Posts Tagged ‘the Allman Brothers Band’

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Today marks the anniversary of completing the recording of one of the most legendary live albums to ever grace this Earth. When thinking about The Allman Brothers, At Fillmore East is one of the main treasures that comes to mind. The double LP is most tangibly definitive of the band’s authentic sound, giving them both artistic and commercial breakthroughs, and is the kind of record you can spin on a daily basis and still find something to love about it. “At Fillmore East” was recorded over two nights — March 12th and 13th, 1971 — for which the band was paid $1,250 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 YorkJohnny Winter And, Elvin Bishop Group, Extra Added Attraction: Allman Brothers. The Allman Brothers Band started out as the opening band for Johnny Winter and Elvin Bishop for 3 nights, March, 11th, 12th & 13th, 1971 at the Fillmore East in New York City.
Although Winter was billed as the headliner, by the third night, the 13th, the ABB were closing the show. On the 12th and 13th, they recorded their shows. The recording would go on to be released as “At Fillmore East”.“The true brilliance of this live recording is in the shorter pieces. The longer pieces (“Whipping Post,” “You Don’t Love Me,” and “Mountain Jam”) have their moments, but those moments are diluted in the self indulgent noodling typical of many 1970’s live performances. If The Allman Brothers Band: The Fillmore Concerts contained only “Statesboro Blues,” “Stormy Monday” and “One Way Out,” it would still have a place as one of the finest live recordings ever released.

“Statesboro Blues” and “One Way Out” have Duane Allman’s dense and precise slide guitar pitted against Richard Betts’ round lead guitar, with “One Way Out” providing Betts with his finest recorded guitar solo. “Stormy Monday” juxtaposes Allman and Bett’s distinct lead styles in an orgy of perfect blues phrasing. Gregg Allman’s jazzy organ interlude is an added delight.”

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 the film 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 longstanding “unofficial” band member 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.

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The Allman Brothers Band an American rock band formed in Macon, Georgia, in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (founder, slide guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, songwriting), as well as Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums). The band incorporated elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows featured jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.

The group’s first two studio releases, The Allman Brothers Band (1969) and Idlewild South (1970) (both released by Capricorn Records), stalled commercially, but their 1971 live release, At Fillmore East, represented an artistic and commercial breakthrough. The album features extended renderings of their songs “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, “You Don’t Love Me” and “Whipping Post”, and is considered among one of the best live albums ever made.

Group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident later that year – on October 29th, 1971, and the band dedicated Eat a Peach (1972) to his memory, a dual studio/live album that cemented the band’s popularity and featured Gregg Allman’s “Melissa” and Dickey Betts’s “Blue Sky”. Following the motorcycling death of bassist Berry Oakley exactly one year and 13 days later on November 11th, 1972, the group recruited keyboardist Chuck Leavell and bassist Lamar Williams for 1973’s Brothers and Sisters.This album included Betts’s hit single “Ramblin’ Man”. These tunes went on to become classic rock radio staples, and placed the group at the forefront of 1970s rock music.

Their career began slowly, before At Fillmore East finally showed what the band could do. A wonder of power, precision and improvisational genius, the album changed the Allman Brothers Band’s profile forever.

In fact, the Allman Brothers Band scored their first and only ever No. 1 hit in the years following that tragedy. But 1973’s Brothers and Sisters was also their last platinum-selling project. The group broke up once, got back together and then began a lengthy hiatus in the early ’80s.

The Allman Brothers Band - The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band (1969): 

This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience. Some lingering elements of the psychedelic era then drawing to a close can be found in “Dreams,” along with the template for the group’s on-stage workouts with “Whipping Post,” and a solid cover of Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More.” There isn’t a bad song here, and only the fact that the group did even better the next time out keeps this from getting the highest possible rating.

The group’s most overtly jazz-influenced song “Dreams” was part of a long string of early compositions Gregg Allman offered his fledgling bandmates . In fact, he was a dozen songs in before the Allman Brothers band decided “Dreams” would work. Unusually, Gregg Allman composed the song on the Hammond organ, instead of the preferred guitar or piano. Drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson’s library of old jazz records helped shape their approach, as they turned Allman’s blues haiku into a waltz-time meditation that traced the same musical lines as “All Blues” from Miles Davis’ groundbreaking Kind of Blue.

“When we were first putting a group together,” Duane Allman once said, “we were listening to Jefferson Airplane and the [Grateful] Dead’s records. We were all kicking around down South, buying records out of the Kmart and taking them home and digging them. And [Jaimoe] comes along and says, ‘Well that’s cool  good, but check out what I got over here, this collection.’ They just turned us all around. We heard with them cats were doing. Knocked us out.” “Dreams” is also the rare classic-era Allmans song featuring just one guitarist, as Duane offered a pair of brilliant solos over the band’s two-chord vamp.

The Allman Brothers Band - Idlewild South

Idlewild South (1970)

If you’re going to listen to the Allman Brothers, make sure you have the first four records. The band made The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South, At Fillmore East, and three-fourths of Eat a Peach with its original lineup, before Duane Allman’s fatal motorcycle accident in 1971. The Tom Dowd-produced Idlewild South, their second album, comes off with a little less ferocity than their debut which is perhaps the result of reaching for new sounds the second time around. “Revival,” the album’s opener, introduces Dickey Betts as a composer. The countrified flavor of his songs gives an indication of where the band will head in the post-Duane era. Betts’ other contribution to Idlewild South is the instrumental “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” a centerpiece of the Fillmore East recordings. Gregg’s “Please Call Home” and “Midnight Rider” are built around piano and acoustic guitar, respectively, and have a different feel than the band’s usual twin Les Paul-and-Hammond sound. That sound is showcased in the balance of Gregg’s tunes, however: the funky blues of “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin'” (with Thom Doucette on harmonica) and “Leave My Blues at Home.” The album is also notable for the rollicking version of Willie Dixon’s “Hoochie Coochie Man,” with the only vocal bassist Berry Oakley (who died in a motorcycle accident one year after Duane) ever recorded with the group. Though overall it packs less punch than The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South is all the more impressive for its mixture of chunky grooves and sophisticated textures.

