1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die ~ Tom Moon ~ The Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers, At Fillmore East, An Essential Live Rock Document

I admit it. I have blind spots in my music catalogue and the Allman Brothers is one of them. Why this is, is complicated. I was newly back from Vietnam when this album hit. I was out of the south, really, for the first time in my life and was in no particular mood at that time for “Southern” Rock. And my taste for white boy blues was extremely limited. The sight of the Stars and Bars was like fingernails on a chalkboard. But the reverence for this band (especially in the South) certainly is enduring, bordering on devotion, as if they were protectors of a way of life. Still, I was always partial to the energy of live Fillmore albums.

This album (edited from four Fillnore live shows in March 1971) kicks off with the classic “Statesboro Blues”, and its so familiar and such a straight ahead Blues that it’s impossible not to get into that groove. “Stormy Monday” showcases Greg Allman on the Hammond B3. Me? I was listening to Jimmy Smith around about this time

Part of me really believes that their enduring legacy lies on the highway at the feet of the twisted metal of Duane Allman’s motorcycle. But it truly must have been something though to attend a live Allman show back in those days. There are some bands that really not only have to be heard performing live versions of their songs, but you have to be there as well. I can only imagine swaying on the floor to “In Memory of Elizaberth Reed”, a cosmic instruments. That one and “Whipping Post” really show the power of their lineup. I’ve come around.

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