Last night The Allman Brothers kicked of its 1st of 11 shows over the next 3 weeks at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. The Allman Brothers Band, an American Institution , began the tradition of its NY residency in 1989. Drawing heavily on its blues roots, The Allmans played a show that would make any of the masters from the Delta dance in their graves. With covers of Blind Willie McTell (both the bluesman and the Dylan song), Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Charlie Segar, Elmore James, Marshall Sehorn, and Jimi Hendrix, the 2 sets treated us to an old tradition of playing great music for the sake of playing great music.
As tight as ever the jams took us to the end of the universe and back. With Derek breaking strings, Warren and Gregg trading off vocals, Butch, Jaimoe, and Marc Quinones drumming away and even the groovemaster Oteil Burbridge singing a verse on 1983, last night was nothing short of hard core good old American soulful bluesy rock n roll.
March 26 marks 44 years of Allman Brother Music. There have been many incarnations of the band, and this band has seen it all. We are all the better for it. Just in case you haven't read My Cross To Bear by Alan Light and Gregg Allman(thank you gentlemen), they are giving away free copies to the first 2200 fans at the final show on St Patrick's Day. Check www.allmanbrothersband.com for the details. The presence of any member to ever play in the group is alive and well in the music. The sound seems to have almost taken on a life of its own. Never a disappointment, the video and light show took us through the years of band history. We were reminded of the great bluesmen who started this musical tradition with pictures of their final resting places, live performance clips, old photos and a film of Duane Allman that played as though he were on stage tearing it up with his bandmates(and he was).
Bill Graham tells a story in his book about an Allman Brothers Show at The Filmore East where the second set finished at 4AM. They finished the encore and Graham told them, “You want to play, you can play”. They took the stage and started to play. “Every number was 40 minutes long and this thing just kept going on and on. No one was leaving” When the show ended someone opened the door and the light began to pour in the smoke filled room. Graham looked at his watch and it was 5 minutes after 7. Duane turned to Bill and said “Hey Bill…Just like leaving church huh?”
I have always thought that the way I feel after a great show is the way church should feel. The gospel of The Allman Brothers Band is as relevant as ever.
If your in the NYC area Gregg Allman is doing at book signing at the Barnes N Noble on 5th Ave.
Review: Joseph White http://redhawkfilms.com/