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BOOKS


A Never Ending Groove


Johnny Sandlin’s Musical Odyssey by Anathalee G. Sandlin (Mercer


University Press)


Johnny Sandlin is truly the unsung hero of Southern rock—an absolutely amazing


record producer and musician with a true gift and an impeccable ear for music. This memoir from Anathalee Sandlin is a real page-turner for those of us who recall with fondness the hey day of Capricorn Records and the birth of Southern rock in Macon, Georgia. This is a story that truly needed to be told.


The book is filled with story after story, told by Johnny to his wife Ann in great detail. All of the stories of his early days as a musician, playing in the Five Men-its and then with Duane and Gregg Allman in The Hour Glass.


We learn about Sandlin’s early days at Capricorn Records, his engineering and produc- ing, turning out now classic albums by The Allman Brothers Band, Cowboy, Richard Betts, Gregg Allman, Wet Willie, Captain Beyond, Bonnie Bramlett, Elvin Bishop, The Outlaws - the list goes on and on. Johnny takes us inside the studio, where I for one learned a great deal more about making records than I had known before. I especially enjoyed the parts about Eddie Hinton, one of the most talented and interesting figures in the history of Southern music; and also about Gregg Allman and Cher recording their Two The Hard Way with Johnny producing. Sandlin’s resume is mighty hefty, and I was extremely pleased that it is included in the back of the book. The man has worked with virtually all of my favorite musicians at one time or anoth-


er, and is still doing what he does best, recently recording the reunited Cowboy band, and a gospel album featuring Bonnie Bramlett. From rock and roll drummer, to bass player, to studio engineer to producer, the whole journey has been chronicled here. If you are a fan of Southern rock, or just good music if any style, I recommend you pick this one up. It is a real “page turner.” A book that is much like the man himself, smart and peaceful. If you are looking for dirt on anyone, you have the wrong book. If you love music, and the history of Capricorn Records and the industry in general, this book is for you. As for me, it now resides on the top shelf, alongside my favorite books on The Allman Brothers, Chuck Leavell, Willie Perkins, The Beatles, Muscle Shoals Music, Eric Clapton- only the best. Johnny Sandlin is top shelf all the way.


-Michael Buffalo Smith


My Cross To Bear Gregg Allman with Alan Light (William Morrow)


Before I begin, I want to make a couple of things very clear. The Allman Brothers Band has been, and always


will be, my all time favorite band. Add to that the fact that Gregory Lenoir Allman, in my opinion, is the best male singer in rock and blues. Okay. Are we on the same page here? Now let’s look at the new biography he has written.


In chapter seven of his book, Gregg begins by stating that he has a philosophy of “not dwelling on the negative,” and choosing to keep every- thing positive, making an effort to remember great times in his life like time spent with his brother Duane, or good times with former Allman bassist Allen Woody. He obviously wants


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