Posts Tagged ‘Fillmore East’

On Valentine’s weekend 1970, the Allman Brother’s shared the stage with the Grateful Dead and Love at The Fillmore East along with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac who’d showed up as they’d been sharing the bill with the Dead the previous week. Musicians from the other bands actually joined the stage for the late show on the 11th although none of that is used here. The Dead’s sets have been used to make up both History Of The Grateful Dead Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice) and Dick’s Picks Volume 4. Grateful Dead soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley was running his Nagra reel to reel deck as he pretty much always did at the time. While preparing Dick’s Picks Volume 4 in late 1995 and very early 1996, Dick and Bear contacted the Allman Brothers and their archivist paving the way for this release not too long after.

This is a fantastic release and features thundering performances by the band from early in their career. These shows took place about six months after the band began recording their first album. This is also currently the earliest concert release by the Allman Brothers Band as the Ludlow Garage set was recorded about 7 weeks after these performances. I’m really surprised that this release has been allowed to go out of print as I was sure that it would’ve been grabbed up by Peach Records by now. There’s not too unusual as far as the songs go as it’s pretty much a standard list for the time but the performances are blistering. The disc itself runs over 72 minutes so it’s pretty full for a single disc release. It’s a shame that there wasn’t enough room for a version of Dreams as well but that would’ve put it over the maximum run time.

This concert was recorded by the Gratefull Dead staff in 1970, one year before the mythic “At Fillmore East” of march 1971. If you want to discover the band, buy first “At Fillmore East” of 1971, one of the best live albums ever recorded. If you want to go futher and hear the band before it became famous, this “Fillmore East Feb” 70″ is shorter but is their first professionnal live recording.

These live performances captured by Owsley “Bear” Stanley were recorded at the late, great New York City venue in February 1970 but remained unreleased for over 25 years until they were excavated by Grateful Dead Records.  Now, they’re available again in a newly remastered edition.  The 7 tracks (available on a single CD or digitally) include “Statesboro Blues,” and “Whipping Post.”

Drawn from Bear’s Sonic Journals titled Allman Brothers Band Fillmore East February 1970, the sonically restored and mastered recordings of the Allman Brothers Band’s performances at the Fillmore East on February 11th, 13th & 14th, 1970 were captured by Bear, who is known for the purity of his “Sonic Journal” recordings. The performances feature the earliest known live concert recording of Dickey Betts’ monstrous instrumental number “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” It will be released August 10th by Allman Brothers Band Recording Company (Orchard Distribution).

all new album art and liner notes, including a series of rare band photos from the Fillmore East in February 1970, original cover artwork (“Electric Mushroom”), and new notes from the Allman Brothers Band and the Owsley Stanley Foundation. Although the Allman Brothers Band in early 1970 had but one studio album under their belt, word of mouth about their incendiary and improvisational marathon live shows had begun to spread. In his new liner notes, ABB authority magazine editor John Lynskey aptly describes the Allman Brothers Band’s music as a “wicked blend of rock, jazz and R&B that created a dynamic, groundbreaking sound.”

Here’s the set list:

“In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” (Dickey Betts) – 9:19
“Hoochie Coochie Man” (Willie Dixon) – 6:01
“Statesboro Blues” (Blind Willie McTell) – 4:18
“Trouble No More” (McKinley Morganfield aka Muddy Waters) – 4:12
“I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town” (William Weldon) – 8:28
“Whipping Post” (Gregg Allman) – 8:12
“Mountain Jam” (Donovan Leitch, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Jai Johnny Johnson) – 30:48

No photo description available.

From the opening bars of ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More’, which kicks off “Eat A Peach” the Allman Brothers set out their stall on this, their third studio album. But as fans of the band know “Eat A Peach” is an album wreathed in sadness, because it was recorded between September and December 1971, and it was on 29th October that 24 year old Duane Allman was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. The album’s opening track was written for his brother by Gregg Allman.

It was originally a double LP and was a record of three distinct elements. There’s the shorter tracks that filled side 1 of the first album while sides two of both records featured the half hour live ‘Mountain Jam’ that had to be cut in this way to accommodate its length, as well as two more tracks on side one of the second LP that had been recorded live. The CD version included ‘Mountain Jam’ as one complete track and later deluxe reissues featured additional songs from the 27 June 1971 Fillmore closing night concert.

