Wright: "After The Levees Broke"
in Louisiana, Marva Wright was called the Blues Queen.
Fans of her energy-filled performances, both live and
recorded, called her a lot of other things, too, like
"Marvalous Marva." The "bluesiana"
numbers she favored were a strong showcase for her dynamic,
"Her 2007 effort, After the Levees Broke, addressed
the devastation of Hurricane Katrina -- which destroyed
her house and all her belongings -- by repurposing songs
like Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Sam Cooke's
"A Change Is Gonna Come," and Bruce Hornsby's
"The Way It Is."
Allman: "Searching For Simplicity"
his initial solo recordings, Gregg Allman tried for a
more eclectic pop approach than the Southern blues-rock
of his day job with the Allman Brothers Band. His later
solo work, done during breaks in the Brothers' career,
was much closer to the traditional ABB sound. On his first
solo album since the Allmans' reformation in 1989, he
again makes what is essentially an Allman Brothers Band
record without the other members, except new guitarist
Jack Pearson, whose Duane Allman/Dickey
Betts-style slide work is all over the disc. Allman signals
the same-but-different approach by opening the album with
an "unplugged" version of the Allmans' signature
song, "Whipping Post," and though he adds horns
to some tracks for a more R&B feel, the rest of the
album finds him growling through standard-issue blues-rock,
some of the songs originals, some covers, among them an
excellent version of "Dark End of the Street"
and an arrangement of John Hiatt's "Memphis in the
Meantime" that makes it sound like a Betts country-rocker.