The first in a string of strikingly inventive instrumentals from Dickey Betts, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” quickly became one the group’s most recognizable songs. Betts was inspired by a doomed romance with a woman whom he was secretly meeting in a local graveyard. The guitarist liked to go there to compose, and that’s where he saw a headstone bearing the title of this moving, minor-key song. Betts had actually been playing in the same style for some time, working in a symbiotic fashion with the Allmans‘ late original bassist. “Berry Oakley and I inspired each other’s improvisational creativity while we were in Second Coming, the band that presaged the Allman Brothers,” Betts later told Guitar World. “One of our favorite things to do was to jam in minor keys, experimenting freely with the sounds of different minor modes. We allowed our ears to guide us, and this type of jamming served to inspire the writing of songs like ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.'” The track is driven by these brilliantly harmonized guitar lines, a sound that came to define the Allman Brothers Band. Betts’ interest in that approach didn’t come from listening to jazz, but instead to the Western swing of Bob Wills. By the way, he wrote “Blue Sky” in the same cemetery.

The Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East

At Fillmore East (1971)

Whereas most great live rock albums are about energy, At Fillmore East is like a great live jazz session, where the pleasure comes from the musicians’ interaction and playing. The great thing about that is, the original album that brought the Allmans so much acclaim is as notable for its clever studio editing as it is for its performances. Producer Tom Dowd skillfully trimmed some of the performances down to relatively concise running time (edits later restored on the double-disc set The Fillmore Concerts), at times condensing several performances into one track. Far from being a sacrilege, this tactic helps present the Allmans in their best light, since even if the music isn’t necessarily concise (three tracks run over ten minutes, with two in the 20-minute range), it does showcase the group’s terrific instrumental interplay, letting each member (but particularly guitarist Duane and keyboardist/vocalist Gregg) shine. Even after the release of the unedited concerts, this original double album remains the pinnacle of the Allmans and Southern rock at its most elastic, bluesy, and jazzy.

“Whipping Post,” like “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” had been earlier featured on Allman Brothers Band studio recordings but both found new meaning in this live setting. In fact, the 23-minute take from At Fillmore East is not only the definitive version, it’s the moment when Gregg Allman’s composing genius is confirmed. Still, this is truly a band triumph. Oakley completely rearranged the song which started out as another slow blues – into an unusual 11/8 meter that provides plenty of musical space for his bandmates to fill.

Dickey Betts and Duane then soar through another ribbon of harmonized, totally off-the-cuff guitar lines. (At one point late in the proceedings, Betts impishly quotes the children’s song “Frere Jacques.”) “We have rough arrangements, layouts of the songs, and then the solos are entirely up to each member of the band,” Duane once explained. “The naturalness of a spur-of-the-moment type of thing is what I consider the most valuable asset of our band.” And perhaps nowhere more so than on “Whipping Post,” which – quite fittingly – took up the entire closing side of the original Fillmore East vinyl release.

The Allman Brothers Band - Eat a Peach

‘Eat a Peach’ (1972): “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”

Inspired by the tragic death of his brother, Gregg Allman’s album-opening “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” offered a sturdy paean to perseverance. Betts – who Duane once praised by saying, “I’m the famous guitar player, but Dickey is the good one” seemed to be of a similar mindset as he stepped in on Allman’s preferred slide. The idea on Eat a Peach was to mix newly recorded songs like this one with some of Duane’s final recordings, making it both tribute and last testament to his genius. And for awhile, it sustained his heartbroken bandmates. “The music brought life back to us all,” Gregg said in his 2012 autobiography My Cross to Bear, “and it was simultaneously realized by every one of us. We found strength, vitality, newness, reason and belonging as we worked on finishing Eat a Peach.” Still, the prospect of touring nearly broke the band. Ultimately, they decided to go out as a five-piece. No one could replace Duane. Gregg and Oakley introduced the songs, which had also been his role. “We were playing for him,” drummer Butch Trucks said in One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band, “and that was the way to be closest to him.” Oakley, who never got over the loss, died in a similar motorcycle crash a year later.

A tribute to the dearly departed Duane, Eat a Peach rambles through two albums, running through a side of new songs, recorded post-Duane, spending a full album on live cuts from the Fillmore East sessions, then offering a round of studio tracks Duane completed before his death. On the first side, they do suggest the mellowness of the Dickey Betts-led Brothers and Sisters, particularly on the lovely “Melissa,” and this stands in direct contrast with the monumental live cuts that dominate the album. They’re at the best on the punchier covers of “One Way Out” and “Trouble No More,” both proof of the group’s exceptional talents as a roadhouse blues-rock band, but Duane does get his needed showcase on “Mountain Jam,” a sprawling 33-minute jam that may feature a lot of great playing, but is certainly a little hard for anyone outside of diehards to sit through. Apart from that cut, the record showcases the Allmans at their peak, and it’s hard not to feel sad as the acoustic guitars of “Little Martha” conclude the record, since this tribute isn’t just heartfelt, it offers proof of Duane Allman’s immense talents and contribution to the band.

The Allman Brothers Band - Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and Sisters (1973)

Released a year after Eat a Peach, Brothers and Sisters shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica,” helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales. This was the first album to feature the group’s new lineup, with Chuck Leavell on keyboards and Lamar Williams on bass, as well as Dickey Betts‘ emergence as a singer alongside Gregg Allman. The tracks appear on the album in the order in which they were recorded, and the first three, up through “Ramblin’ Man,” feature Berry Oakley their sound is rock-hard and crisp.

The subsequent songs with Williams have the bass buried in the mix, and an overall muddier sound. The interplay between Leavell and Betts is beautiful on some songs, and Betts‘ slide on “Pony Boy” is a dazzling showcase that surprised everybody. Despite its sales, Brothers and Sisters is not quite a classic album (although it was their best for the next 17 years), especially in the wake of the four that had appeared previously, but it served as a template for some killer stage performances, and it proved that the band could survive the deaths of two key members.

