Allman Brothers Band

Allman Brothers Band
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Gregg Allman vocals, Hammond B-3 organ
Butch Trucks drums & tympani
Jaimoe drums
Warren Haynes vocals, lead & slide guitar
Marc Quiñones percussion & vocals
Oteil Burbridge bass
Derek Trucks lead & slide guitar

They formed in 1969, but the road veterans continue to tour like they have something to
prove. And they're already legends, with a secure place in history and a plaque at the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND is also a vital
contemporary phenomenon, as much a part of the present and future of music as any
band can be.

In early 2003, the group released the critically lauded Hittin' The Note, their first new
studio project in nine years (and 24th overall). Released March 18, 2003 on their own
Peach label (via a new deal with Sanctuary), these 11 tracks prove the band's ability to
adapt its classic sound to the energy and aesthetics of modern rock. The ALLMAN
BROTHERS BAND underlined the success of Hittin’ The Note (including two Grammy
nominations for the track “Instrumental Illness”) with a live DVD and CD recorded in
New York during the group’s annual marathon of shows at the Beacon Theatre (which
they have packed over 140 times, including 14 sell-outs in 2006). The group also
continues to release music from their personal archives, which they’ve guarded closely
over the years.

The Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theatre…just hearing the phrase conjures up
images and sounds of well executed and passionately played live rock and roll. To
capture the event for fans who might not necessarily have been lucky enough to get into
the 2894-seat venue, the group recorded the shows, and released the Live At The2
Beacon Theatre DVD in late ’03, and it was quickly certified gold. One Way Out, a live
album from the same Beacon stand, came out in March 2004.

2003 also brought further accolades for the ALLMANS. The band was recognized by
Rolling Stone for featuring four of the top 100 guitarists of all time: the late Duane
Allman was cited as #2, while current guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks came
in at #23 and #81, respectively. Known as one of rock’s best live acts, the ALLMAN
BROTHERS BAND were one of only two artists whose live albums ranked in the top 50
of Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” The ALLMAN
BROTHERS BAND was honored for At Fillmore East (while James Brown was saluted
for Live At The Apollo). An expanded version of At Fillmore East and the previously
unavailable Atlanta International Pop Festival (the July 1970 concert that they both
opened and closed) were released to critical and fan acclaim. The group was selected
as the first artist to introduce the “Instant Live” program, whereby fans were able to
purchase CD copies of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND concert they just saw,
immediately after the show.

Not many groups have been around as long as The Allman Brothers Band. Of those
that have, most have either lapsed into a nostalgia-act coma or withered on a weary
vine. If you're talking about a band that has both legs and heart, whose experience
feeds an intensity that's rare even among the greenest music newbies, that narrows the
field pretty much down to these psychedelic sons of the South.
But passion doesn't come easily, which helps explain why it's taken them so long to
record once again. In April 1997, frustrated by tensions within the group that were
threatening to slow its creative momentum, Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody
left to pursue Gov’t Mule (with whom he still tours and releases new music), and the
focus of the group shifted exclusively to live performance. Though they still delivered
killer shows, something was missing, and eventually it became clear that the only way
to get it back was to make a change in the personnel.

The Brothers had been in this place before; most recently it had expanded its
improvisational range by bringing a fresh face, 21-year-old Derek Trucks, into the
lineup, with a solo style that mingled elements of Southern rock, bluesy slide guitar, and
free-form jazz. In September 2000, after the departure of longtime guitarist Dickey
Betts, they reached this time into their past by inviting Haynes to come back. It was a
poignant moment for all concerned, as Allen Woody's passing had suddenly put Gov’t
Mule on hold.

Sitting in with the Allman Brothers Band in 2001, during their annual concert series at
New York's Beacon Theatre, Haynes slid easily into his old role, trading licks and
cruising through the group's trademark twin-guitar passages, paired for the first time
with Trucks. That's all it took to convince the band to start laying down tracks again.
"Everybody was itching to get back into the studio," Haynes says. "We all wanted to
break some new ground, and at the same time we wanted to maintain the Allman
Brothers Band. Of course, that's not difficult with this band, but with all the new blood
and excitement about making a new record, we found ourselves exploring a lot of new
territory. The chemistry between me and Derek very quickly reached a telepathic level,
and I think Gregg started singing better than he has since the '70s."
More critically, a rush of new songs accelerated the band's momentum. "Gregg and I
started writing, and everything fell into place, even more so than in the past," Haynes
says. "The first song we wrote this time out was 'Desdemona,' and it was such a high
water mark that we were like, 'Okay, now we've got to compete with that in every song
we write.'"

They kept to that standard on all the original titles recorded for Hittin' The Note. (The
album also includes two covers, Freddy King's "Woman Across the River" and the
Rolling Stones' "Heart Of Stone," along with "Rockin' Horse," which Allman, Haynes,
Woody, and Jack Pearson co-wrote in 1994.) In settings that range from the intimate
acoustic guitar duo "Old Friends" to the turbulent long-form (and Grammy-nominated)
jam "Instrumental Illness," Hittin' The Note proves that this band is bigger than any era
through which it has passed, as strong as any of the many acts it has inspired, with a lot
more history still to be made.

