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Crate Digger’s Gold: Johnny Jenkins – Ton-Ton Macoute!

August 14, 2012

I “discovered” this album in Gregg Allman’s autobiography.  Gregg off offhandedly mentioned that one of brother Duane’s greatest performances was on this album.  To quote: “My brother played is ass off.  His Dobro work on ‘Walk on Gilded Splinters’ was just flat-out evil, man, and that’s why we still do that song to this very day.”

Well that was enough to stir my curiosity and so I headed over to emusic to download a copy (sorry not exactly crate digging, but at $200 on eBay for an original vinyl, finding this at a garage sale would be real gold) .

I am currently obsessed with “Walk on Gilded Splinters.”  This song was sampled by Beck in his breakthrough hit “Loser.”  It is beyond brilliant – it is timeless.  Evoking both soul/blues and hip hop. This song and the whole album should resonate with fans of neo-blues rock hipsters (e.g. Black Keys, Jack White, etc.).  Walk on Gilded Splinters is the standout track, but the whole album is great.

I turns out that this was going to be Duane Allman’s solo album, but he got distracted by starting a little band called the Allman Brothers.  Jenkins was no slouch himself – an established bandleader who first hired Otis Redding.  The album foreshadows the innovative southern rock style the Allman Brothers would go on to invent.

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