Southern Blood was released one year ago yesterday. In honor of that and in memory of Gregg Allman, here is my story on the making of Southern Blood, originally published in The Wall Street Journal. It’s still quite an emotional read for me. It was the first time Chank spoke publicly about Gregg after his death.
Gregg Allman had been working on “My Only True Friend” with guitarist Scott Sharrard for a few months when they met for a songwriting session in Mr. Allman’s New York hotel room in March 2014. The Allman Brothers Band was in the midst of its final year of performances, after which Mr. Allman would dedicate himself to performances with his solo band for which Mr. Sharrard was the musical director. As they settled down with acoustic guitars, Mr. Allman dropped some heavy news: He had terminal liver cancer. Though he wished to keep the news secret, it seemed to shift his songwriting ideas.
“Even in such a heavy atmosphere, we had a lot of fun and the mood was effusive because we knew we were getting it,” Mr. Was says. “Gregg was digging in deep and he was oozing heart and soul, even in spots where he might not have had the lung power that he once had. He wanted to do vocal overdubs but honestly if he had been able to, maybe we would have cleansed away some of the soul.”