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Adieu, Allman Bros.

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So the Allman Brothers are preparing to call it quits. The band has broken up and reformed a couple of times before, but this time seems final, considering they have been around 45 years. Gregg Allman told Relix the Allmans will stop performing at the end of this year, although they may reunite for the occasional one-off. The group has already slowed down their legendary touring pace in recent years, and guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks recently said they would be leaving at year’s end.
This is a big loss for the jamband music scene. Although for my money the Allmans have never been quite the same since original guitarist Dickey Betts was kicked out for erratic behavior in 2000, they still represent a singular force in jamband music. The Allmans are more Southern and both jazzier and bluesier than other leading jambands of their era or succeeding eras – although they hail from Macon, Georgia there is a lot of New Orleans in their sound.
There is also a certain down and dirty edge to the Allmans that most other jambands lack. The Grateful Dead were full-fledged rock n roll outlaws, but their rule breaking was more about exploring forbidden consciousness than anything else. The Allmans were bad boy rockers in the tradition of the Stones, carrying a sense of menace under the trippy, bright exterior of many of their songs. Modern jamband music, with Phish and Dave Matthews Band assuming the roles of elder statesmen whether they like it or not, has a much mellower, more collegiate vibe. Times change, music changes and the Allman Brothers will create change with their absence. So let’s bid a fond adieu to the Allman Brothers, they will always be remembered and never be replaced.


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