Posts Tagged ‘Allman Brothers Band’

As part of the ongoing celebration of their 50th anniversary, on September. 6th, the Allman Brothers Band Recording Company, caretakers of the original band’s unreleased catalog, in conjunction with distributor The Orchard will release a four-CD set titled Fillmore West ’71, culled from a weekend of live music recorded at the San Francisco venue. The band were the middle act playing between headliners Hot Tuna and the 24-piece opener Trinidad Tripoli Street Band.

This will be the debut release of these recordings. The packaging contains a front cover photo of Duane Allman from Jim Marshall Photography (taken at these shows) that has rarely been seen before.

From the press release announcing the collection: “Compiled from reel-to-reel soundboard masters, the January. 29th show that kicks off this collection reads like an Allman Brothers Band greatest hits, from opener ‘Statesboro Blues’ through the set-wrapping ‘Whipping Post.’ On the next night, the standard sequence of ‘Statesboro Blues,‘Trouble No More,’ ‘Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’’ and ‘Elizabeth Reed’ was typically riveting, and then the blues-soaked ‘Stormy Monday’ was worked in, replacing ‘Midnight Rider.’ Gregg’s vocals were visceral and honest, while Duane and Dickey added down and dirty licks. ‘You Don’t Love Me’ showcased some run-and-gun guitar work, and a frenzied ‘Whipping Post’ closed out another solid night. The band—Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe, Berry Oakley and Butch Trucks—were loose and talkative and you can hear them really dialing their sound in at what would be a final tune-up for the seminal At Fillmore East album, recorded less than two months later. At Fillmore East would cement the band’s place in rock history.”

The announcement continues: “Always acclaimed for their explosive live shows, the ABB really ratcheted up the intensity and focus on January 31st. After hammering tightly through the reliable first four, the ABB placed ‘Midnight Rider’ back into the rotation, and then Berry Oakley stepped up to the mic for a wicked and nasty take on ‘Hoochie Coochie Man,’ with Jaimoe and Butch churning full-bore behind him. After an extensive workout on “You Don’t Love Me,” the group worked a relatively new song into the set, ‘Hot ‘Lanta.’ Conceived out of a loose jam at the Big House in Macon, GA, the band’s home base currently an ABB museum, this group composition was cutting-edge fusion, displaying the delightful musical diversity of the Allman Brothers Band. A superior ‘Whipping Post’ concludes the Fillmore West material, but Disc Four goes on to include a wonderful bonus track: a March, 1970 version of ‘Mountain Jam’ from the Warehouse in New Orleans which—at 45 minutes long!—showcases a band that loved to improvise and let the music take on a life of its own.”

Kirk West, who served as the “Tour Mystic” and official archivist for the Allman Brothers Band for over 20 years, played a pivotal role in re-acquiring the original live performance two-track, reel-to-reel tapes used for this release from legendary band crew members Twiggs Lyndon, Joe Dan Petty and Mike Callahan, who were the original caretakers of these recordings. The tapes had been stored in closets and attics for many years, necessitating careful transfers and several successive attempts at restoration, as technology continued to improve. Interestingly in 1971, however, Kirk was a 20-year-old counterculture entrepreneur who found himself at the Fillmore West during the last four days of January. “I was living in Palo Alto with a bunch of hippie kids who, by and large, were Dead Heads. I had moved to California from Chicago, and I already was a big Allman Brothers fan,” recalls West. “I was insisting that everyone in the house go up to the Fillmore that weekend—‘Let’s go, let’s go—the Brothers are in town, playing with Hot effin’ Tuna.”

The concerts took place roughly six weeks before the band performed the March 1971 concerts which became their famed At Fillmore East, considered one of the all time great live rock albums.

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Gregg Allman - Laid Back

A pair of Gregg Allman reissues are due next month. The late rocker’s 1973 solo debut, Two years after his death, Gregg Allman’s 1973 solo debut Laid Back, and his 1974 live album, The Gregg Allman Tour, will be released on vinyl on August 30th. To be reissued on August 30th via Mercury/UMe.

