Friday, July 29, 2005

best live band in the world, bar none?

This rave review of the Allman Brothers Band 2003 “One Way Out” release is hard to believe. Hard to believe, but I think I agree.

All Music Guide: One Way Out

I suppose if you truly hate the Allman Brothers Band you won’t like this either, but if you have any affinity for their rock/blues/jazz improv style at all, this is really worth a listen.

The live performance on DVD is mesmerizing. 20-something Derek Trucks is probably the best slide guitarist in the world and he is fascinating to watch, with his calm zen-like attitude and pickless fingering style. To my ears, his improvised guitar solos rival Coltrane and Miles Davis. Gregg Allman is sober and his vocals are better than ever. I have a new appreciation for just how good a blues singer he really is, for a white guy. The other guitarist is Warren Haynes, who’s played with them off and on since the 80’s, and he’s a great traditional blues player. His solos lack the finesse of Derek’s but his song writing and singing adds dimension and a deeply blues flavor to the band’s repertoire.

Since they threw Dickey Betts out of the band, they don’t seem to be recording any of his songs which means no “Ramblin’ Man”, “Elizabeth Reed”, or “Blue Sky” but I for one don’t miss them. Who isn’t sick of “Ramblin’ Man” anyway?

If you are old like me you remember the original Allman Brothers and probably figured they were washed up has-beens in the 80’s. What a surprise.

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