In September 1971 the band went to Miami’s Criteria Studios with producer Tom Dowd and at these sessions they cut, Blue Sky’, an instrumental they called, ‘The Road to Calico; that developed into ‘Stand Back, with the addition of vocals and Duane’s gorgeous instrumental, ‘Little Martha’. The band then went back on the road, before four of the band went to rehab to deal with their addiction problems.

Following Duane Allman’s untimely accident the band agreed they must carry on. As drummer, Butch Trucks later said, “[Duane] was the teacher and he gave something to us—his disciples—that we had to play out.” The three tracks included on the album recorded at the December Miami sessions are ‘Melissa,’ ‘Les Brers in A Minor,’ and ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More’. Les Brers, as Dickey Betts, the song’s writer later said, it was bad French for “the brothers. ‘Melissa’ was written by Gregg in 1967, one of the first he wrote that he deemed worthy of saving, and it was a song that Duane always loved. Gregg Allman had always felt it wasn’t edgy enough for the Allmans and thought he might record it as a solo record someday, but decided to include it as a tribute to Duane.

The live tracks, including the extended ‘Mountain Jam’ were recorded at the Fillmore East; ‘Mountain Jam and Muddy Waters’s ‘Trouble No More’ in March 1971, while their cover of Elmore James’s ‘One Way Out’ dates from 27 June 1971.

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At the time Duane Allman was killed, the band had no title for the album, and when it was finished Atlantic Records suggested it should be called, ‘The Kind We Grow in Dixie’, but this was rejected out of hand. It was Butch Trucks that came up with the title, suggesting they call it, “Eat a Peach for Peace”, a phrase that Duane had once said in response to a question during an interview. “I’m hitting a lick for peace — and every time I’m in Georgia, I eat a peach for peace. But you can’t help the revolution, because there’s just evolution. I understand the need for a lot of changes in the country, but I believe that as soon as everybody can just see a little bit better, and get a little hipper to what’s going on, they’re going to change it.” Georgia is known as “The Peach State.”

Trucks too took inspiration from the album’s artwork that was largely created while Duane was still alive. W. David Powell of Wonder Graphics had seen old postcards in an Athens, Georgia drugstore; one of which depicted a peach on a truck and the other a watermelon on a rail car. He bought them and worked up the album’s distinctive cover. Because the album had no name, it is the reason that the artwork was left title-less for its release.

Prior to the album’s release there was much speculation that without Duane the band would implode. To kick start the promotion of the record a live radio broadcast of the band’s New Year’s Eve performance at New Orleans’s Warehouse was arranged. It helped reinforce the idea that the Allman Brothers Band was still alive and well; when the record came out on 12th February 1972 it met with instant success and soon made No.4 on the American Billboard album chart.

In the words of Rolling Stones’s Tony Glover “the Allman Brothers are still the best goddamned band in the land … I hope the band keeps playing forever — how many groups can you think of who really make you believe they’re playing for the joy of it?”

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‘Melissa’ was the album’s most successful single, making #65 on the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More’ and ‘One Way Out’ were also released as singles, charting at numbers 77 and 86, respectively. In 1972 the Band played close to a hundred shows to support of the record, mostly as headliners, often with label mates’ Cowboy or Wet Willie as their opening act. As Trucks said, “We were playing for him and that was the way to be closest to him.

Quicksilver Messenger Service Follow The ‘Happy Trails’

This was the day 49 years ago that San Francisco rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service unveiled their finest hour, at least in commercial terms. March 17th, 1969 marked the release of ‘Happy Trails,’ their second album for Capitol Records and their one LP to win gold certification in America. When it comes to groups graced with two lead guitarists, one often earns more ardor than the other. Sometimes that’s understandable, like when one player takes more of the solos. But in a case like Quicksilver Messenger Service, it’s a mystery. In their heyday, John Cipollina tended to get more attention than Gary Duncan, though they both made dazzling contributions to their albums and concerts.

