Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East

F

fifty-one years ago, the Allman Brothers released the iconic live At Fillmore East album and that record began a musical odyssey for me ... a band that I've listened to weekly for over 50 years.

Damned near every dorm room on our floor at the University of Dayton had a copy of At Fillmore East, a fact that I look back on now and realize how broad their appeal … blues, southern rock, country, jazz and now the jamband world.  Duane’s slide work opening the classic Blind Willie McTell’s ‘Statesboro Blues’ still makes me grin. Berry Oakley’s thunder on Hot ‘Lanta still stands the test of time as one of the great bass performances and Whipping Post is the perfect showcase for each member of the band to shine in the 20 minute + extended jam.  Seven songs over 4 album sides, unheard of at the time but part of the genius that truly cemented the ABB as one of the best live acts of all time.

Music aside, the album artwork is also one of the most recognizable and some of my favorite Jim Marshall photos … the band on the front cover, the crew on the back.

How does it hold up?

Fifty-one years later, it’s still played on terrestrial radio and streaming services in regular rotation!

Where are they now?

The untimely deaths of Duane (4 months after the album was released) and Berry Oakley (a year later) took a toll on the band which underwent several personnel changes with original guitarist and songwriter Dicky Betts leaving the band in 2000. The additions of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (nephew of drummer Butch Trucks) kept the band on the road and expanded the fan base. The last ‘official’ ABB show was October of 2014 at New York’s Beacon Theatre, the end of an era, however both Derek and Warren have their own very successful projects with The Tedeschi Trucks Band and Govt. Mule.

Should you listen?

Absolutely … and it’s also worth the time to listen to the many offshoots of the ABB family tree, the aforementioned Govt. Mule, Tedeschi Trucks, The Allman Betts Band (Devon Allman, Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley) and Brother and Sister (Melody and Vaylor Trucks).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.