Dickey Betts had no intention of giving this country-rock gem to the Allman Brothers Band. But something about its searching narrative spoke to them in that moment. “I was going to send ‘Ramblin’ Man’ to Johnny Cash,” Betts told Guitar World. “I thought it was a great song for him. But everybody in our band liked that song.” Smart move: “Ramblin’ Man” became the only Allman Brothers Band single to reach the Billboard Top 10, streaking all the way to No. 2. The song also heralded a shift, both in leadership and musical style, toward Betts. The Allman Brothers Band somehow found a way to carry on, but not without help. Les Dudek guests on “Ramblin’ Man,” allowing the group to replicate their signature harmony leads. “We got into the studio and got into that big long jam at the end with all those guitar parts and everything, and we forgot about how country the song was,” Butch Trucks later said “then wouldn’t you know it — it becomes our only hit single.” That they would never be the same was reflected in the decision to expand their official lineup with pianist Chuck Leavell as a second soloist, rather than another guitarist. “Ramblin’ Man” was also the last song recorded with Berry Oakley.

  • The Allman Brothers Band (1969)
  • Idlewild South (1970)
  • At Fillmore East (1971)
  • Eat a Peach (1972)
  • Brothers and Sisters (1973)

The looming dissolution of the Beatles, after a stirring run of creative genius, signaled that everything would be different in the ’70s. They released their final album in Abbey Road, though the earlier-recorded Let It Be would follow, after some post-session doctoring from Phil Spector. They weren’t the only ones who departed: The original Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon and the Animals and the Jeff Beck Group fell apart, even as Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones died. The warm feelings of Woodstock were quickly forgotten in the bloody aftermath of Altamont.

The death of Brian Jones, July 3rd , Brian Jones had long since relinquished his role as a major contributor to the band he founded, the Rolling Stones, when he drowned in his swimming pool at his home in Cotchford Farm, the estate formerly owned by A.A. Milnes, author of the ever popular children’s book, Winnie the Pooh. He had been fired by the Stones the month before due to drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, leaving Jones more or less out in the cold as far as any further recording ventures were concerned. Initially ruled “death by misadventure,” the verdict was later questioned when rumors spread that a construction worker named Frank Thorogood actually murdered Jones and had made a deathbed confession to a confidante. In 2008, the Sussex police department declared it was no longer investigating the claim. Nevertheless, Jones became the first member of the so-called 27 club, whose membership now includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Whitehouse and a number of other artists whose lives ended at the fateful age of 27. His death also ended a prolific and profound era for the Stones, which many still argue, was the most creative period of their collective career.

At the same time, bands appeared that would dominate the decade to come. Led Zeppelin released their acclaimed first and second albums in ’69, laying a sturdy foundation for superstardom. Zeppelin seemed to arrive as a fully formed new blues-rock variant, harder and louder than anything that had come before. In fact, after touring together extensively, the band arrived in the studio with this material so well rehearsed that they only needed 36 hours spread out over two weeks to complete the album. Its influence, however, has endured – not just as a template for their own career, but also for untold legions of soon-to-be-famous heavy-metal purveyors.

In the summer of 1969, Zeppelin was a band on the rise. Its self-titled first album, released in January of that year, reached Number 10 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., and peaked at Number 6 in the U.K. The band’s pairing of blues, folk and psychedelia eventually would make it the biggest band of the 1970s, “as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the previous one,”  Zeppelin would play more than 40 gigs on their Summer of 69 tour of U.S.A.

Chicago issued the first of what will eventually be four straight multi-album projects, A band with a bright horn section and a scalding guitarist, Chicago was really all about dichotomy back then. Four songs from their introductory double album would enter the charts, through to 1972’s Chicago V. 

Mick Taylor joined The Stones, sparking their most heralded period – though one that was marked by a turn toward darker subject matter. Rolling Stones, ‘Let It Bleed’ was aptly titled, the second in a quartet of genius albums by the Stones echoed all of the very real apprehensions surrounding this era – like a gritty yin to the Beatles’ utopian yang on ‘Abbey Road.’ Mick Taylor’s arrival also ushered in a harder-edged sound, which combined to create one of rock’s most visceral triumphs. It’s sexy, foreboding, topical and dangerous, sometimes all at once.

Altamont – December 6th was one of the darkest days in music history, Altamont sealed the lid on the promise of peace and love that was capped by Woodstock, and did so within mere months following that celebratory event itself. The Stones, who headlined the sprawling festival in the California desert, may have had good intentions to offer a free concert, but enlisting the Hell’s Angels as security was a terrible idea. Though the line-up was stellar—CSNY, Santana and Jefferson Airplane reprised their roles from Woodstock, along with the Flying Burrito Brothers providing an excellent add-on—an aura of violence and uncertainty pervaded the proceedings. Both Jagger and Airplane singer Marty Balin were accosted the former as he left his chopper, the latter onstage and the death of concert goer Meredith Hunter by a pack of Angels who claimed they saw him wielding a gun, ensured the fact that an idyllic utopian era of the ’60s was quickly come to an end.

‘Abbey Road’ was always a far more fitting send off for the Beatles than ‘Let It Be’ could have ever been. It’s among Paul McCartney’s brightest, most artistically satisfying, moments. But John Lennon’s punctuations (and, to a quickly emerging degree, George Harrison’s) undoubtably make it so. Moments away from imploding, they arrived for these sessions as distinct individuals, rather than stylized mop-topped group. Yet, for a moment in time and for this one last time, the Beatles’ separate personalities seemed to work again in service of the whole.

The Beatles Final Concert, January 30th, Although the Beatles’ impromptu performance on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in London’s central environs was rumored to be a tryout for a return to live concerts, it was in fact part of the band’s final hurrah. The tumultuous sessions for their album Let It Be exposed a group in disarray, and indeed, a mere nine months after this live six song set—all culled from tracks they had been working on at the time The Beatles were officially broken. Filmed to provide a cap on the ill-fated Let It Be film, it’s still an exhilarating experience to watch the four former Fabs giving it a final go for the curious crowds below. “Hope we passed the audition,” John says before vacating the premises on orders from the police. Yes, Mr. Lennon, indeed you did.

