Reggae Covers: Gene Rondo – Ramblin’ Man (The Allman Brothers)

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I was looking forward to a Jamaicanization of these familiar lyrics from The Allman Brothers1973 hit and got mesmerized by the guitarist’s attempts to match the effortless, right-on-time six-string chops of Duane Allman. Released in 1975 this cover breaks little new ground, but is an unaccustomed entry from the world of Southern rock & jam bands. Gene Rondo –born Winston Lara in Greenwich Farm, Kingston, Jamaica in 1943– is best-remembered for his recordings with the duo Gene & Roy, for his mid-career acceptance of Rastafari, and for a lifetime of good works.

My father was a gambler down in Georgia,
And he wound up on the wrong end of a gun.
And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus
Rollin’ down highway 41.

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man,
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can.
And when it’s time for leavin’,
I hope you’ll understand,
That I was born a ramblin’ man.


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