A Southern rock icon is being honored with a tribute concert and a mural in Alabama

A Southern rock icon is being honored with a tribute concert and a mural in Alabama ...

Most years, Johnny Sandlin's birthday celebrations were quiet and family-oriented. He'd have a dinner with his loved ones, and catch up with other strangers on the phone who lived farther away.

Sandlin's birthday will be waning this year, though. Southbound is a nod to a song from the Allman Brother's only number-one album, 1973's "Brothers and Sisters," said Sandlin on his birthday this year. The start date for the first tour is 7. Tickets start at $30 plus fees.

Jimmy Hall, the frontman for wet Willie, and guitar-god Jeff Beck, the guitarist in the tribute lineup. A sister and background singer from The Allmans, Dennis Melody, and Tim Tucker, a local rock singer/songwriter who once.


Gray Cauthen, Sandlin's grandchildren, an Allmans-meets-Jason-Isbell type singer/guitarist, and Ella Cauthen Tidwell, who is well-known, will play. The son-in-law of Sandlin's daughter Leigh Ellen Sandlin, and guitarist Zach Graham, who sparked Southbound.

Southbound was initially going to be an arts and music festival in Johnny Sandlin's honor. But then COVID hit and everything went just sideways for everybody, Leigh Ellen said. This year, Leigh Ellen decided to revamp the idea as a tribute concert. I wanted to do it on his birthday. I think it's just time to continue some things in his honor.

Although Johnny helped with making music that has drawn attention to generations of musicians, Leigh Ellen and her two sisters said she was "just Dad." Even before she knew her dad was working on the song, Gregg Allman was a fan of music, especially when she was concerned. Even though she loved playing music while still caring for her.

Johnny Sandlin, a southern rock album producer and recording engineer, and his daughter Leigh Ellen Sandlin-Cauthen (Courtesy Leigh Ellen Sandlin-Cauthen)

"A lot of things I didn't realize he was doing when he was doing it," Leigh Ellen says of Johnny. However, her connection to her father's music has only grew since Decatur. "That first year after he passed," Leigh Ellen says. "I must have listened to 'Jessica' 2,000 times, according to the beautiful Allman Brothers instrumental track from "Brothers and Sisters."

Sandlin's favorite of his own productions? The 1970 Johnny Jenkins album, which includes a vocalist Duane Allman and a cover of Dr. John's voodoo-rock song "I Walk on Gilded Splinters," Sandlin's 1971 LP "5ll Getcha Ten," is another Sandlin essential. He also used the Allman Brothers' classic 1971 studio/live hybrid album "Eat a Peach."

Sandlin's studio work is well-known for its warmth and clarity. It always sounded. He had a lifelong rhythmic ability, and was also the drummer in Hour Glass, the precursor band.

Jason Isbell, the folk/rock sensation who worked at Sandlin's Duck Tape Studio in his teens, recorded the last song Leigh Ellen ever heard with her dad before she passed.

On one of Wet Willie's finest recordings, "Drippin' Wet Live," a 1973 concert album, Sandlin recorded. A couple decades later, the frontman and harmonica virtuoso enlisted the help of Duck Tape Studio, which was located in a community adjacent to a large garage or a two-car garage. A 36-channel Westar recording console from the 1980s was the studio's centerpiece.

Hall claims that he offered you the freedom to explore your own ideas while working with Johnny Sandlin in the studio. "And he didn't impose his own version of it," he says. "I really encouraged you to find your voice or to say it how you wanted to say it," Hall says. In the new album, Hall is working with blues-rock guitar hero Joe Bonamassa.

Hall explains how he coached us all a lot and made a remarkable legacy for him. Including the upcoming Bonamassa collabo, a heartfelt gospel-flecked tune, titled "Ready Now," wet Willie's soulful signature.


The last note will be silent after the concert is held on Saturday night at Princess Theatre. Steven Teller, who previously painted a fantastic Allman Brothers mural at H&H Restaurant, the iconic Macon, Georgia soul-food spot the Allmans frequented in their early years, has raised about $30,000 for the Sandlin mural. Leigh Ellen has claimed that the project has raised about $15,000 so far.

The family is launching the Johnny Sandlin Foundation for Music and the Arts. According to Leigh Ellen, the foundation has already amassed quite the board of directors, including members including Dickey Betts, the Rolling Stones/Allmans keyboardist Chuck Levell, Swampers bassist David Hood, and Sandlin's studio protege. "Dad felt like music was for everyone," she said.

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