Win a copy of the new 7-CD Duane Allman box set

by Bill DeVille

Legendary and short-lived guitarist Duane Allman.
Legendary and short-lived guitarist Duane Allman. (Courtesy of Rounder Records)

Duane Allman was best known for guitar prowess with The Allman Brothers. "Skydog" is what they called Allman in Muscle Shoals, because "he was high all the time," said producer Jim Dickinson in Keith Richards' book Life. He died in a tragic motorcycle crash near his home in Macon, Georgia. Allman was riding his motorcycle and was forced to swerve in an intersection to avoid a flatbed truck that was stopped. No, the rumor of him hitting the peach truck isn't true. His bike bounced up in the air and landed on him. He died several hours later from massive internal injuries. Duane Allman was only 24 years of age.

In his short life Allman was one of the most revered guitarists of his generation and was a highly sought after session musician both before and during his time with the Allmans. He did sessions with artists like Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, & Boz Scaggs, among others. Eric Clapton saw Allman perform and and was so blown away that he invited him to Criteria Studios in Miami to jam. They ended recording the Derek and the Dominoes classic Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, regarded by many scribes as Clapton's masterpiece, which included Clapton's unrequited love song, "Layla," which includes some of the greatest guitar interplay (between Clapton and Allman) ever heard!

Duane Allman was a part of The Allman Brothers Band for their first four albums, including the their breakthrough live album At Fillmore East. This guy could play it all! He could jam on the electric, he was a deft slide player & was an excellent fingerstyle acoustic player, as heard in the lovely instrumental "Little Martha" from the 1972 Brothers and Sisters album, which was the last album he would appear on.

Duane "Skydog" Allman left a pretty impressive body of work in his all too short a life. Rolling Stone ranked him #2 (after Jimi Hendrix) on their list of greatest guitarists. Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective includes 7 CDs, a 72-page book and a good chunk of his session work, his early recordings with the Allman Joys & Hour Glass, a bunch of unreleased & live music, and many Allman Brothers classics! The set is produced by Allman's daughter Galadrielle and esteemed reissue producer Bill Levenson. If you are a fan of Duane Allman, or a fan of the guitar, it's all here!

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