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While he may be a footnote in history (compared to some of the artists he surrounded himself with) Johnny Jenkins laid down one heavy hitter of an album in late 1969 — Ton-Ton-Macoute!.  As the the leader of The Pinetoppers, Jenkins famously hired Otis Redding to be his personal driver prior to Redding being discovered at STAX in Memphis.  But, as you know, that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Much of the material on Ton-Ton-Macoute! was initially slated for a Duane Allman solo project until the guitarist split to concentrate on the newly formed Allman Brothers Band. Besides Allman, his bandmates Berry Oakley, Jaimoe, and Butch Trucks all guest on the album with Jenkins’ vocals working in tandem with Duane’s playing.  Like many of you reading, I was initially turned onto the album years ago via the posthumous Duane Allman Anthology Vol. II.  Jenkins and Allman’s rendition of Dr. John’s “Walk On Gilded Splinters” nearly rivals the original with their injection of raw soul and blues into the spooky, swampy, vibe of John’s Gris Gris album closer. 

Recommended Reading: Skydog: The Duane Allman Story.

Download:

MP3: Johnny Jenkins :: Walk On Gilded Splinters (w/ Duane Allman)
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Amazon: Johnny Jenkins – Ton-Ton-Macoute!

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4 Responses to “Johnny Jenkins :: Walk On Gilded Splinters”

  1. Nice call on this. This album is a lost treasure and this song is the jam. Once heard this song was sampled by Beck for “Loser.” Hmmm….

  2. that anthology is something else. skydog fans…are you preaching the gospel of derek trucks yet? he plays the fucking TRUTH. imagine the most absurd combination of your favorite guitarists. duane’s soul, SRV’s power and santana’s world perspective? and that tone…its knopfler and scofield and grant green and jimmy reed, except its all derek trucks. it flows out of him.

    he’s the one.

  3. good of you to share this; it is woefully under-appreciated music . . . from all i’ve read (the Otis bio and various other sources) the “driver/personal valet” story is largely myth. Otis sang out front w/Johnny’s band on some live dates, and he had already released a few singles under his own name when he stepped to the mic at Stax at the conclusion of a long Jenkins session.

    the one about sonny bono horning his way into the employ of spector while delivering pizza, now that’s true!

    dc

  4. This has been one of my favorite albums for years. I found a vinyl copy in Athens in the 90′s and I have loved it ever since. You should post some more of this in the future. Excellent record.

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