ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND
The issue of this DeLuxe edition of "Brothers & Sisters" for the fortieth anniversary of its issue is a good opportunity to talk about this ABB essential album.
In 1973, the band is in a bad mood, just after Duane Allman and Berry Oakley deaths in bikes accidents. Lamar Williams takes Berry's place on bass guitar, but it's Chuck Leavell on piano who arrives, the band keeping only Dickey Betts on guitar, even if, on some songs, Les Dudek and Tommy Talton, friends of the family, come to give a hand.
This difficult moment will give us a masterpiece.
Dickey Betts, who was behind Duane Allman shadow, takes the leadership as a song writer and as a musician. His talent becomes obvious, he creates two incredible standards "Rambin' Man" and "Jessica", and give a country environment to the ABB music. His slide play is incredible, close to Duane's, his partnership with Chuck Leavell is extraordinary and now the band seems to be very strong and each musician is close to the others. Gregg brings his Southern Rock touch on "Wasted Words" and "Come And Go Blues", and on Trade Martin cover "Jelly, Jelly".
Johnny Sadlin production, who took Tom Dowd place, is a revelation for Betts music and is a kind of panorama of the Southern music, a kind of melting pot that will create Southern Rock.
Forty years later…
Three other albums have been joined to the original recording in this DeLuxe version. Third and Fourth cds are a recording of a San Francisco's Winterland show, on September 1973 26th, recordings known by every bootlegger and every title « Wasted Words », « Ramblin' Man », « In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed » and « Southbound » were on the live compilation "Wipe The Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas".
Here we've got the full show and Dickey Betts and Chuck Leavell musical exchange are wonderful. This live era is not very well known, and it's pity because the music played is at a very high level, with not too much improvisations. Chuck Leavell will be musically recognised later for his work with Eric Clapton or the Rolling Stones, but it's here that his talent becomes obvious on this incredible exchange with Dickey's guitar. This excellent show is a good reason to buy this DeLuxe edition.
Second CD, between the original one and the concert, offers us some jams and outtakes. Even if there are not such incredible moments, Chuck and Dickey musical exchanges are always excellent, just on "A Minor Jam" or "Double Cross".
And now, the little boy on "Brothers & Sisters" sleeve is about 45 years old… Time goes on…