Nick Drake, ‘Five Leaves Left’ was an autumnal yearning which surrounds these folk-rock recordings, and that’s likely the reason Drake was overlooked in his time. Even smart assists from Richard Thompson, then of Fairport Convention fame, couldn’t push this delicately conveyed album into the public consciousness back then. Sadly, Drake only had five years left. He died at age 26 in 1974 of an overdose.

This daring debut by prog rock band King Crimson, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ still remains prog’s standard bearer, the best example of a then-emerging movement that sought to combine musical concepts with rock. ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ was also a template for how this seemingly ever-evolving band would operate, as their lineup almost immediately flew apart. The core pair of Robert Fripp and Greg Lake was all that remained by the time King Crimson set about recording a follow-up.

The Kinks ‘Arthur,’ a triumph of rock with a British sensibility subtitled “Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire,” never gets the short-hand praise of contemporary works like the Who’s ‘Tommy.’ That’s likely because it’s less ambitious. But it’s also far more listenable – like a rock musical, rather than a rock opera. Hailed as one of rock’s first great concept albums, ‘Tommy’ – like so many examples in that genre – sometimes suffers creatively at the expense of furthering the plot. But at its best, this represents the Who at their finest. And there’s no questioning how the album opened up new narrative possibilities for pop composers.

The Who Performed Tommy for the First Time, April 22nd Notably, the concert in Devon, England, preceded the album’s official release by a month. Although other offerings can claim to be the first real rock operas—The Pretty Things’ S.F, Sorrow and the Kinks’ Arthur, among them—The Who were the only band to take the unusual step of performing an album in its entirety. They’d later take Tommy to some of the world’s great opera houses, elevating rock in both intellect and intent.

The debut of supergroup Blind Faith, June 7th, Heralded as the first true “super group”—a term that would resurface continuously in the years that followed Blind Faith was based on an all-star union between guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker of Cream and vocalist/keyboard player Steve Winwood of Traffic, with bassist Ric Grech, formerly of Family, added later on. Although Clapton in particular was wary of the implications involved in such a high profile ensemble and equally concerned about inviting the tempestuous Baker into the fold—he agreed to pursue the possibilities, owing in small part to the fact that he and Winwood had worked together in a short-lived ad hoc outfit called Powerhouse a few years before. The group’s less than spectacular live debut at Hyde Park further exacerbated Clapton’s concerns, and after a single spotty album and tours of Scandinavia and the U.S., the group disbanded later that year.

Dylan Reemerges at the Isle of Wight, August 31st, Dylan had been largely absent from public view since a 1966 motorcycle accident drove him into self-imposed seclusion. Other than his work with the Band at Big Pink, he chose to spend time with his family and record an album, Nashville Skyline, a shocking departure from any album he had offered before. Consequently, the announcement of his appearance at England’s Isle of Wight Festival attracted an extraordinary amount of interest, including the curiosity of various Beatles, a Stone, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and a still gestating Elton John. Rumor had it that Lennon, Harrison and Starr might join Dylan onstage, and although that proved false, Dylan alone was enough to mesmerize the masses. Dressed in a beige suit, his hair cut short, he performed a 17-song set with backing from the Band, a concert that included several classics from his catalog as well as tracks from Nashville Skyline and its immediate predecessor, John Wesley Harding. It’s still considered a landmark performance today.

That was probably to be expected for a generation still reeling from shocking assassinations and an ever-escalating war. So, too, was a move toward nostalgia for the old ways. Bob Dylan Having hinted at his intentions on the more rustic ‘John Wesley Harding,’ Dylan definitively left behind protest music for a head-long dive into deep country for the charming, determinedly happy ‘Nashville Skyline.’ In its own way, this was revolutionary too as he went country, even as his old backing musicians in The Band released a determinedly homespun self-titled masterpiece. The Byrds also splintered, with two members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman left to dive deeper into their passion for country and western music. The resulting album, unfortunately, did little on the charts – but it proved to be a well-spring of inspiration for descendent bands like the Eagles. breaking away to form the Americana-focused Flying Burrito Brothers.

Although there had been several gingerly moves to find common ground between the disparate realms of country music and rock ’n’ roll early rock pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers and Rick Nelson all had claims on country—in the divided America of the late ’60s, followers of the two styles were decidedly distinct. Nevertheless, the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield effectively made efforts to narrow that divide, making it only natural that the two groups they spawned, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco respectively, would, to paraphrase the title of the latter’s debut album, pick up the pieces. As a result of releases like The Flying Burrito Brothers’ debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, in February 1969, country-rock blossomed, spearheaded by the influence of “cosmic cowboy” Gram Parsons (a member of both the Byrds and the Burritos) before later finding a permanent bond with the release of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken, featuring members of both the new guard and the old, two years later.

The Stooges, ‘The Stooges’ This album’s wiry, first-take feel was no put on: Three songs from the Stooges‘ titanic debut were written in a single day, after their label said the album needed more material, then banged them out live. The ferocious results gave the nascent heavy metal genre new fire, presupposed far-off punk, and scared the hell out of parents everywhere.

Creedence Clearwater Revival began to come into their own here, reaching heralded high points with “Born on the Bayou” and “Proud Mary.” The rest of ‘Bayou Country’ doesn’t always reach that level, but the album is nevertheless surrounded by a sense of expectancy. They’re discovering themselves with every revolution of this album, and it’s a fizzy joy to hear. The second of an incredible run of three CCR albums from 1969 codifies every great thing the earlier ‘Bayou Country’ pointed toward. Sharply drawn, ‘Green River’ is just as sharply played – with none of the period-piece noodling that had occasionally seeped into their first two albums. John Fogerty dilated his muse on ageless cuts like “Bad Moon Rising,” the title track and “Lodi,” and Creedence finally found its true voice.

The Allman Brothers Band an accomplished debut as they blended rock, blues, jazz and a distinctly Southern sensibility to came up with something uniquely and forever their own. Taken for granted in today’s multi-cultural melting pot, ‘Santana’ marked the big bang of Latin rock. Within a year, congas and timbales had found their way into the music of the Rolling Stones, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, among many others. But it all started here, as ‘Santana’ blended mind-blowing, genre-bending musical explorations with more compact songs like the rambunctious Top 10 hit ‘Evil Ways’.

