The Allman Brothers Band – Gambler’s Roll
The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (slide guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, organ, songwriting), as well as Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums). While the band has been called the principal architects of southern rock, they also incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows have jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.
The group’s first two studio releases 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” and “Whipping Post”, and is often considered among the best live albums. Group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident not long afterward, and the band completed Eat a Peach (1972) in his memory, a dual studio/live album that cemented the band’s popularity. Following the death of bassist Berry Oakley later that year, the group recruited keyboardist Chuck Leavell and bassist Lamar Williams for 1973’s Brothers and Sisters, which, combined with the hit single, “Ramblin’ Man”, placed the group at the forefront of 1970s rock music. Internal turmoil overtook the band soon after; the group dissolved in 1976, reformed briefly at the end of the decade with additional personnel changes, and dissolved again in 1982.
The band reformed once more in 1989, releasing a string of new albums and touring heavily. A series of personnel changes in the late 1990s was capped by the departure of Betts. The group found stability during the 2000s with bassist Oteil Burbridge and guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (the nephew of their drummer), and became renowned for their month-long string of shows at New York City’s Beacon Theater each spring. The band retired in 2014 with the departure of the aforementioned members. The band has been awarded eleven gold and five platinum albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rolling Stone ranked them 52nd on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004.
Later years (1997–2014)
The group recruited Oteil Burbridge of the Aquarium Rescue Unit to replace Woody on bass, and Jack Pearson on guitar. Concerns arose over the increasing loudness of Allman Brothers shows, which were largely centered on Betts. Pearson, struggling with tinnitus, left as a result following the 1999 Beacon run. Trucks phoned his nephew, Derek Trucks, to join the band for their thirtieth anniversary tour. Trucks was very young, at age 20, and younger than any of the original members when the band formed. “It was an honor to be part of such a great institution from the start,” said Derek Trucks. “When I first got the gig, I was just trying to maintain the spirit of the whole thing while hopefully bringing some fire to it, hoping to hold up my end while also expressing my own voice.” The Beacon run in 2000, captured on Peakin’ at the Beacon, was ironically considered among the band’s worst performances; an eight-show spring tour led to even more strained relations in the group. “It had ceased to be a band—everything had to be based around what Dickey was playing,” said Allman. Anger boiled over within the group towards Betts, which led to all original members sending him a letter, informing him of their intentions to tour without him for the summer.
All involved contend that the break was temporary, but Betts responded by hiring a lawyer and suing the group, which led to a permanent divorce. “I had no idea that I would be snapped out of the picture. I thought it was cruel and impersonal,” said Betts. Allman was finally sober and felt more miserable shows with Betts would be a waste of time. Betts later received a cash settlement, which is subject to a confidentiality agreement; he went on to record new music with a new band. Jimmy Herring joined the band for the summer tour, where the band fought negative press; fans contended that attending shows by an Allman Brothers Band without Betts was pointless. Herring exited shortly after the tour, as he felt guilty that he would replace Betts. That August, former bassist Allen Woody was found dead in a hotel room in New York. Warren Haynes set up a benefit show for his former bandmate, which featured the Allman Brothers Band. With Derek Trucks unavailable, he sat in for the set. In 2001, Haynes rejoined the band for their Beacon run: “It was my first time with the band in four years and it was very comfortable,” he remarked.
This incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band was well-regarded among fans and the general public, and remained stable and productive.”This band is the greatest one since Duane and Berry, and why shouldn’t it be?” said Jaimoe. The band released their final studio recording, Hittin’ the Note (2003), to critical acclaim.The record was the first to feature Derek Trucks and the only Allman Brothers album to not feature Betts. The band continued to tour throughout the 2000s, remaining a top touring act, regularly attracting more than 20,000 fans. The decade closed with a successful run at the Beacon Theater, in celebration of the band’s fortieth anniversary. “That [2009 run] was the most fun I’ve ever had in that building,” said Allman, and it was universally regarded within the band as a career highlight. The run featured numerous special guests, including Eric Clapton, which all in the band regarded as the most “special” guest, due to his association with Duane. Allman had a liver transplant in 2010, and suffered health setbacks for the following two years. He went to rehab in 2012 for addiction following his medical treatments.In 2012 the Allman Brothers started their own music festival, The Peach which features many associated acts and many genres in addition to two Allman Brothers performances. They played a run at the Beacon in 2013 per tradition and after continued to tour. In 2014, Haynes and Derek Trucks announced their intention to depart the group at the end of the year. The group intended their 2014 run of Beacon shows to be their last, but the residency was cut short when Allman developed bronchitis.
The Allman Brothers Band performed its final show on October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theater. The concert consisted of three sets, comprising mostly music from their first five records, with no guest musicians sitting in (“We had a band meeting and decided no guest sit-ins. We’re going out with just the band,” Allman told reporters). Following the sets, which ran into the early morning hours, the band joined together center stage and took a bow, with Allman recalling the group’s first rehearsal 45 years prior. “I was called to come and meet these guys in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 26, 1969. Now, we’re gonna do the first song we ever played.” Following this, the band performed “Trouble No More” by Muddy Waters. During the night’s intermissions, a video screen displayed a message: “The road indeed goes on forever. So stay calm, eat a peach and carry on…
Main article: The Allman Brothers Band discography
The Allman Brothers Band placed more emphasis on their live performances rather than albums. “We get kind of frustrated doing the [studio] records,” said Duane Allman in 1970. Consequently, this listing includes all studio albums and major live releases (several other live releases have been issued retrospectively).
The Allman Brothers Band (1969)
Idlewild South (1970)
At Fillmore East (1971)
Eat a Peach (1972)
Brothers and Sisters (1973)
Win, Lose or Draw (1975)
Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas (1976)
Enlightened Rogues (1979)
Reach for the Sky (1980)
Brothers of the Road (1981)
Seven Turns (1990)
Shades of Two Worlds (1991)
An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set (1992)
Where It All Begins (1994)
An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set (1995)
Peakin’ at the Beacon (2000)
Hittin’ the Note (2003)
One Way Out (2004)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia