes Blue: The Modern Man Recordings, Retrospective, Vol. 1 (2003), its follow-up Retrospective, Vol 2 Ballads (2012), a project with an 18-piece big band (Eric Essix featuring the Night Flight Band: Superblue) and the a holiday album My Gift To You (2010). In the late 2000s, Eric expanded his reach in the contemporary urban jazz realm, touring and performing with some of the top names in the genre, including Jeff Lorber, Gerald Albright, Ronnie Laws, Phil Perry, Boney James, Everette Harp, Peabo Bryson, Marcus Miller, Eric Darius, Alex Bugnon, Marcus Johnson, Peter White, Mindi Abair and others.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is a 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer, an accomplished actress, a New York Times best-selling author, an entrepreneur and a powerful force in the world of philanthropy and in the global fight against HIV and AIDS.

On November 4th, 2016, Keys released her powerful and critically-acclaimed new sixth studio album, HERE, on RCA Records. Offering an honest glimpse into what matters most to Keys, the artist shines a light on the sonic soulfulness and stories from New York, the city that raised her. As an accompanying visual story to HERE, Keys also released a short-film entitled “The Gospel” inspired by the genesis of songs written by Alicia Keys.

Keys became a Coach on NBC’s “The Voice” for its 11th season, alongside Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. Keys returned as a Coach on the hit show’s 12th season with Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

As a devoted and influential activist, in September 2014, Keys launched We Are Here, a movement that empowers the global community around a host of issues and initiatives building a better world where all people are heard, respected, equal, and treated with dignity.

Alicia is also the co-founder of Keep a Child Alive (KCA), a non-profit organization that partners with grass-roots organizations to combat the physical, social, and economic impact of HIV on children, their families and their communities in Africa and India.

Keys made her directorial debut for Lifetime’s Five and most recently served as Executive Producer of the critically-acclaimed film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. In 2011, she made her producorial debut with Lydia R. Diamond’s play Stick Fly for the Cort Theater, which Keys also composed the original music for.

Keys currently resides in the New York City area with her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, and their children.

Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman is undoubtedly among rock and roll’s greatest and most influential artists, his soul-fired and still utterly distinctive voice one of the defining sounds in all of American music. From his founding role in the one and only Allman Brothers Band to his long and storied solo career, Allman has proven himself an iconic singer/songwriter and exceptional practitioner of the American blues tradition. The survivor of unimaginable loss, alcohol and drug addictions as well as a successful 2010 liver transplant, Allman has also accrued a remarkable list of honors over his five decade career, including the ABB’s 1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Annual GRAMMY® Awards as well as his own 2006 induction to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Allman was born December 8th, 1947 in Nashville, TN, a little more than a year after his older brother Duane. Raised by single mom Geraldine, the family moved to Daytona Beach in 1959, though the brothers would spend considerable time back in Nashville. Music City was an inspiration to Allman. He attended his first concert – starring Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, B.B. King, and Patti LaBelle – and with the guidance of a neighbor named Jimmy Banes, fell in thrall to the power of a guitar. Nashville’s pull continued long after the family moved, with the brothers both hooked on local radio station WLAC’s legendary late night R&B broadcasts.

Allman earned enough delivering newspapers to afford a Silvertone guitar, which he and his older brother then proceeded to fight over for years. They made their on-stage debut as part of a YMCA youth group in Daytona Beach, uniting their first band – The Misfits – while attending Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, TN. In 1963, the brothers returned to Florida, rocking Seabreeze High School with their next beat combo, The Shufflers.

The Allman brothers were less interested in school than they were in pursuing their own musical education, spending all their cash on records or sitting in with local R&B outfit The Houserockers. They put together what Allman calls his first “real” band, The Escorts, and began gigging around the Daytona Beach area, proving so busy that Gregg skipped his Seabreeze graduation to perform with his band.

Having won over Daytona Beach, the band – now known as The Allman Joys – headed out into the world, beginning with a 22 week run at Mobile, AL’s Stork Club. An extended booking at Pensacola’s Sahara Club proved a milestone for Gregg, his first true lesson in stagecraft as well as where he bought his first keyboard. 1966 saw The Allman Joys travel to Nashville for their first true session, with songwriter John D. Loudermilk producing. The band’s version of “Spoonful” proved enough of a local hit that they returned to the studio with producer/songwriter John Hurley, this time recording a number of Gregg’s increasingly sharp originals.

The Allman Joys eventually made their way west, sponsored in part by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band manager Bill McEuen. Reinventing themselves as Hour Glass, the band signed to Liberty Records and began making a name around L.A. by supporting such stars as Buffalo Springfield and The Doors. Two albums followed, 1967’s HOUR GLASS and 1968’s POWER OF LOVE, the latter highlighted by seven Gregg originals and liner notes by Neil Young, who also sat in on the album’s sessions. Hour Glass then traveled to Rick Hall’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, hoping to finally capture their evolving blues rock sound. Unfortunately Liberty Records did not appreciate the band’s new direction and Hour Glass split soon after the sessions.

The brothers returned to Florida where they began collaborating with The 31st of February, a Jacksonville trio whose ranks included drummer Butch Trucks. Gregg soon headed back to Los Angeles, recording a solo album to fulfill both his and Duane’s remaining Liberty contract. Though the sessions ultimately proved fruitless, Gregg spent considerable studio time writing songs and working with his new favorite instrument, the Hammond organ. Meanwhile, Brother Duane had returned to Muscle Shoals where he became FAME Studios’ lead session guitarist, recording legendary tracks with such giants as King Curtis, Arthur Conley, Clarence Carter, and Wilson Pickett. Soon signed to a deal of his own, Duane began enlisting musicians including drummer/percussionist Jai Johanny Johanson and fellow Floridian, bassist Berry Oakley. They returned to Jacksonville, their extended jams luring in additional members including Trucks and Oakley’s former bandmate, guitarist Dickey Betts. Gregg finally returned to Florida and on March 26, 1969, Duane suggested he join the group for a run through Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More,” encouraging his younger brother to “sing his guts out.” The Allman Brothers Band was born.

Signed to Phil Walden’s new Capricorn Records label, the Allman Brothers Band virtually invented Southern Rock, blending blues, boogie, country, psychedelia, R&B, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll into their own idiosyncratic musical stew. The band relocated to Macon, GA where they began forging the intuitive musical bond that came to define them, spending infinite hours rehearsing and jamming while also growing a local following for their improvisational ingenuity and creative interplay. Elongated covers were paired with Gregg’s original songs, his songwriting voice fast proving as unique and inspired as his growing vocal power. Songs like “It’s Not My Cross To Bear,” “Dreams,” and “Whipping Post” exposed a gifted and evocative tunesmith, remarkably adept at reconstructing traditional forms into modern classics.

Released in November 1969, THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND was immediately acclaimed if not an immediate commercial success. The band spent the next year on the road nearly non-stop, performing over 300 gigs across the country while also visiting studios in New York, Miami, and Macon to record what would be their second studio album. IDLEWILD SOUTH arrived in September 1970, less than a year after the band’s debut. Recently named by Rolling Stone as one of the “40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time,” IDLEWILD SOUTH is home to one of Allman’s defining songs, “Midnight Rider,” an immediate FM radio favorite later covered by artists spanning Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Theory of a Deadman, UB40, and reggae singer Paul Davidson.

Having earned a reputation as a spectacularly inventive and expansive live act, The Allman Brothers Band decided to showcase their on-stage strength with their third album, the legendary AT FILLMORE EAST. Produced by Tom Dowd over the course of two March 1971 shows at New York City’s Fillmore East, the double LP proved the Allmans’ world-changing breakthrough, seven songs over four sides culminating with a extraordinarily epic rendition of “Whipping Post.” AT FILLMORE EAST was a phenomenon, earning RIAA gold within months of its July 1971 release. Now platinum certified, the album is a universally acknowledged milestone, a landmark American work selected in 2004 for preservation in the Library of Congress, deemed to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States” by the National Recording Registry.

Tragedy struck on October 29, 1971 with the death of Duane Allman in a motorcycle crash. He was 24 years old. The Allman Brothers Band mourned his loss and then celebrated his accomplishments by returning to both the road and the studio, releasing EAT A PEACH in February 1972. Their most successful album thus far, the double LP collected a number of studio recordings – both with and without Duane – as well as additional cuts from the 1971 Fillmore East performances. Highlights include the towering “Mountain Jam” as well as Gregg’s “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” – penned in the wake of Duane’s passing – and the classic “Melissa,” written in 1967 and beloved by Duane as his little brother’s best song.

In March 1972, Gregg tracked a series of songs at Macon’s Capricorn Studios with the goal of recording a solo album. Sessions continued, even as the Allman Brothers Band began work on its highly anticipated third studio album, BROTHERS AND SISTERS. Allman released LAID BACK in October 1973, kicking off the collection with a new version of “Midnight Rider” that proved a top 20 hit across North America. Allman commemorated the album’s release with an unprecedented concert tour accompanied by a full string section comprising members of the New York Philharmonic, captured for posterity on 1974’s THE GREGG ALLMAN TOUR. LAID BACK was both a commercial and critical success, earning RIAA gold amidst widespread acclaim.

Fate reared its head once again in November 1972 when Berry Oakley was killed in a motorcycle accident just three blocks from where Duane had lost his life little more than a year earlier. He too was 24 years old. The Allman Brothers Band carried on, finishing BROTHERS AND SISTERS in December before returning to the road. The album proved the band’s most popular yet, topping the overall Billboard album chart for five consecutive weeks on its way to worldwide sales now in excess of 7 million.

The Allman Brothers Band took to the road once more, confirming their place as one of the most successful live outfits in rock ‘n’ roll history, consistently selling out arenas and stadiums across the country. July 1973 saw the ABB headline the historic “Summer Jam at Watkins Glen,” teaming with the Grateful Dead and the Band at New York’s Watkins Glen Grand Motor Raceway before a record-breaking crowd well in excess of 600,000.

The band went on hiatus in 1976, not before lending their support to fellow Georgian Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. Allman quickly founded The Gregg Allman Band, releasing PLAYIN’ UP A STORM in May 1977 to acclaim and chart success. The Allman Brothers Band made a brief return in 1978 but by January 1982, decided to hang up their boots once again. Though the ABB had called it a day, Allman himself spent virtually all of the next few years on the road, performing anywhere, anytime, from small clubs to larger venues across the country. February 1987 saw the release of I’M NO ANGEL – the first album from The Gregg Allman Band in a decade. The album immediately returned Allman to the forefront of American popular music, boasting a pair of indelible hits in the chart-topping title track and the top 3 rock radio smash, “Anything Goes.” JUST BEFORE THE BULLETS FLY followed in 1988, its title track co-written by future ABB guitarist Warren Haynes.

The Allman Brothers Band celebrated its 20th anniversary by reuniting in 1989, the four surviving founders now joined by new players including the aforementioned Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody. The group hit the road, including a series of fall dates at New York City’s historic Beacon Theatre, a preview of what would become one of rock ‘n roll’s greatest traditions.

Fully revitalized, the Allman Brothers Band returned to the studio, teaming with longtime producer Tom Dowd for 1990’s SEVEN TURNS and its #1 hit single, “Good Clean Fun.” The addition of percussionist Marc Quinones that same year finally brought to life the triple percussion ensemble Duane had envisioned when first uniting the band. The ABB’s rhythmic expansion fueled 1991’s acclaimed tenth studio album, SHADES OF TWO WORLDS, recorded with Dowd at Memphis’ famed Ardent Studios.

The Brothers’ 1992 spring itinerary saw the band settle into the landmark Beacon Theatre for an extended 10-night run. Specifically selected for being closest in spirit to Bill Graham’s long gone Fillmore East, the beloved Upper West Side venue became a second home for the band, with runs continuing semi-annually through 2014. A series of acclaimed releases followed through the next decade, including 1994’s WHERE IT ALL BEGINS and such live albums as AN EVENING WITH THE ALLMAN BROTHERS: FIRST SET, showcasing 1992’s Beacon Theatre run, and 1995’s GRAMMY® Award-winning AN EVENING WITH THE ALLMAN BROTHERS: 2ND SET.