Recorded at the same time as the Allman Brothers’ iconic Brothers and Sisters, Laid Back is a densely soulful record,  The album “Laid Back”, which includes Allman’s cover his own “Midnight Rider” in a more mournful, dirge-like manner, and Jackson Browne’s “These Days” gets its most touching and tragic-sounding rendition as well. Although Chuck Leavell and Jaimoe are here, there’s very little that sounds like the Allman Brothers Band — prominent guitars, apart from a few licks by Tommy Talton (Cowboy), are overlooked in favor of gospel-tinged organ and choruses behind Allman’s soulful singing.

The set arrives as part of a two-CD Deluxe Edition that fills out the first disc with early mixes of all eight songs. A second disc contains Allman’s demos, outtakes, rough mixes and a solo live version of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Melissa” recorded at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., on April 13th, 1974.

While promoting Laid Back, Allman performed two nights at New York’s Carnegie Hall and a third at the Capitol Theatre with a 24-piece orchestra and the band Cowboy. Highlights from those dates were released on The Gregg Allman Tour, which has been out of print on vinyl since 1987.

In addition to songs from Laid Back and Allman Brothers classics like “Dreams” and “Stand Back,” Allman covered “Turn on Your Love Light” and “I Feel So Bad” on the album. Cowboy, which featured Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Chuck Leavell, also perform two songs, “Time Will Take Us” and “Where Can You Go?”.

Allman’s live album The Gregg Allman Tour is also being reissued, pressed for the first time since 1987. Featuring live tracks from Carnegie Hall and the Capitol Theater, the tracklist includes “Oncoming Traffic” and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “I Feel So Bad.” The vinyl edition will be pressed in grey and white marble, modeling the original so that side one and four will be on the first LP, while sides two and three will be on the other.

These Days (Solo Guitar, Piano & Vocal Demo) · Gregg Allman

The Gregg Allman Tour and Laid back , will be released on vinyl on August 30th. To be reissued on August 30th via Mercury/UMe.

Allman Bros Melissa.jpg

Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band and one of the citadels of Southern rock music, died at the age 69 due to complications from liver cancer. “Melissa” is a song by American rock band The Allman Brothers Band released in August 1972 as the second single from the group’s third studio album, Eat A Peach

Following the untimely death of Duane Allman, their founder and resident guitar hero, in 1971, the Allman Brothers Band easily could have crumbled beneath the weight of such a tragedy. The road beckoned, however. As a matter of fact, that road, with all of its heady highs and desolate lows, informed one of the first and most enduring triumphs of their post-Duane career.

“Melissa” actually dates back to a time before there was an Allman Brothers Band, back when Duane and brother Gregg were in a band called The 31st of February and the latter was still trying to find his songwriting touch. As he recalled to the San Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune in a 2006 interview, Gregg struggled mightily to write something worthy.

“I wrote that song in 1967 in a place called the Evergreen Hotel in Pensacola, Florida,” he recalled. “By that time I got so sick of playing other people’s material that I just sat down and said, ‘Okay, here we go. One, two, three – we’re going to try to write songs.’ And about 200 songs later – much garbage to take out – I wrote this song called ‘Melissa”

The song’s namesake was almost settled as Delilah before Melissa came to Allman at a grocery store where he was buying milk late one night, as he told the story in his memoir, My Cross to Bear:

It was my turn to get the coffee and juice for everyone, and I went to this twenty-four-hour grocery store, one of the few in town. There were two people at the cash registers, but only one other customer besides myself. She was an older Spanish lady, wearing the colorful shawls, with her hair all stacked up on her head. And she had what seemed to be her granddaughter with her, who was at the age when kids discover they have legs that will run. She was jumping and dancing; she looked like a little puppet. I went around getting my stuff, and at one point she was the next aisle over, and I heard her little feet run all the way down the aisle. And the woman said, “No, wait, Melissa. Come back—don’t run away, Melissa!” I went, “Sweet Melissa.” I could’ve gone over there and kissed that woman. As a matter of fact, we came down and met each other at the end of the aisle, and I looked at her and said, “Thank you so much.” She probably went straight home and said, “I met a crazy man at the fucking grocery.” 

