136. Song No. 1,988: “Come and Go Blues” by The Allman Brothers Band
Brothers and Sisters, 1973
I’ve made a lot of wonderful discoveries in the nine months (almost to the day!) since I started this blog. I’ve fallen in love with some bands all over again and others like they deserved years ago. Songs I’ve heard hundreds of times before finally hit a little differently this time and albums I’ve spent hours and miles with are still showing me new ways and reasons to love them.
There’s nothing lyrically remarkable about this song, but its frank vulnerability is, I think, familiar to anyone who’s been stuck in the war between their head and their heart while grappling with the difficult reality of loving someone more than they’re able to reciprocate. The studio version of this song does a fine job recreating those hopeful highs and lachrymose lows courtesy of a hot-and-cold entanglement; this video of Gregg Allman belting out these lyrics with only his guitar for accompaniment, however, is a wonder to behold. Fuck, could that man wail.
It’s such a treat when albums I’ve been listening to for eons still have the capacity for pleasant surprises; it’s even better when an album that’s older than me can do it. And knowing that I can still fall in love with new things about not just old favorites but veritable classics is a wonderful bit of reassuring magic in these times of the most unstable ground. Leave it to one of my favorite giants of classic rock to turn a wound that can’t heal as long as it keeps getting ripped open into something worth playing on infinite repeat.