Allman also found time in the Nineties to try his hand at acting, with notable performances in 1991’s RUSH and HBO’S TALES FROM THE CRYPT. His own extraordinary solo discography grew with 1997’s SEARCHING FOR SIMPLICITY, highlighted by an unplugged rendition of “Whipping Post.” The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, honoring their extraordinary history and lasting influence. The group underwent a number of personnel changes in subsequent years, but by 2001 had coalesced into what was hailed as one of the strongest line-ups in ABB history, with Allman, Haynes, Johanson, Quiñones, and Trucks joined by bassist Oteil Burbridge and lead guitarist Derek Trucks. Released in 2003, the Allman Brothers Band’s twelfth and final studio recording, HITTIN’ THE NOTE, drew critical applause as well as a pair of GRAMMY® Award nominations. That same year’s LIVE AT THE BEACON THEATRE DVD also proved a classic, earning RIAA platinum certification and rave reviews for capturing the band at the peak of their on-stage powers. The 2003 Beacon run was further documented on ONE WAY OUT, hailed by rock critic Robert Christgau as “the best live album of (the ABB’s) career.”

The Allman Brothers Band celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009 with a star-studded Beacon Theatre residency that saw appearances from such friends and luminaries as Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, Eric Clapton, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell, Buddy Guy, Levon Helm, Robert Randolph, Bruce Hornsby, Billy Gibbons, and Sheryl Crow. Allman underwent a liver transplant the following year, returning stronger than ever with 2011’s masterful solo landmark, LOW COUNTRY BLUES. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Blues Albums” chart, ascending to #5 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200 as it drew unanimous critical acclaim around the world.

Allman detailed his brilliant career in 2012’s acclaimed memoir, My Cross To Bear. Now available in both hardcover and paperback, the New York Times best seller chronicles a truly astonishing life and creative journey, all informed by wisdom, hindsight, and experience. The Allman Brothers Band officially resumed active duty in 2012 with two sets at their own Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA, now an ongoing summer tradition highlighted by annual sets from Allman and other ABB friends. The Allman Brothers Band wrapped up their storied forty-five year career in 2014 with their final Beacon Theatre run, culminating October 28th with a now legendary three-set marathon, their 238th consecutive sell out at the estimable venue.

That same year saw Allman honored by an array of fellow artists at “All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman,” a once-in-a-lifetime concert held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and later released on CD/DVD to great acclaim. Allman himself followed the Allman Brothers Band’s final bow with the 2015 release of “BACK TO MACON GA,” a live two disc CD/DVD set capturing Allman and his eight-member band blowing the roof off Macon, GA’s venerable Grand Opera House. August 2015 saw Allman innovate the summer concert experience with the first ever Laid Back Festival, a one-day event held at Wantagh, NY’s Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and presented in partnership by Allman, longtime manager Michael Lehman, and Live Nation. Named after Allman’s classic 1973 solo debut, the Laid Back Festival celebrated America’s rich musical heritage with performances from Allman, The Doobie Brothers, Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, and more. Hailed as a new milestone on the increasingly busy summer concert circuit, Laid Back Festival also showcased Long Island, NY’s diverse and delicious food and drink, with regional restaurants, food trucks, breweries, wineries, and other artisans represented at the festival. 2016 proved an extraordinarily eventful year for Allman, kicking off with sold out winter and spring tours as well as his acceptance of an honorary doctorate from Macon, GA’s Mercer University, presented by longtime friend, former President Jimmy Carter. The Laid Back Festival also expanded to include regionally focused shows in five American cities. Once again headlined and curated by Allman, the traveling one-day event boasted a diverse lineup that featured such superstars as ZZ Top, Peter Frampton, and Jason Isbell, not to mention a mouth-watering menu of local food and drink.

As if their non-stop live schedule weren’t enough, Allman and his band also hit FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL to work on a new solo album, SOUTHERN BLOOD. Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winner Don Was, the album will arrive in September of 2016. Gregg Allman died due to complications from liver cancer at his home in Savannah, GA on May 17, 2017. He played his last show October 29, 2016 at his own Laidback Festival in Atlanta, Ga. Gregg’s legacy will undoubtedly live on in his music. Beyond dozens of studio and live recordings, Gregg passed on the opportunity of music to others in two scholarship funds. The Gregg Allman Scholarship Fund at the University of Georgia and the Allman / Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University. In 2005 The Allman Brothers Band established the Wanee Music Festival and in 2012, the Peach Festival. Both continue to provide the experience of live music that Gregg lived for.