Gregg Allman rushed home and incorporated the name into the partially completed song, later introducing it to his brother: “[I] played it for my brother and he said, ‘It’s pretty good—for a love song.

The 31st of February fell apart before they could release “Melissa,” but a demo from that time period eventually surfaced in May of 1972 on a collection of the brothers’ early recordings. In the meantime, Duane and Gregg had moved onto superstardom with The Allman Brothers Band on the strength of two scorching studio albums and the stunning live document Live At Fillmore East, which showcased the band’s instrumental virtuosity as they straddled the realms of country, rock, and blues, creating epic jams out of that rich stew.

Everything changed on October 29th, 1971, when Duane Allman, at the age of 24, died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia. At the time, the band was working on the studio follow-up to At Fillmore East. After Duane’s death, the decision was made to turn that follow-up, 1972’s Eat A Peach, into a hybrid album of sorts. It would include live material left off At Fillmore East, some studio tracks with Duane that were in the can, and a few more new recordings by the surviving members. When it came time to cut the new material, Gregg Allman remembered “Melissa,” which had always been a personal favorite of his late brother. “And my brother sometimes late at night after dinner, he’d say, ‘Man, go get your guitar and play me that song – that song about that girl,” Gregg said. “And I’d play it for him every now and then. After my brother’s accident, we had three vinyl sides done of Peach, so I thought well we’ll do that …”

Calling it “that song about that girl” was probably a bit of oversimplification on Duane’s part, because “Melissa” reveals far more about the “gypsy” whose wandering lifestyle is detailed than it does about the girl. One can read the song as a metaphor for the nomadic existence of a touring rock star, but Gregg’s lyrics are somehow more cosmic and universal than that, hinting at the innate restlessness that dwells within us all and contradicts the need for the stability and love that waits when the road finally winds down. With the mention of the “Crossroads” that exert their pull on the gypsy character, Allman could certainly have been referencing the Robert Johnson myth that fueled so many blues and rock songs. Yet the song is sturdy enough to support the interpretation of the crossroads as a crucial turning point in everyone’s life, that line of demarcation that separates the reckless adventurer from the settled homebody. Gregg’s yearning vocal evokes it all. Rather than being romanticized, the road that the gypsy wanders is portrayed as unforgiving, nearly cruel. Lasting relationships are spurned in favor of temporary dalliances (“Knowing many, loving none”), while the rewards he reaps from his peripatetic nature are minimal (“And no one knows the Gypsy’s name/ No one hears his lonely sighs/ There are no blankets where he lies.”)

In contrast to this futility, Melissa waits in the gypsy’s “deepest dreams,” his redemption and salvation all rolled up in one. The fact that there are no details yielded about her save her name leads us to wonder if she ever really existed as more than just some idealized manifestation of a weary brain. The restrained musical accompaniment, somber acoustic guitars and Dickey Betts’ guitar teardrops that are a far cry from the Fillmore East heroics, certainly doesn’t promise a happy reunion at the end of the trail.

It’s tricky to utilize real-life events as context for song meanings, but Gregg’s every last moan conjures the toll the road takes and, as a result, seems to make a subtle commentary on his brother, a gypsy in his own right who was robbed by fate of his chance to return home, at least in life. What can’t be denied is that “Melissa,” intended as a kind of tribute to Duane Allman, actually went a long way in proving that The Allman Brothers could find a way forward without him.

thanks to American Songwriter

The band had split during the narcotic mayhem of the 41 date 75/76 tour, where Gregg testified in the trial of security man to the Allmans Scooter Herring resulting in the latter’s 75 year prison sentence. Leavell, Williams and Jaimoe continued with Sea Level, Dickey Betts formed Great Southern and Allman founded the Gregg Allman Band. However by 1978 moves were afoot to reunite the band augmented by new guitarist Dangerous Dan Toler & bassist David Goldflies to record the “Enlightened Rogues” album & return to the road. The new line up is captured, in revitalised form, at the Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY on the 30th December 1979 & broadcast by WLIR-FM.

