Thursday, August 14, 2014

Allman Brothers: Midnight Riders

Southern rock and blues rock legends The Allman Brothers were formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969. The band was named after brothers Greg and Duane Allman, the band’s lead singer and lead guitarist, respectively. The Allman Brothers are perhaps the quintessential example of “Southern Rock.”

Southern rock bands such as the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynard, and the Marshall Tucker Band all hailed from below the Mason-Dixon Line and infused their hard rock with elements of the blues and country music and often expressed the conservative or “redneck” outlooks.

The Allman Brothers were perhaps the most blues-influenced of southern rock bands. Their first two albums, “The Allman Brothers Band” (1968) and “Idlewild South” (1970) contained several blues cover tunes each. The ragged, soulful voice of Greg Allman and bluesy slide guitar of Duane Allman and Dickie Betts enabled the band to produce some of the best blues rock of the era.

The Allman Brothers Band was a tremendous live act, and live performances allowed the band’s instrumental highlight, Duane Allman to display his prodigious slide guitar technique. Two of the band’s finest albums, “Live at the Fillmore East” (1971) and “Eat a Peach” (1972) are live albums which feature long tracks which serve as vehicles for Duane Allman’s and Dickie Betts’ impressive chops.

Duane Allman died tragically in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 23.

Following the death of Duane Allman, Dickie Betts became the instrumental centerpiece of the band, and the Allman Brothers Band continued to record and tour. The band reached the height of their commercial success with the classic album, “Brothers and Sisters” which featured two of their best known tunes, “Ramblin’ Man” and the instrumental, “Jessica.”
Greg Allman in 1975