Jimi Hendrix forms the Band of Gypsies, October and with the release of Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix was at the height of his prowess, but the break-up of the Experience left him without a band and bereft of new recordings. His band at Woodstock, ostensively dubbed “Gypsy Sun and Rainbows,” found him expanding his original trio concept and reuniting with his former army buddy, Billy Cox. The aggregate, which Hendrix referred to as “a band of gypsies” when interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show, fell apart soon after, although Cox continued on bass and joined Hendrix for some informal recording dates with Buddy Miles. It was a natural combination; Miles had subbed for Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell on two tracks used for Electric Ladyland, and the trio went on to record a few demos and rehearse for an upcoming concert at the Fillmore East that would span New Year’s Eve. The self-titled album, released on Capitol Records to satisfy a contractual obligation, became the band’s only official recording, but clearly pointed the way to a more racially charged sound Hendrix was working on for the future.

Woodstock, August 15th-18th, If ever there was a single gathering that served to define the spirit of the ’60s, those three days spent in the muddy fields of Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York takes the prize. It wasn’t always pleasant—despite an amazing array of rock’s most influential artists (Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, CSNY, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens, et. al.), the traffic, the mud and the scarcity of supplies (other than the acid of course) tended to test the resolve of all involved. Still, it was that spirit of love, peace and music that pervaded the proceedings over all, assuring a communal embrace while setting the precedent for festival gatherings, a basic blueprint that remains relevant to this day.

Jefferson Airplane, ‘Volunteers’ was the last album to feature both Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden, ‘Volunteers’ blended a few bucolic moments (featuring guest stars Jerry Garcia and members of CSNY) in with the now-expected psychedelic rock – but that’s not this album’s best-remembered legacy. Instead, it’s a series of molten, occasionally profanity-laced rebukes of the American status quo. They left the ’60s with a bang.

Joining together for the first of what would become a string of free-wheeling, muscular successes alongside his band Crazy Horse, Neil Young blows a hole in the comfy folk-rock conventions of ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ in fact, has a lot more in common with the wild eclecticism of his work with Buffalo Springfield, but with a new tone that’s both sharper and looser.

Records in  heavy rotation in my bedroom included the debut album from Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, The Beatles Abbey Road , The Who’s Tommy, King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King a great record,one that for its time was truly unique, The Rolling Stones Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed, Neil Young’s masterpiece Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zappa’s Hot Rats which help change my musical perspective, Fleetwood Mac’s Then Play On, CSN debut, Blind Faith’s one and only official release which is also a very strange record, Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan, The MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul which arrived unexpectedly when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline and glad I got this gem,Chicago Transit Authority double set before they shortened their name to Chicago,  Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, Live Dead, The Doors Soft Parade, Pink Floyd’s Live Ummagumma, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, and Procol Harum’s A Salty Dog.

Few events in American history caused as much upheaval as the war in Vietnam. Young people took to streets and college campuses, protesting a conflict that they viewed as little more than an excuse for a murder machine entangling thousands of young draftees. Not surprisingly, musicians supplied the soundtrack against which protest was pursued. With the sound and imagery flashing across television screens night after night, it was only natural that people would find respite in an array of anthems—“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Street Fighting Man from the Rolling Stones,” “For What It’s Worth (written about the riots on Sunset Strip) by Buffalo Springfield, “Machine Gun” from Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish’s “Vietnam Song” and “Volunteers” which came courtesy of Jefferson Airplane. All served to remind the youth of the country that they weren’t alone in their determination to sway some sentiment and avoid the bloodshed overseas.

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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

Legacy Recordings Announces Eclectic Assortment Of Collectible 7″, 12″ Vinyl and Cassette Titles For Record Store Day 2018

Legacy Recordings, the catalog arm of Sony Music, has announced the titles its releasing for this year’s Record Store Day, which will take place on April 21st 2018.

A press release notes that it’s the most number of albums the label has issued in the 11 years that Record Store Day has taken place. Among this year’s offerings are limited-edition releases by such artists as AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen.

Pink Floyd are reissuing their debut, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, on mono vinyl for the first time in 50 years. Bruce Springsteen will see his 1995 Greatest Hits compilation issued on individually numbered red vinyl, while AC/DC’s Back in Black will be sold on cassette. The document of the 1987 tour by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, Dylan & the Dead, will be sold on red and blue tie-dye vinyl.

Legacy Recordings also revealed that the Allman Brothers Band’s Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3 & 5, 1970, one of their most famous concerts prior to their At Fillmore East breakthrough, will be available for the first time on vinyl, with four discs housed in a box set with eight pages of notes and photos. A similar treatment has been given to Jeff Buckley’s Live at Sin-é: Legacy Edition.

Johnny Cash’s legendary At Folsom Prison is coming out in a special five-LP collection that combines the entirety of both sets Cash performed that day, as well as performances by June Carter, Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers. Included in the package is a 12″ single of rehearsals the band ran through at a Sacramento, Calif., hotel the night before the shows and an eight-page 12″ x 12″ booklet.

Live sets by Living Colour (Live at CBGB’s, 12.19.89), Rage Against the Machine (Democratic National Convention 2000), Elvis Presley (The King in the Ring — the acoustic sets of his 1968 comeback special), Soul Asylum (Live From Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX, December 3, 1992), Hot Tuna (Live at the New Orleans House) and Big Audio Dynamite II(On the Road Live ’92) will also receive their premiere vinyl release.

Legacy is also putting out a pair of 7″ singles for Record Store Day: Jimi Hendrix’s “Mannish Boy” b/w “Trash Man,” both of which come from April 1969 sessions, and a collaboration between Van Morrison and jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco on “Close Enough for Jazz” and “The Things I Used to Do.”

In addition, records by Eurythmics (the 1984 soundtrack), Kenny Loggins (purple vinyl of Return to Pooh Corner) and Uncle Tupelo (No Depression – Demos) will be released.