Cipollina’s distinctly ringing tremolo, a kind of sonic special effect that achieved a shivery resonance on the highest notes. In fact, Duncan has his own distinct tone and his overall work showed nearly as much invention and scope as his partner’s. You can hear their interplay best in the band’s oceanic jams,

Quite unusually for a sophomore record, ‘Happy Trails’ was a live album, taken from performances by the band at the famed Fillmore East and Fillmore West venues. Even more ambitiously, the first side of the disc was a suite of songs, running more than 25 minutes in total, based around the theme of Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love?’, in no fewer than six episodic interpretations. Quicksilver’s version divided into seven sections, with different sub-titles. One dubbed When You Love, featured a long, and highly creative, five-minute jaunt from Duncan that drew from jazz as well as psychedelia, underscored by a Latin-influenced bass line. It’s forceful and ruminative at once. Cipollina took the reins during the How You Love segment, letting his chilling tremolo spin through loop-de-loops, broken by distinct cries phased to shoot back and forth between the speakers.

The first and last of these were versions of the song itself, with notable roles for the band’s guitarists John Cipollina and Gary Duncan. The first even nudged into the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 91. But the middle passages were all written by the members of QMS themselves, titled (with a hint of humour) ‘When You Love, ‘Where You Love,’ ‘How You Love’ and ‘Which Do You Love.’

Quicksilver goes into it at full speed,” wrote Greil Marcus in his Rolling Stone review at the time, “John Cipollina’s guitar alternately harsh and sweet, clashing with Gary Duncan’s rhythm, Greg Elmore’s drumming simple and solid, never an iota of sloppiness, not a note missed.”

Who do you love and Mona are excellent examples of QMS live , the audience interaction is exciting and enervating, Cipollina’s guitar playing is ecstatic and moving. Calvary is like a psychedelic spaghetti western and is quite in place and a good ol’ boys yippee ay yay ending in Happy Trails means a great trip is guaranteed for all you heads out there

This is simply the San Francisco live,’acid rock’, sound at its best. Obviously comparisons with the Dead will be made but for reasons well expressed by the other reviewers here they are pretty meaningless. I can understand why opinions are divided over this album, It is one of the great, maybe the greatest, guitar album(s) flowing in a way that no other has ever equalled. Don’t look for structured songs here just, to quote the Airplane,”ride the music”. One of the two or three albums that would be in my top ten whenever you asked me.

The second side of ‘Happy Trails’ started with another gem from the Bo Diddley catalogue, ‘Mona,’ and three more band compositions including Duncan’s 13-minute instrumental ‘Calvary.’

The album artwork was designed by Globe Propaganda, described as “an advertising agency specializing in hip, progressive material.” Soon afterwards, Globe designed covers for the Charlatans and It’s A Beautiful Day. 23 years after its release, in 1992, ‘Happy Trails’ went gold, testament to the lasting contribution of Quicksilver Messenger Service as was the fact that it landed at No. 189 on Rolling Stone’s all-time top 500 albums.

Who at Fillmore East 10/20-25/69 by David Byrd

This recording captures much of the third night of a weeklong engagement The Who performing their rock opera Tommy at the Fillmore East, with Bay Area band AUM opening, followed by fellow Brits King Crimson.

Following the band intro, they kick the show off with John Entwistle’s “Heaven and Hell,” their standard opener at the time. “I Can’t Explain” and “Fortune Teller” hark back to older times, as does “Young Man Blues,” but all three are played with a renewed ferocity, not apparent on the studio recordings.

Thundering bass and drumming that’s on the verge of being out of control combine with Townshend’s power chords to create a sound that is unmistakably The Who. It’s remarkable that only three musicians can create such a powerful sound, particularly on the latter song. Following a monologue by Townshend, preparing the audience for the long haul of their new rock opera, Tommy, they launch into a condensed version of the “Overture.” Although shorter than usual, the anchoring musical themes of the piece are introduced before the storyline begins with “It’s A Boy.”

