96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Rounder Records 0888072033689 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Whether or not it was intended as such, recorded while Allman was suffering from the liver cancer that finally claimed him in 2017 at just 69, Southern Blood serves as a suitable epitaph by combining a self-written opening track with nine takes on songs by friends and acquaintances. There’s a suitably dirty and authentic feel about the set, recorded in FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals and produced by Don Was. So while this isn’t the cleanest or most ‘audiophile’ of albums, it has a lovely retro feel that suits the finality and retrospective nature of the project. Though the two are very different in form and execution, I was reminded of Bowie’s Blackstar when listening to this set, hearing what sounds like a performer chiselling out his own memorial. That both managed to create such striking pieces of work makes them fitting final chapters for their legends. AE
Sound Quality: 75%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Recorded hot (too hot), this 96kHz file shows some signs of mixed sample-rate content, peak-level compression and bursts of ultrasonic distortion. Noise is quite high too, although ~20dB lower on the two live tracks (11 and 12). PM
Want the latest issue of Hi-Fi News? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!