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The Allman Brothers BandLive At The Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3th & 5th, 1970 (4LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)

The Allman Brothers Band was one of Georgia’s top live acts still looking for a national break when they were hired to open the three-day Atlanta International Pop Festival. The band’s Southern blues style, bolstered by jams that stretched to epic lengths, won over audiences—and two days later, after legends like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and B.B. King took the stage, the Allmans were invited back for a second set. Recorded nearly a year before At Fillmore East established them as one of America’s hottest bands, fans can now discover these landmark nights in Allman Brothers Band history with this individually numbered, limited edition box set, available on vinyl for the first time and packaged in an oversize slipcase with an eight-page booklet of photos and liner notes.

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Big Audio Dynamite II, On The Road Live ’92 (12” Single – First Time on Vinyl)

The Clash’s Mick Jones resurrected Big Audio Dynamite with a new lineup in the early 1990s, releasing The Globe, the band’s best-selling album in America, in 1991. This five-track EP, available for the first time on vinyl, features performances from live dates in Chicago and New York—including a rendition of the band’s U.K. No. 1 single, “Rush.”

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Jeff Buckley, Live At Sin-é: Legacy Edition (4LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)

In a cramped club on the lower east side of Manhattan, armed with only an electric guitar, Jeff Buckley stunned audiences with his mysterious, emotionally uncompromising live sets, packed with eclectic covers and his own originals. The four-track Live At Sin-é EP, released in 1993, was his debut release for Columbia Records; here, it’s expanded as a numbered, limited edition in a deluxe hard shell slipcase housing four individually designed LP jackets and an eight-page, full-color booklet of photos and liner notes. Live versions of favorites like “Grace,” “Last Goodbye” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” appear here on vinyl for the first time.

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Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition (5LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)

“Hello…I’m Johnny Cash.” With those four words, The Man in Black solidified his legend as outlaw country pioneer with two spirited sets recorded at Folsom State Prison in 1968 and released as At Folsom Prison, one of the most acclaimed live albums of all time. This special box set includes both full concerts available for the first time on vinyl, including performances by June Carter, Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers. This numbered deluxe package, featuring individually designed LP jackets packaged in a deluxe hard shell slipcase with an eight-page, 12” x 12” booklet, also includes a bonus 12” single featuring previously unreleased audio of Cash and friends rehearsing at the El Rancho Motel in Sacramento, California, the night before the concerts took place.

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Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead, Dylan & The Dead (LP – Red and Blue Tie-Die Vinyl)

In 1987, two legends joined forces for an unforgettable tour. Now, Dylan & The Dead, featuring The Grateful Dead backing up Bob Dylan on seven of his classic songs, including “All Along The Watchtower,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and “Gotta Serve Somebody,” is available on red and blue tie-dye vinyl for a trip unlike any other.

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Jimi Hendrix, Mannish Boy b/w Trash Man (7” Single)

Recorded at New York City’s Record Plant on April 22nd, 1969, this uptempo reworking of Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” marks Jimi Hendrix’s first recording session with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles—the trio who became known as Band of Gypsys, whose work with Hendrix had a significant impact on his remarkable legacy. First released on Both Sides Of The Sky, a new studio album of rare and unissued Hendrix recordings, “Mannish Boy” is issued here as a 45 RPM single backed with “Trash Man,” an April 3, 1969 studio recording made by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. “Trash Man” is drawn from Hear My Music, a Dagger Records “official bootleg” album not sold in stores and otherwise only available to fans via jimihendrix.com.

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Van Morrison & Joey DeFrancesco, Close Enough for Jazz b/w The Things I Used to Do (7” Single)

This limited edition 7” single is a collaboration between legendary vocalist Van Morrison and jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, featuring a new version of Morrison’s “Close Enough for Jazz” and a stunning rendition of Guitar Slim’s “The Things I Used to Do.”

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Pink Floyd, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (Mono) (LP)

The psychedelic debut album by Pink Floyd was their sole album completed with original vocalist/guitarist Syd Barrett and featured the early classic “Interstellar Overdrive.” The original mono version of Pink Floyd’s first LP, named one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, is available on vinyl for the first time in more than 50 years.

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Soul Asylum, Live From Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX, December 3, 1992 (2LP – Previously Unreleased – First Time on Vinyl)

Legacy Recordings’ Live From The Vaults series uncovers rare and unreleased concerts on vinyl, featuring classic bootleg-inspired jacket design with unique, artist-specific outer wraps (OBIs)! This never-before-heard set features Soul Asylum’s hard-driving performance at the legendary Austin venue Liberty Lunch, just months after the release of their breakthrough album Grave Dancers Union.

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Bruce Springsteen, Greatest Hits (2LP – Individually Numbered – Red Vinyl)

Originally released in 1995, Greatest Hits was the first collection of powerful hit singles from the first two decades of Bruce Springsteen’s career—and kicked off an exciting new chapter in his story with three brand-new songs recorded with The E Street Band after nearly a decade apart. Long unavailable on the vinyl format, this individually numbered 2LP set, pressed on red vinyl, is assembled from the brilliant remasters of Springsteen’s discography by Bob Ludwig.

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Uncle Tupelo, No Depression – Demos (LP – First Time on Vinyl)

Released in 1990, Uncle Tupelo’s debut album No Depression was a genuine milestone in American rock and roll, a striking fusion of traditional folk and country with post-punk innovation and hardcore ferocity. For the first time on vinyl, fans can hear Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn’s legendary demo tape Not Forever, Just For Now, recorded in 1989, plus a demo of “No Depression” recorded a year prior.

For full details, visit Record Store Day’s website.

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Whipping Post” is a song by The Allman Brothers Band , Written by Gregg Allman , the five-minute studio version first appeared on their 1969 debut album The Allman Brothers Band . The song’s full power manifested itself in concert, when it was the basis for much longer and more intense performances.  This was captured in the Allman Brothers‘ classic 1971 double live album “Live At the Fillmore East” where a 22-minute rendition of the song takes up the entire final side.  

Gregg Allman was 21 years old when the song was first recorded. Its writing dates back to late March 1969, when The Allman Brothers Band was first formed. Gregg showed the band 22 songs he had written, but only “Dreams” and “It’s Not My Cross to Bear” were deemed usable.  Gregg, the group’s only songwriter at the time, was commissioned to create additional songs that would fit into the context of the new band, and in the next five days he wrote several, including “Whipping Post”.