The highlight of what exists here from the opera is probably “Sparks,” where the band really cuts loose into a pulverizing jam. Townshend’s guitar howls through the unique powerhouse rhythms created by Entwistle and Moon. The opera continues with the bluesy “Eyesight To The Blind” which segues into “Christmas” as the first tape runs out. Unfortunately, the recording misses most of the rest of Tommy, resuming as they are reaching the end of “See Me Feel Me” coda’s finale sequence.

The band ends the show with the double whammy of “Summertime Blues” followed by an unusually slow-paced “Shakin’ All Over” that features themes from several other songs drifting in and out, including “Smokestack Lightning.”

Pete Townshend – guitar, vocals; Roger Daltrey – vocals; John Entwistle – bass; Keith Moon – drums

Image result for leon russell live at the fillmore east 1970

This week will forever be considered one of the darkest and strangest in recent memory. The election of Donald Trump, Then we lost arguably the greatest songwriter in modern music with the passing of Leonard Cohen, and a certain troubadour who was a source of spiritual comfort for many entered the place where “there is no Space & Time.” Claude Russell Bridges, whom the world lovingly knew as Leon Russell, was a “Rainbow Minister & Ringleader” for the Hippie Generation, a “superstar” that shone very brightly.

This is a great live set,  Elton John opened for Leon Russell at these shows. This concert was recorded before the Elton John’s one at the Fillmore East. Elton John was a great fan of Leon Russell and logically invited him to open his shows.  At these Fillmore East concerts, Leon Russell headlined over an up and coming Elton John and the band McKendree Spring. This set finds him performing much of the material from his first solo album, but with a feel that would reflect where he was heading on his second album, Leon Russell And The Shelter People. It was a bigger, more adventurous sound, which would feature many of the same musicians that jelled so well on the Cocker tour. The material on this tour was equally diverse, featuring rock & roll, country, blues, soul and gospel, woven together by Russell’s distinctive Oklahoma twang and his creative arrangements.

The set begins rather starkly, with Russell performing solo at the piano, opening with Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country,” followed by his own “Song For You.” The set is paced in a way that is reminiscent of an old-fashioned revue, with additional musicians and chorus singers joining in as the set progresses. Anchored by David Hood and Roger Hawkins from the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, talented soloists, and two of the greatest female singers of the time (Lennear and McDonald), the set continually gains momentum with each song, establishing the feel of a rollicking road show.

As the set continues, Russell performs some of the true gems from his debut album, including “Hummingbird,” “Dixie Lullabye” and the high energy, “I Put A Spell On You.” The entourage also plays an outstanding version of “Shoot Out On The Plantation” that surfaces out of a short tease of “Blues Power,” the song Eric Clapton covered so well on his first solo album.

Russell also performs “Pisces Apple Lady” before bringing it all to a frenetic close with the double whammy of “Prince Of Peace” and “Give Peace A Chance” (a Russell original, not the John Lennon song). These last two numbers clearly display the incredible power of this talented group of musicians and singers, bringing the feel of an old time Southern gospel revue to the stage of the Fillmore East.

When comparing this concert to the one recorded, 3 years later, for Leon Live (One Of My Favourite Ever Live album set and a wonderful package). Similarities and differences are striking. Similiraties since it’s the gospel-that-rocks that all Leon’s admirers love to hear, but differences since the set was more sober and tighter that the quite indulgent later ones. I doubt any Dr John – Elton John or any-John-you-want won’t be enthusiasts in listening to such a great performance. Nothing better to listen to when you’re down and out. It makes you imagine life’s worth the living. Measure the miracle. Note that this set was never released officially but that the sound is very good probally taken from the soundboard..

LEON RUSSELL
Fillmore East, New York, NY; November 20-21st, 1970 [late show?] The Band for Leon was Roger Hawkins Drums, Dave Hood Bass Guitar. John Gallie Organ and ketboards Don Preston and Joey Cooper Guitars, Claudia Lennaer & Kathi McDonald on backing vocals

The second night of The Who’s first run ever playing at the Fillmore East is an unbelievably great document of the band in its early prime, still full of the punk attitude that they would initially define while beginning to venture off into more artistic and experimental territory. Every minute of this performance is fascinating and much of this material cannot be found, in better quality or at all, on any other Who recordings. This set captures the entire band fully engaged in their music. Although many songs were still short and concise during this stage of their career, the intensity level is undeniable. Opening the show with Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” they immediately set a bar that most other bands could never even approach.

