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The Playlist Special: Top Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10

Gregg Allman: Blues Vocals

Allman heard his first blues – by Howlin' Wolf – as a teen. "Though it's pretty basic in structure, it carries a lot of emotion," he says. "It can bring your spirits up, or if you're in a hole, it can get you deeper. It's amazing what they do with those three chords."

 

 

 

 

 

Listen: Greg Allman's Top Blues Vocals Songs

  • 1.
    "The Danger Zone" | Ray Charles, 1961

    I think it's the first political song he ever did, about the apocalypse. I thought it was very strange that he'd do something like that, but it has always appealed to me. It stops and starts, and it's very soulful.

  • 2.
    "Grits Ain't Groceries" | Little Milton, 1969

    Oh, God, that intro – "If I don't love you, baby!" It sends chills up my spine. It sounds like he's singing that song on one knee, with a ring in his hand.

  • 3.
    "What's Going On" | Marvin Gaye, 1971

    If anyone could sing the blues, it was Marvin. He made some of the most soulful sounds I've ever heard from anybody.

  • 4.
    "Born In Chicago" | The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, 1965

    His signature tune. He brought that killer harp to the blues. The whole band, with Mike Bloomfield on guitar, is killer.

  • 5.
    "Driftin' Blues" | Bobby "Blue" Bland, 1967

    It kinda just floats, and Bland sings like he's got his feet up on a footstool, kicking back with a drink.

  • 6.
    "Losing Faith in You" | B.B. King, 1968

    It sounds like he borrowed Ray Charles' band. They're on fire.

  • 7.
    "Nine Below Zero" | Sonny Boy Williamson, 1961

    What he does with that fucking harmonica is amazing, and the low notes can shake the house, man.

  • 8.
    "You Don't Miss Your Water ('Til Your Well Runs Dry)" | Taj Mahal, 1968

    Taj's singing goes over the top. It's about a guy who screwed up. One time in my life, I could relate to that!

  • 9.
    "Born Under A Bad Sign" | Albert King, 1967

    My brother Duane and I really dug him. I don't know a guitar player alive who didn't cut their teeth on Albert.

  • 10.
    "Gypsy Woman" | Muddy Waters, 1947

    I love that lyric "You your mama's bad-luck child!" That just kills me.

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