Duane Allman's status as one of the greatest guitarists in rock and blues music is beyond argument, and is bolstered by more than the handful of albums that he made with the Allman Brothers Band. Before his namesake band hit it big, Allman was an in-demand session player adding his talents to a score of great R&B recordings.
On March 5, 2013 Rounder Records will release Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, a whopping seven-disc CD box set that not only includes the guitarist's performances with the Allman Brothers Band and Derek & the Dominos but also session work that Allman had done with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Delaney & Bonnie, King Curtis, Otis Rush, Clarence Carter, and many others. Skydog also includes rare (and long out-of-print) material from Allman's earliest bands like the Escorts, the Allman Joys, 31st of February, and Hour Glass as well as some surprises (like a performance of "Sugar Magnolia" with the Grateful Dead).
The box set was produced by Duane's daughter, Galadrielle Allman, with the help of Grammy-winning producer Bill Levenson, and includes in-depth liner notes by Scott Schinder as well as additional notes from Ms. Allman. In a press release for Skydog, Galadrielle writes "working on this retrospective, I have gotten closer than I ever have been to understanding my father's development as a musician and a man. When a musician of my father's caliber dies, every note he ever recorded becomes even more precious. Each song is pressed into the service of telling his story. The longer Duane is gone, the clearer it becomes that there will never be another like him."
Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective will carry a hefty $139.98 price tag but offers 129 performances spanning seven CDs along with the prerequisite booklet, photos, liner notes, and other fun stuff that fans and collectors will love.
Duane Allman photo by John Gellman, both photos courtesy Rounder Records