"Things have changed in a good way," Gregg Allman muses. "They say everything
happens for the best, and you wonder why at the time, but then in the long run you see
why. Someone will go, and that's a real drag, but then somebody else comes in who
adds so much more than you even expected. With the people we've got now, as long as
we just keep playing without any gimmicks or cutting any corners, I guess we'll be
around for a long time more."

The Story So Far
Allman knows better than most in this business how long a "long time" can be. In fact,
his band, with its mix of down-home groove and instrumental virtuosity, blues-drenched
soul and guitar-driven rock, and dedication to all-night jamming, laid the groundwork for
what became known as the Southern Rock movement. You can date it from March
1969, when Florida-raised guitarist Duane Allman left Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where
he'd established himself as an in-demand session player on recordings by Aretha
Franklin, Wilson Pickett, King Curtis and Boz Scaggs, among others. Seeking to form
his own dream band, Allman recruited bassist Berry Oakley and guitarist Dickey Betts
from a Jacksonville, Florida band called the Second Coming.

He also tapped not one but two drummers: the R&B veteran Jaimoe (then known as Jai
Johanny Johanson), who had worked with Otis Redding, Joe Tex, and Percy Sledge,
and Butch Trucks, late of a Jacksonville folk-rock group, the 31st Of February.
Hammond B-3 organist and lead vocalist Gregg Allman had recorded two albums with
brother Duane as part of the L.A.-based Hourglass, and was developing into one of the
finest white blues singers of all time.

The Allman Brothers Band's sonic trademarks were all in place by the time their selftitled
debut album was released in 1969 (see discography below). Driven by the
relentless propulsion of Jaimoe and Butch, Gregg's bluesy keyboard comping, and
Berry's deep, melodic bass lines, Duane Allman and Dickey Betts crafted a unique twin
lead guitar approach that took its cues from jazz horn players (particularly Miles Davis
and John Coltrane) as well as the harmonized fiddle lines of Western swing and
bluegrass. Together, they rewrote the rulebook on how rock guitarists could play
together, and paved the way for every two- and even three-guitar band that would follow
their path.

"Most fans had never heard anything quite like the mercurial solos and meticulous
counterpoint effortlessly unreeled by Duane Allman and Betts," wrote author Joe Nick
Patoski in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (1992, Random House).
"In many respects, indeed, the Allman Brothers Band had become one of the most
impressive bands in the country."

On their first four recordings -- The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South, At The
Fillmore East, and Eat A Peach -- the ABB perfected a sound that effortlessly combined
rock, blues, country, and jazz on such unforgettable original tunes as "Dreams,"
"Revival," "Midnight Rider," "Melissa" and "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed." By 1971,
they were poised for superstardom. Even the tragic deaths of both Duane Allman (on
October 29, 1971) and bassist Berry Oakley (on November 11, 1972) in eerily similar
motorcycle accidents couldn't stop the band's upward trajectory.

The success of the No. 2 Pop single "Ramblin' Man" triggered a mid-Seventies run (with
the four surviving original members joined by bassist Lamar Williams and keyboardist
Chuck Leavell) that ended only when internal conflicts sundered the group in 1976. A
third incarnation of the ABB was formed in 1978 for the album Enlightened Rogues, but
after two further albums, the group disbanded once again.
Yet the pull of their roots proved too strong for the Brothers to remain apart. In the
summer of 1989, the Allman Brothers Band launched a 20th Anniversary Tour with
Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, and Jaimoe, complemented by slide guitarist
Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody. (Percussionist Marc Quiñones joined in
1991.) Signed to Epic Records, the new lineup returned to the recording studio with
producer Tom Dowd for three studio albums and two live sets. (Dowd, a legendary
producer and engineer, manned the controls for Idlewild South, At Fillmore East, Eat A
Peach, and Enlightened Rogues.) Of the ABB's Epic label debut Seven Turns, The New
Yorker wrote, "The Brothers play with the energy of teenagers and the ornery wildness
of veteran blues men."

