"At Fillmore East" (Capricorn Records; 1971)

Reviewed by Snidermann

"The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East" is simply one of the best live blues recordings ever done by a rock band. Simple yet elegant, this toe-tapping goodness makes you want to bob your head to the beat and wish you were in the band performing the music.

This recording was released in July 1971 and, by October of that same year, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. The band did move on (of course) but, in my opinion, never got back the full swagger it had when he was alive.

The album begins with with "Statesboro Blues," written by Blind Willie McTell in 1928 and, frankly, I had I had to go to YouTube just to listen to the original and I have to say the Brothers did a great cover version. Blind Willie would be proud!

This album influenced a million different rockers. It's just great music, easy to get into, and a shitload full of fun to boot. If it were not for American blues, the landscape of music, especially rock'n'roll, would be very different today. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend ... just to name a very few, were influenced by American blues and probably by this stunning live recording.

Speaking of which, there are several extended and deluxe versions of this recording out there -- like this one -- so be very thorough when considering making a purchase.

The band is: Duane Allman; Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny and Butch Trucks. The recording ends with an outstanding, extended redention of "Whipping Post" from their debut recording. This shit is most definitely worth the listen.

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"The Allman Brothers Band" (Mercury Records; 1969)

Reviewed by Snidermann

When the first Allman Brothers album came out it was 1969 and I was six years old. It took me fifty years to get into the recording enough for a review. In the back of my head, I had always really liked that kind of music. You always hear the Allman Brothers on the radio and think “man, that music is good!” Now, later in life, I bought the first few Allman Brothers releases and I am frankly very impressed with what I find.

This is blues-based rock in its finest form. I say blues-based rock and that is what I mean. It's simple, strong, easy to listen to and frankly it is the basis for the progression of the heaver music that is going to come later. This is solid rock that makes you listen to the nuances associated with the music and what I hear is good.

I do like the harder aspect of rock'n'roll that moves into metal, of course, but I am finding myself stepping back and getting to know the early aspects of rock/metal and that is the blues.

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident two years after this release, but his influence is strong in each recording. The rest of the band is Grey Allman, Dicky Betts, Barry Oakley,Butch Truck and Jai Johanson. The debut release ends with an Allman Brother cut that will be played on FM radio until the end of time: “The Whipping Post.” I'm sure you've heard it.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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