Tuesday, November 4, 2014

the allman brothers band

The Allman Brothers Band found a new way to play the blues with the double-guitar double-drum sound of this improvisational electric jazz scourging.  Brothers Duane and Gregg Allman grew up in Daytona, Florida and played together in various groups from the Escorts to The Allman Joys.  It was in St. Louis that they were discovered and signed to Liberty Records.  They moved to Los Angeles and recorded two albums as Hour Glass.  Duane went out to Muscle Shoals, Alabama where he became a session guitarists At FAME Studios.  Gregg decided to stay in California workin on a solo album for Liberty, who had threatened to sue the group for breaking up.  Duane became disenchanted with session work and started jamming with various musicians developing a new sound that involved two guitarists and two drummers.  He joined with Jai Johanny Johanson (Jaimoe) and Berry Oakley in Jacksonville, Florida.  Music mogul Phil Walden worked with Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records to sign Duane's new band to the Atlantic subsidiary he was starting, Capricorn Records.  The group also included Butch Trucks, Dicky Betts,  and Reese Wynans; but Duane really wanted his brother to be the singer.  Gregg joined and replaced Wynans and the Allman Brothers Band was born.  The group relocated to Macon, Georgia where the new label was being set up.  They worked on new material and played constantly for the next few months before heading to New York to record their self-titled debut album.  The sessions were produced and engineered over two weeks by Adrian Barber at Atlantic Studios and featured Gregg Allman on vocals and organ;   Duane Allman on slide guitar and lead guitar;  Dickey Betts on lead guitar;  Berry Oakley on bass guitar and backing vocals;  Jai Johanny Johanson on drums and congas;  and Butch Trucks on drums and percussion.  

Betts considers:   "Before we went into the studio, we had a very clear idea of what we were all trying to do musically and that it was unique, totally different from anything else that anyone was playing...From the earliest rehearsals, we all had the same mind-set."

'The Allman Brothers' only charted at number one hundred and eighty-eight; but it set the stage for the success that was to come.  Trucks remembers:   "The whole experience of making the first album was absolutely wonderful. I felt comfortable in the studio, having recorded a bunch before, as did we all, and the music was great. We had played these songs so much and we were all just busting to get them down on record."


"Whipping Post"

'The Allman Brothers' 
full album:

All songs written by Gregg Allman, except where noted.

Side one
"Don't Want You No More" (Spencer Davis, Edward Hardin)  – 2:25
"It's Not My Cross to Bear"  – 5:02
"Black Hearted Woman"  – 5:08
"Trouble No More" (McKinley Morganfield aka Muddy Waters)  – 3:45
Side two
"Every Hungry Woman"  – 4:13
"Dreams"  – 7:18
"Whipping Post"  – 5:17

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