In an increasingly predictable world of prefabricated pop, the ABB's peerless
musicianship and extravagant flights of improvisation earned the group a new audience-
-one that transcended generational and regional boundaries. In October 1989, the
Allman Brothers Band headlined the Beacon Theater in New York City for four nights,
inaugurating a live performance tradition of multi-night stands that persists to the
present. Their lengthy annual tours grew to include long stops in major cities, featuring
ever-changing set lists: six shows at New York's Radio City Music Hall and five nights at
the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, as well as multiple nights at the Wiltern in Los
Angeles, the Warfield in San Francisco, Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, the Orpheum in
Boston and the Fox Theater in Atlanta, among others.
1994 was a banner year, though not an untypical one, in the recent history of the Allman
Brothers Band. The group made five live network television appearances; played 90 live
dates, including the H.O.R.D.E tour, which they headlined; turned in one of the best,
most exciting sets of Woodstock '94; and was voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in
their first year of eligibility. "In terms of sheer creativity, they're experiencing the
strongest second wind of any act," noted The New York Daily News. "For sheer soloing
ability, not only do the Allman Brothers run circles around anyone of the present
generation, they outperform anyone of their own…Their road deserves to go on

At the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, held in February 1996, the Allman Brothers Band
won the first Grammy in its 27-year history: Best Rock Instrumental Performance, for
"Jessica," a track from the acclaimed live album 2nd Set. This 16-minute improvisation
may be the longest single non-classical performance ever to win a Grammy. (Another
track from 2nd Set, "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed," was also nominated in the Pop
Instrumental category.)

In the spring of 1997, when Haynes and Woody left to pursue Gov’t Mule, they were
replaced by Oteil Burbridge on bass and Jack Pearson on guitar. Acclaimed by critics
and fans alike as the rising star of electric bass, Burbridge also performs with his own
band, the Peacemakers (who released their second album Believer in 2005, and on
occasional reunion shows by his former group, Aquarium Rescue Unit. (In September
2000, weeks after Woody's death at age 44, the Brothers organized and performed
"One For Woody," an all-star benefit concert at Roseland Ballroom in New York. The
evening featured more than five hours of music by the Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh
& Friends, the Black Crowes, Warren and Matt of Gov’t Mule, and friends Little Milton,
Leslie West, and Edwin McCain.) Tennessee’s Jack Pearson continues to do session
work in Nashville and performs live with his Jack Pearson Band. He is known to
occasionally make guest appearances at the Brothers’ concerts.

In June 1998, Epic Records released Mycology: An Anthology, featuring eight tracks
culled from the Brothers' Epic catalog: "Good Clean Fun" and "Seven Turns" from
Seven Turns; "End Of the Line" and "Get On With Your Life" from Shades Of Two
Worlds (1991); "Nobody Knows" from An Evening With The Allman Brothers Band
(1992); "Sailin' Cross The Devil's Sea" from 2nd Set (1995); and "No One To Run With"
and "Back Where It All Begins," from Where It All Begins (released 1994, certified gold
in November 1997). In addition, Mycology includes two bonus tracks: a live acoustic
version of "Midnight Rider" from the limited-edition benefit CD for the Rhett's Syndrome
Foundation; and a previously unreleased version of "Every Hungry Woman," recorded
live at the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival by the original lineup of the Allman Brothers Band.

In June of 1999 Derek Trucks made his debut on guitar, replacing Jack Pearson as colead
and slide guitarist. Just 21 years old at the time, the gifted young player is the
nephew of drummer and founding band member Butch Trucks. When not on the road
with the ABB, he tours tirelessly with his own Derek Trucks Band, which has released
albums (The Derek Trucks Band, Out Of The Madness, Joyful Noise; Soul Serenade;
Live @ the Georgia Theater, and Songlines). He has also toured as a member of Phil
Lesh & Friends and recorded with Gregg Allman, Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Copeland,
and Junior Wells. Onstage, he's sat in with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, John Lee Hooker,
Buddy Guy, and wife Susan Tedeschi, to name a few. Derek Trucks' epochal debut with
the band was captured on Peakin' At The Beacon, a live set released by Epic in 2001.
That same year, the Brothers announced that guitarist Dickey Betts would be replaced
by Jimmy Herring for the remainder of their 2000 season. With Haynes' return to the
group, the seed was planted for the band's triumphant return to the studio for the Hittin'
The Note sessions.

Since 1989 the Brothers have toured nationally every year, averaging more than 60 live
shows per year. The tradition continues in 2006, with 14 nights of "March Madness" at
New York City’s Beacon Theatre from March 9 through 26.
…all of which leaves little unsaid about this incomparable band. Leave it to another
transcendent artist, Willie Nelson, to wrap up the essence of the Allman Brothers Band,
as he did while presiding over their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:
"The Allman Brothers Band took what moved them and merged it into something unique
that audiences love: a sound that redefined the direction of rock & roll, and opened the
doors to a spirit of experimentation that continues in today's music.
"The Allman Brothers Band were and still are one of the most exciting live bands ever to
hit the stage. They became road warriors with a vengeance and left devoted fans
wherever they went…[The ABB is] a band that reflects so many of my sentiments about
music: originality, a determination not to be confined musically or stylistically, but
instead to forge your own way and make music that moves you, a devotion to the road,
and understanding that beyond pleasing yourself as an artist, the only other
consideration should be the people, the fans who come to hear you.
"And so, with pleasure, I give you rock & roll's greatest jammin' blues band, the Allman
Brothers Band!"

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