Of course, the first thing I had to do was call the polis, 'cos someone has been into my vinyl boxes and snaffled all the good stuff. Because if it were possible to shuffle vinyl, then this would be a fair approximation of what's going on in here. So this double CD came as one of the most pleasant musical surprises of the year so far. And it's also mildy astonishing, because this isn't really the sort of thing you expect to get released.
Granted, there are the expected appearances from Lynyrd Skynyrd and assorted Allmans, but they're not the usual suspects, as they go for "First And Last" Skynyrd and some pre Allman Brothers Duane & Gregg, but it's the almost forgotten blasts from the past, that make this such an (Allman) joy. I've played the Cher version of the Dr. John tune 'I Walk on Guilded Splinters' several times on my radio show, and it remains a lost highlight of her career best album "3614 Jackson Highway". There's room for a tune from the Scott Boyer / Tommy Talton band, Cowboy, who ended up backing Gregg Allman on his first post-Brothers live outings.
Add in some Barefoot Jerry, Bobbie Gentry, Leon Russell, Tony Joe White and Dan Penn, and you're left with what will be the best compilation of 2011. For sure, there are a couple of misfires from the likes of Big Star and Johnny Cash, but I'm sure they're only there to keep the Guardian readers happy. If you'd swapped them for some Wet Willie or a track from the "New Routes" album by Lulu, then this would have been unbeatable. Otherwise, this is a gem of a release.