Gregg’s travails in the music business would provide the thematic inspiration for the new song,  which was written quickly on an ironing board cover . He later said: “It came so fast. I didn’t even have a chance to get the paper out. That’s the way the good songs come—they just hit you like a ton of bricks

The Allman Brothers Band – Whipping Post, originally recorded 7th August 1969 Recorded Live: 9/23/1970 Fillmore East – New York, NY

The Allman Brothers Band  now featuring Gregg Allman alongside other founding members Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, plus Warren Haynes and Allen Woody were asked to perform at “Woodstock 94” (subtitled Two More Days Of Peace & Music ) on Sunday 14th August, when the group played a storming set running 80 minutes, alongside original Woodstock performers Crosby, Stills & Nash, Santana and Joe Cocker. Performing largely classic Allman Brothers Band tunes, including of course, Jessica , Midnight Rider , Whipping Post and Blue Sky , the group bravely played two cuts from then new album Back Where It All Begins too. This set features the Allman Brothers Band complete set from Woodstock 94, which, released here for the first time, will delight and excite every last Allmans fan still flying the flag for these pioneering southern rock stalwarts.

The Allman Brothers Band hit the ground running on their self-titled 1969 debut, and never stopped. That album was a fine blend of southern rock, gritty blues with a little jazz thrown in for good measure. The following year’s Idlewild South was even better, including such immediate classics as “Midnight Rider,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Please Call Home.” The band’s third release, 1971’s Live At Fillmore East, is often regarded as a pinnacle representation of the group’s collective talents, particularly the distinctive guitar interplay between Dicky Betts and Duane Allman.

However, in the summer of 1970, when The Allman’s were still a relatively unknown act outside of Macon Georgia, the band were booked to perform at the Atlanta International Pop Festival, an event which boasted an impressive list of musical luminaries, including BB King, Procol Harum, Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix.

Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival captures two blistering sets recorded 3rd and 5th July 1970 and, if not quite as enthralling as their shows at the Fillmore East, then are certainly almost as good.

For the first time anywhere officially or not two (mostly) complete performances by The Allman Brothers Band at the Atlanta International Pop Festival over the Fourth of July weekend (they were the bookends of the fest) in 1970 have been issued with stellar sound, complete annotation and cool liner notes. The festival took place while The Allmans were in the process of recording their second album, Idlewild South , when they appeared on July 3rd as the hometown openers of the entire festival and proceeded to blow the minds of over 100,000 people — for their last set on July 5th at 3:50 a.m. they performed in front of as many as 500,000. Musically, other than a somewhat stiff version of “Statesboro Blues” the July 3rd set is magical. There is a stunning version of “Dreams” lasting almost ten minutes with beautiful Hammond/guitar interplay between Gregg and Dickey Betts . Long and ferocious versions of “Whipping Post” and “Mountain Jam” are here, but the track on the July 3rd set is Berry Oakley’s feral vocal read of Willie Dixon’s “Hoochie Coochie Man.”  A short (5:49) version of this song, it has a rock & roll immediacy that is strained out of the longer versions to gain the improvisational edge. Disc one also restores Gregg Allman’s “Every Hungry Woman,” to its rightful place previously only having been available on an anthology. Harp player Thom Doucette, no stranger to Allman Brothers fans , is here aplenty, adding his righteous, stinging harp lines to many tracks on both nights. The way Gregg’s organ playing is recorded here offers a new view of just how integral an anchor he was for both guitarists to play off. He is a monster musician and, even at this early date, was showing off his improvisational and rhythmic skills.

Packaged in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, with detailed liner notes, Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival is essential listening for fans of the original classic line-up. Live At Fillmore might receive the majority of accolades, yet Atlanta shouldn’t be ignored. 150 minutes of pure, unadulterated blues-rock is never a bad thing.

The two CD ‘Deluxe Edition’ of the Allman Brothers Band’s Idlewild South achieves what so very few such archive titles accomplish: placing the original work in a context that illuminates the artist’s evolution. Arguably the finest studio recordings this iconic Southern band ever completed are further  refined  in this package by remastering that also benefits the concert that’s appended to them, Live at Ludlow Garage.

Presented in its entirety for the first time, with the inclusion of a fifteen-minute plus version of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” the concert documents a phase of  the Allman Brothers Band career similar to the rough and tumble sound of the debut album, one from which they were beginning to emerge as they worked in the studio under the tutelage of producer Tom Dowd. This very esteemed of producers (who was supposed to oversee that first studio work and would retain the role on the landmark live record, Live At Fillmore East), captured much of the spontaneity of the group’s well-honed musicianship even as he added both polish and depth in working at both Capricorn and Criteria studios: his restrained touch is evident even in the spare approach he takes to Gregg Allman’s soul balladry  “Please Call Home,” but even more so in the multi-layered arrangement of “Revival.”

 It’s significant that this song of Dickey Betts’ is the opening cut on the record. The emergence of the guitarist as a composer aided in no small part to turn this, Allman Brothers second studio album, into a milestone work for the  band. Such numbers brought country elements into greater prominence within the rough and tumble blues-rock style on the Allmans’ debut, and such contributions (foreshadowing the widely-popular “Ramblin’ Man” of 1973) also had an influence on Gregg Allman, who had been to that point the main writer in the group: the vividly descriptive images of “Midnight Rider” find reflection in a layered arrangement with acoustic guitars that renders the twirling electric break more compelling.

This 45th Anniversary reissue includes studio outtakes,which although two have been released before on the massive Dreams box of 1989,  perhaps that it hearkens too clearly to the sound of the debut album, this take of what was becoming the Allmans’ signature song, “Statesboro Blues.” A Gregg Allman/Dickey Betts collaboration, “One More Ride” is obviously redundant as an instrumental but sounds like perfect fodder for more refinement, while this alternate “Midnight Rider”  doesn’t quite capture the haunting quality of the chosen take simply because, with percussion and dobro.

