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Deluxe collection chronicles Duane Allman's career

"Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective" highlights the guitarist's work from early bands and session work to The Allman Brothers Band and Derek and The Dominos.

Long before Duane Allman's name became known to mainstream audiences, he had established his credentials as a once-in-a-lifetime guitar visionary.

"Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective" highlights the revered guitarist's work from his early garage bands and session work to his time with The Allman Brothers Band and Derek and The Dominos. The seven-CD set, which has a list price of $139.98, is due out March 5 on Rounder Records.

Skydog Duane Allman Box Set

"Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective" is a career-spanning look at the guitarist's efforts as a solo artist, band member and studio musician.

"Skydog" includes a variety of recordings from throughout Allman's short but influential career, including work with with the Allman Brothers Band and Derek & the Dominos; session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Clarence Carter, King Curtis, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Ronnie Hawkins, Otis Rush, Laura Nyro, Lulu, the Sweet Inspirations, Laura Lee, Spencer Wiggins, Arthur Conley, Willie Walker, the Lovelles, the Soul Survivors, Johnny Jenkins, John Hammond, Doris Duke, Eric Quincy Tate, Herbie Mann and more.

(Trace the tragedies, trials and triumphs of The Allman Brothers Band)

“When a musician of my father’s caliber dies, every note he ever recorded becomes even more precious,” writes Galadrielle Allman. “Each song is pressed into the service of telling his story. The longer Duane is gone, the clearer it becomes that there will never be another like him.”

Duane Allman, known to his bandmates as Skydog, was born in Nashville in 1946. With Gregg, his only sibling, Duane had his first moment of musical revelation upon witnessing a late ’50s R&B bill that featured B.B. King and Jackie Wilson. By 1960, both Duane and Gregg owned guitars and played in a series of neighborhood garage bands in Tennessee and Florida.

(The the Allman Brothers Band, jamming 'was a very natural thing')

Continuing their interest in blues and R&B in the shadow of blues radio station WLAC-AM’s continent-spanning signal, as well as absorbing the influence of the British Invasion, the brothers launched the Escorts in 1965 and the Allman Joys, who recorded a handful of sides in Bradley’s Barn in Nashville in 1966. By 1967, Duane and Gregg signed to Liberty as the Hour Glass and recorded two albums in Nashville and Los Angeles. When the band sought to defy the label and spread its musical wings, it was dropped.

Duane Allman

Duane Allman's guitar work with The Allman Brothers Band, Derek & The Dominos and as a session musician for a variety of artists made him a legend. John Gellman photo.

The brothers returned to Florida, hooked up with drummer Butch Trucks and recorded two sides as the 31st of February, and later at Ardent Studio in Memphis as the Bleus. By this time, Duane had developed a reputation as a leading session guitarist. He was on Fame Studio’s A list, and his guitar licks color several Wilson Pickett hits. Atlantic Records producer and executive Jerry Wexler took note and hired Allman to perform on Atlantic sessions by King Curtis, Otis Rush, Arthur Conley, the Soul Survivors and Sweet Inspirations. Wexler signed him to a solo Atlantic deal, resulting in a session that contained the raucous original “Happily Married Man” and more. The session, contained on the Skydog set, was abandoned mid-stream. By then, Capricorn Records’ Phil Walden had noticed the rumblings from Muscle Shoals. Duane gathered up brother Gregg, Trucks, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny Johanson and others, and The Allman Brothers Band was born. Its music was complex and adventurous, yet still accessible.

Testament to his energy and ambition, Duane still found time for side projects. When bandmates holed up at home after tours, Duane joined fellow world-class guitarist Eric Clapton on Derek & the Dominos’ "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs." While not an official member, he quickly emerged as a major contributor to the classic album, with his twin guitar interplay with Clapton shaping the hits “Layla” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad.” He also worked with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Laura Nyro between Allman Brothers Band projects.

He soon was was acknowledged as one of rock’s premier guitarists, and Duane and the Allman Brothers Band began recording "Eat A Peach," the follow-up to "At Fillmore East." Then on Oct. 29, 1971, four days after Fillmore had been certified gold, Duane was riding his motorcycle and swerved to avoid hitting a truck. He crashed and died of internal injuries. He was 24 years old.
The band forged ahead as a quintet on Eat a Peach, which became one of their best selling albums. The Allman Brothers, led by Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, continue to perform to this day.

“I hope the celebration of Duane’s life inspires you to live fearlessly and enjoy life,” Galadrielle Allman says. “I know that would have made him proud."

The disc-by-disc track listing is:

Disc One
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"

Disc Two
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"
Arthur Conley, "That Can't Be My Baby"
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"

Disc Three
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 and The Bear, "Going Up The Country"
The Duck and 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"

Disc Four
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"

Disc Five
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"1
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 and Duane Allman, "Mean Old World"

Disc Six
Sam Samudio, "Me And Bobby McGee"
Sam Samudio, "Relativity"
Sam Samudio, "Goin' 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"

Disc Seven
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 Martha"