CD REVIEW: Second Chance by Allman Goldflies Band
This band is steeped in musical history, and to take a mafia saying, “connected”. Gary Allaman has displayed his musical credentials with the likes of Albert and B.B. King, Lynyrd Skynyd, and The Allman Brothers Band. Multi-instrumentalist Dave Goldflies’ C.V is equally impressive, having played on the hit single “Black Betty”, three albums with the Allman Brothers Band, and is now also an author and composer. Hell, his Alembic bass which graced many Allman Brothers gig is even on display at The Big House Museum in Macon, Ga.
So an impressive tradition acts as the midwife to this musical new arrival. The album is sympathetically produced, and sonically crisp, and oﬀers much in the way of very good songwriting. “Ever Been So Lonely Baby” is the opening gambit which introduces the capability and musicianship of the band, with some nice gritty vocals and some deft muscular bass playing by Goldflies. This is followed by two songs which form a love-letter to The South – “Standing In The Georgia Rain” and “Southern’s All I Ever Wanted To Be”, the former a particularly lovely melancholic song, the latter a touching testament to a devotion of a particular geographical area which has seen many a triumph and set back.
Actually, more great tunes follow: the country-infused “Baby Show Me How” with Allman’s age-worn voice – “your sweet kiss going to take my cares away” – hitting just the right emotional mark; “Pretty Green Eyes” is uplifting, featuring some great guitar work, and the Fleetwood Mac-esque opening especially eﬀective; “Yesterday’s Blues” again with the earthly, melancholic Allman vocal complimented by some tasteful guitar breaks and keyboard swells. Second Chance ends of the fantastic “You Gave Me Love”, an early hours type of song, which conjures up the atmosphere of reflection, and the time when we are most vulnerable to our feelings….
However, to these ears, there are a couple of tracks which don’t seem to sit easily within the whole ensemble. “Fadiddle” is an interesting musical duel, but references Eastern Europe rather than Bluegrass; “Can’t Turn Back Now”, with its tight bass groove, discusses the American vision with a topographical tour of the promised land…”When Jesus Calls” displays some great guitar work and gospel chorus, but the lyrical content has a penchant for crossing the line into banality.
But this is an album that you need to check if you like the genre of American Southern Rock and all the sentiments that comes with it, nicely pre-packaged. The playing is top-notch, with Allman’s vocal delivery and tone a real grower. You hear the pain and regret, the timbre of lost chances. And that’s why the album is entitled “Second Chance”. Everyone deserves redemption, and this album is the first steps along its long road.
by Steve Kinrade
Matthew John is wearing his heart on his sleeve when he lays the lyrical patchwork …