Effectively rendering obsolete the 1990 edition of Live At Ludlow Garage this expanded  setlist further distinguishes this show from other archival releases of the original Allman Brothers lineup. It includes the one solo vocal from Duane Allman, on the cover of John Lee Hooker’s “Dimples,” as well as a blues number, “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town,” subsequently dropped from regular rotation as the Allman Brothers continued to hone their collective musicianship into the juggernaut as document on their landmark live album. Most important of all however, on this soaring opening version of “Dreams,”  the slightly improved audio quality, shorn of excessive high end, allows the intricacy of Butch Trucks’ and Jaimoe’s double drumming to become more readily apparent, particularly as it fuses with Berry Oakley’s aggressive basswork

And while that bottom register isn’t that much more prominent, or graced with real presence in the mix either, the  harmonies Allman and Betts coax from their fretboards alternately sing and sting, never more clearly in contrast than on the restored ”’Liz Reed” or the near-three quarters of an hour devoted to “Mountain Jam;” hearkening directly to their roots in the blues.

Finishing touches on this deluxe  (named after a bucolic Southern retreat rented by the Brothers in their early days) include period photos and detailed credits, the sum of which  more than makes up for the slightly kitschy color scheme of the booklet and the somewhat bland overall graphics  that prevent this package from looking and sounding like a true collectors item. But then the Allman Brothers Band never traded much in cosmetic appearances, so this double disc set, on its own terms, constitutes an ever-so-accurate accurate representation of a band passing through a creative crossroads and, as such, is  essential entry into their discography.

Duane Allman’s memorial service was held at Snow’s Memorial Chapel on November 1, 1971. Nearly 300 friends, musicians and relatives attended. Duane’s guitar case stood in front of the floral-wreathed casket, and the band’s equipment was set up in the rear. At 3pm, the five remaining band members and Thom Doucette took their places. They began with an introduction of slow blues, before Gregg started to sing The Sky Is Crying from behind dark glasses. They played Key To The Highway, then Stormy Monday and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Dickey Betts played for Duane in the places where Duane would have normally been heard. Dr. John and Bobby Caldwell joined the band, along with Delaney Bramlett for a hair-raising Will The Circle Be Unbroken, which left many in tears. After a brief tribute by Delaney Bramlett, Gregg sang a few songs by himself, the last being Melissa, introduced as a favorite of his brother. “I never much cared for it, but I’m going to sing it to him.” The rest of the group returned for one last song, Statesboro Blues. When they had finished, Dickey took the Les Paul he was playing – it was Duane’s guitar – and stood it up next to Duane’s guitar case.

Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler gave the eulogy. His moving portrayal of Duane’s dedication to Southern gospel, soul and blues music, and the place he attained alongside the great musicians and blues singers from the South captured the magnitude of his musical achievements. At the end of the service, Gregg looked at the assembled guests and said, “I’m very proud that you all came.”

Berry Oakley, Jaimoe, Delaney Bramlett and Dickey playing in front of Duane. Snow’s Memorial Chapel. Macon, GA. November 1, 1971.

R.I.P Duane Allman, Howard Duane Allman was born November 20th, 1946 in Nashville, Tennessee to mother Geraldine Alice and father Willis Allman. Duane faced many obstacles growing up but the worst was his father’s murder by a shell- shocked veteran that Willis was kind enough to give a ride to…

Understandably so, Duane’s mother sent the Duane and Gregg to Castle Heights Military Academy before moving them to Daytona Beach, FL for work which was a lot of change for Duane and Gregg. Eventually the family settled back in Nashville where Gregg started to express interest in the guitar while Duane wanted to ride free along the highway with the wind in his face on his motorcycle.

In his early 20’s Duane finally started to show interest in the guitar, which him and Gregg would fight over until Geraldine bought him a Gibson Les Paul Junior and it was all up hill from there…

The two boys grew up idolizing legends like BB King and really gravitated to the deep, raspy tones carried through the blues. Duane soon became the better of the two brothers, quit high school to focus on his passion at his fingertips and played shows in the area as the Escorts, later known as the Allman Joys. It’s hard to think that Duane Allman was all of 24 years old when he tragically died in a motorcycle accident on October 29th, 1971. How is it possible for a man to accomplish so much in so little time? In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Duane Allman has the second greatest guitarist to ever play, with only Jimi Hendrix ahead of him. Second greatest guitarist ever. And he didn’t even make it to 25. That’s almost unfathomable. And yet, we have the proof. “Skydog”, as he was affectionately known, left behind a body of work that is simply breathtaking. Much of that work, perhaps the most beloved by his fans, came as a member of the band he co-founded with his brother Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band. But he also left behind a host of session work backing up musicians like Aretha Franklin and King Curtis. And there’s also his simply stunning contributions to Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Eric Clapton. “Layla” itself would simply not be the paragon of rock music that it is without Duane Allman’s immaculate slide guitar contributions. Eric Clapton found a kindred spirit in Duane Allman, and even tried to convince him to become a regular member of his band.

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After teaching himself slide guitar with a pill bottle, Duane’s sound eventually caught the ear and eye of Fame Studios which led him to Wilson Pickett. Even Clapton was mesmerized by his iconic lead break at the end of Wilson Pickett’s “Hey Jude.”

After a year with Muscle Shoals, Duane felt frustrated with the limits the studio time brought him so he decided to call Gregg and bring buddies Betts and Oakley to finally form the Allman Brothers Band in 1969.

The Allman Brothers Band played with Clapton’s Derek and the Dominos and the two became fast friends, bonded by their talents but the two never had the chance to tour with each other due to Duane’s untimely death…

On October 29th, 1971, Duane took a spin around Macon, Georgia on his motorcycle, but while headed down Hillcrest Avenue he unexpectedly met a large flatbed truck and had to swerve out of the way to miss it but unfortunately made some type of contact with either the crane or the bed of the truck which threw him from the bike with a dangerous force. The motorcycle was also launched in the air from the crash and ended up landing on Duane and crushing his internal organs. Although Duane was alive when he was found, he passed away hours later from internal bleeding and other internal complications.He changed our lives forever with his musical influence and wonderful talents.