The previous year, two members of The Rolling Stones were arrested on drug charges under questionable circumstances, and were victimized by the U.K. courts. They were harshly sentenced in an attempt to make an example out of them, which immediately caused an uproar that shook London to the core. Following Jagger and Richards’ ridiculous sentencing, The Who quickly recorded two of their more popular songs in support and vowed to record nothing but Stones songs until the two were released. Their second song of this set is the Stones’ cover of the Allen Toussaint penned “Fortune Teller,” which they had just performed for the first time ever the previous night.

They continue with “I Can’t Explain,” one of the few songs American audiences were familiar with at the time, but with a new level of aggression that wasn’t apparent on that early single. Next up is their current single at the time, “Happy Jack,” a tune that found them exploring new directions and beginning to experiment with dynamic changes. Extremely rare live performances of “Relax” and “My Way” follow and continue to explore and expand on the boundaries within the band’s music. “Relax” surprisingly turns out to be one of the heavier numbers on this set and the band takes flight into some inspired jamming following the verses. Unfortunately, the jam fades out and is incomplete.

John Entwistle then steps up for his defining song, “Boris The Spider,” lending his dark sense of humor to the proceedings. At this point, the band launches into “My Generation” and this version is amazing. The improvisational section following the verses is a great early example of the band letting the music propel itself. Although at times it seems like they are on the verge of being out of control, they never are, and early signs of Townshend developing themes within a jam are also surfacing. The approach to their instruments and the sound they create as a unit is utterly unique and unlike any other band at that time. The reels were changed during this jam, so a small part of it is missing on this recording.

This surely must have left the audience breathless, so while they were recovering, the band embarks on their most experimental composition yet, “A Quick One While He’s Away,” which is incomplete and begins in the middle of the song. This adventurous suite of songs, loosely tied together, is a hint at Townshend’s future aspirations that would eventually be realized in his first full-blown rock opera, Tommy. This is a fascinating performance for its entire eight minutes.

Who at Fillmore East 4/5-6/68 by Helen Hersh

They close their set this night with another propulsive jam on “Shakin’ All Over,” again letting the music propel the band through several pulverizing jams, including spontaneous flailing of riffs familiar from other songs. Again, the raw energy is astounding. This and the previous night’s performance must have gone a long way towards cementing their reputation in New York City. This should be required listening for anyone interested in that era of rock music and especially for anyone interested in The Who

The lead guitar Pete Townshend plays on “Can’t Explain” is ridiculously on point. Phenomenal guitar playing

Pete Townshend – guitar, vocals; Roger Daltrey – vocals; John Entwistle – bass; Keith Moon – drums

As the ’60s came to a close, Jimi Hendrix began to push the boundaries of funk, rock and R&B with a brand new group of musicians, Band of Gypsys. Together with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, Hendrix unveiled stunning, newly written material across four shows at the legendary Fillmore East in New York City. “Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 31/12/69” marks the first time Band of Gypsys‘ first show has ever been released in its entirety, newly mixed by Eddie Kramer from the original 1″ eight-track masters.

Well, this is something serious Hendrix collectors have been waiting for. Band of Gypsys famously played a total of four shows 12/31/69 and 1/1/70 at the Fillmore East (two shows each night). This is the complete first set from the first night; their debut live show. Although the original Band of Gypsy’s album was compiled from the second night, it wasn’t because there weren’t amazing performances to choose from on the first night. The first couple songs are a bit rough around the edges, but when Jimi goes deep blues with “Hear My Train a Comin’,” he really starts feeling it and turns in an absolutely amazing version (that’s why it was previously released on Band of Gypsys 2 and Live at the Fillmore East). “Machine Gun” is another stunner.

There are significant differences to the lyrics, and the structure of the song is different as well (Billy Cox says both Jimi and Buddy Miles were doing things that weren’t done in rehearsals). “Bleeding Heart” is another amazing blues performance leading into two songs that were almost never performed live: “Earth Blues” and “Burning Desire.” Throughout the set, the band is absolutely locked in. They aren’t just playing; they’re clearly listening to each other and Hendrix turns in some scorching guitar. The most interesting thing might be the realization of how much of these sets and songs was improvised by the band, as shown by the differences in “Machine Gun” from night to night. Eddie Kramer deserves credit for a truly excellent mix (and probably some judicious editing on “Changes”).