Tracklist 1/Don’t Want You No More 2/ Not My Cross To Bear 3/Can’t Take It With You 4/Blue Sky 5/Need Your Love So Bad 6/Blind Love 7/Crazy Love 8/Just Ain’t Easy 9/In Memory of Elizabeth Reed 10/Try It One More Time 11/One Way Out 12/Statesboro Blues 13/Southbound 14/Jessica 15/Whipping Post 16/Pegasus 17/Midnight Rider 18/Will The Circle Be Unbroken 19/Ramblin’ Man.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

This superb 3 Disc Boxed Set, with a run time of just over 4 hours, captures the entire show broadcast that legendary night more than 40 years ago. Capturing the group almost fully recovered from the deaths of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, and with a little help from their friends, they deliver one of their most outstanding performances ever. By the end of 1973, the Allman Brothers Band were the most popular touring band in America.

They drew crowds like few others, on a par with those attracted by the Grateful Dead. So it goes without saying, that when the two groups were on the same bill, pandemonium often ensued. A legendary event at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Racecourse on July 28, 1973, when the Allmans, the Dead and The Band drew an estimated 600,000 people – at the time the largest outdoor rock concert ever – illustrates this point to. Thus, given their status at the time, when the Allman Brothers chose to play New Year’s Eve in the Bay Area at Bill Grahams Cow Palace, it was a benediction indeed they quite simply could have played anywhere they damn wanted. And there was a paradox – wasn’t San Francisco’s New Year’s Eve slot by now the exclusive property of the Grateful Dead? This dilemma however was somewhat addressed, live to an FM radio audience sometime after midnight, when Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzmann joined the Allman Brothers Band onstage. At the time, Garcia’s appearance seemed to cement a synergistic relationship between the two bands that became enshrined in rock history. At the same time, it turned out to be the end of an era not just for the two bands, but for a certain aura in post-60s rock, none of which seemed obvious at the time.

The Allman Brothers Band’s classic 1971 live album “At Fillmore East” will be expanded into a six-disc box set, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings, to include 15 previously unreleased performances. The group originally compiled the album from four sets recorded over a weekend in March 1971, and the new box set also includes a complete performance recorded at the venue that June. For that performance, promoter Bill Graham handpicked them to headline the Fillmore East’s final night. The new box set features liner notes by “Allmanologist” John Lynskey .

allmanfillmore

“That weekend in March of ’71, when we recorded At Fillmore East, most of the time it clicked,” drummer Butch Trucks said in a statement. “We were finally starting to catch up with what we were listening to. We had lived together. . . we got in trouble together; we all just moved as a unit. And then, when we got onstage to play, that’s what it was all about – and it just happened to all come together that weekend.”

The four March sets were recorded by Tom Dowd, who produced the Allman Brothers’ second album, “Idlewild South”, and the Derek and the Dominos album Layla (the latter of which paired Duane Allman with Eric Clapton). With so much going on around the band at the time, Dowd and Atlantic Records decided to put out the live album to show what the Allman Brothers  were capable of outside of the studio.

One of the best live albums of all time  The Allman Brothers Band’s cornerstone LP, At Fillmore East, compiled from the four sets recorded on the weekend of March 12-13, 1971, has been expanded, stretching over six CDs with fifteen unreleased tracks. Additionally, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings contains the complete June 27 performance during the iconic venue-s final weekend, after the band was handpicked by impresario Bill Graham to headline closing night. The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings captures the most inspired improvisational rock unit ever at the peak of their prodigious powers, blazing their way through extended instrumental elaborations, so taut and virtuosic, that the crowds that packed the Fillmore East on those memorable nights were utterly transfixed. When it came to live performance, no other band could touch the Allmans.

‘The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings’ includes 37 tracks, 15 previously unreleased and a 36 page booklet with extended liner notes and never-before-seen images of the Fillmore concerts.