Gold: The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band
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Outside of the hefty box set Dreams, the double-length Gold anthology is as comprehensive a collection of Allman Brothers Band gems from the group's initial run (1969-1979) as you'll find. Naturally, Gold is heavy on material from the albums that included guitar hero Duane Allman, including the seminal live record At Fillmore East. Hearing the sparks that fly between him and his guitar-slinging compadre Dickey Betts is a timeless thrill, whether the band are simmering on the jazz fusion-inflected instrumental "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" or burning up Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues." Greg Allman's gritty, soulful voice made him one of his generation's most effective blues interpreters, but he could also turn out sophisticated tunes like "Whipping Post," probably the only classic rock staple in 11/4 time. But the albums following Duane's death are well represented too, and we hear Betts come to the fore on his own compositions, like the sunny, country-flavored instrumental "Jessica" and the twangy, upbeat open-road ode "Ramblin' Man."
Thank You Chuck
As if the absolutely incredibly simple beauty of Duane's guitar on this collection weren't enough, you owe it to yourself to give a listen to the finest damn keyboard player of his time (Bill Payne apologies). Chuck Leavell is worth the price of admission alone on this one, and every tune is pure beer-drenched Muscle Shoals blues played to perfection. There is B.B. King (who Duane saw at age 14) and Miles Davis in every solo on this collection, and it captures a band at the absolute prime of their creative confluence. If Statesboro weren't on my headphones right now, i'd write more...
...had them Statesboro Blues
Southern rock at its best. Lots of great tunes here, perfect for any occasion.
Not to wax too enthusiastic about this, but for those of us who grew up in the South around this time, songs from this album evoke memories so overwhelming that, if driving while listening, you'd better pull off to the side of the road. What incredible talent!
Formed: 1969 in Macon, GA
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s