It’s not really fair to compare Machine Gun to Band of Gypsy’s since one is a largely unedited complete performance and the other is the best cuts selected from a couple shows. That said, there are performances here that rival those of the original Band of Gypsy’s album, and hearing Jimi on his game with great sound will always be welcomed.

Capricorn

On this day 12th March in 1971: The Allman Brothers Band played the first of two nights at the Fillmore East in New York, that were recorded & released as the group’s landmark, breakthrough, double live album, ‘At Fillmore East’ (Capricorn Records) – widely regarded as one of the best live recordings ever; Rolling Stone ranked it #49 on their list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’; the session was produced by Tom Dowd, who condensed the running time of various songs, occasionally even merging two performances into one track; it was one of 50 recordings chosen in 2004 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry…

At Fillmore East was the first live album by the American rock-blues band the Allman Brothers Band, and their third release overall. Produced by Tom Dowd, the album was released in July 1971 in the United States by Capricorn Records. As the title indicates, the recording took place at the New York City music venue Fillmore East, which was run by concert promoter Bill Graham. The release features the band performing extended jam versions of songs such as “Whipping Post” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” When first commercially released, it was issued as a double LP with just seven songs comprising four vinyl sides.

At Fillmore East was the band’s artistic and commercial breakthrough, and has been considered by some critics to be one of the greatest live albums in rock music.

At Fillmore East was recorded over two nights — March 12th and 13th, 1971 — for which the band was paid $1250 each show. The shows were typical performances for the band, and regarded as slightly above average by drummer Jai Johanny Johanson. Ads for the shows read: “Bill Graham Presents in New York  Johnny Winter And, Elvin Bishop Group, Extra Added Attraction: Allman Brothers. While Winter was billed as headliner, by the third night the Allman Brothers were closing the show.

Allman Brothers

Tom Dowd produced At Fillmore East; he had previously worked on their second studio album, Idlewild South. He had recently returned from Africa from working on Soul to Soul, and stayed in New York several days to oversee the live recording. “It was a good truck, with a 16-track machine and a great, tough-as-nails staff who took care of business,” recalled Dowd. He gave the staff suggestions and noted the band had two lead guitarists and two drummers, “which was unusual, and it took some foresight to properly capture the dynamics.” Things went smoothly until the band unexpectedly brought out saxophonist Rudolph “Juicy” Carter, an unknown horn player, and Thom Doucette on harmonica. “I was just hoping we could isolate them, so we could wipe them and use the songs, but they started playing and the horns were leaking all over everything, rendering the songs unusable,” said Dowd. He rushed to Duane during the break to tell him to cut the horn players; while Duane loved the players, he put up no fight with Dowd. The final show was delayed because of a bomb scare, and did not end until 6 am.

Each night following the shows, the musicians and Dowd would “grab some beers and sandwiches” and head to Manhattan‘s Atlantic Studios to go over the performances. Set lists for following shows were crafted by listening to the recordings and going over what they could keep and what they would need to capture once more. “We wanted to give ourselves plenty of times to do it because we didn’t want to go back and overdub anything, because then it wouldn’t have been a real live album,” said Gregg Allman, and in the end, the band only edited out Doucette’s harmonica when it didn’t fit. “That was our pinnacle,” said Dickey Betts later. “The Fillmore days are definitely the most cherished memories that I have. If you asked everybody in the band, they would probably say that.”

The Allman Brothers Band finished playing the two-night stand 45 years ago this month, March 12th-13th, that would become their classic album, Live at the Fillmore East. Produced by the great Tom Dowd, the double-LP set cemented the Duane Allman/Dickey Betts and Great Southern tag-team as one of the greatest guitar duos in rock history thanks to their daredevil performances on “Whipping Post,” “Statesboro Blues,” and “You Don’t Love Me”— all still part of the Southern jam/boogie repertoire.

Allman Brothers