The Final Note (2020)

This show dates from October 17, 1971, twelve days before the tragic passing of the great Duane. This is therefore his last concert. That evening, a young journalist had provided himself with a portable tape recorder to interview the band. Without thinking too much, he decided to record the performance of the Allman Brothers Band. Forgotten in a drawer, this cassette came out of oblivion to the delight of… who, anyway? No doubt for the absolute fanatics of the brilliant guitarist because for the common man, it is not really joy. The sound is bordering on disgusting and it doesn't take much to qualify this record as the scam of the year. However, it cannot be taken away from its character as a historical document so everyone will judge by their degree of admiration for Skydog. As usual, the sound has been touched up by cranking the low frequencies to the max, which makes listening to this concert difficult. It would be amazing if the ABB sounded like that at the time. We must therefore put these unwanted bass to zero to be able to better hear Duane's performance. Putting aside the huge sound flaw, we can still appreciate Duane's insane slide playing, but also Dickey Betts' guitar, which is not backward in coming forward. This famous slide turns wild ("Statesboro blues"), aggressive (on the punchy "Trouble no more"), subtle ("Done somebody wrong") or downright crazy ("One way out"). The instrumental "In memory of Elizabeth Reed" is cut off from its end (the young man must have returned the tape). "Don’t keep me wondering", "Hot'lanta" and a twelve minute "Whipping post" round out the show. Listening to this sound document, we notice that the band seems energized with a more rock and more nervous interpretation of its classics. Now, is this an essential album? For the fans, certainly.

Olivier Aubry


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