It’s not every day that a new recording is unearthed featuring The Allman Brothers Band with Duane Allman, but that’s exactly what we have here. Recorded on the 9th July 1970 at S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook in New York, it really is a remarkable sounding recording given how much time has passed since it was made. For the full history of the recording and how it was made and since released, head here. What follows below is my take and thoughts on the recording itself in the form of a BOOTLEG SERIES article.
1969 saw the release of one of the most underrated blues/rock albums of all time, the self-titled debut from The Allman Brothers Band. It would take the release of their 1971 live album At Fillmore East for the band to get the recognition they deserved but their debut effort contains some fantastic music.
When starting this piece on my top five favourite albums from the 1970’s I didn’t think it would be as difficult as it turned out to be. Three of the albums were a sure lock from the very beginning, the first three you’ll see below, but the last two needed some extra thinking.
Released in 1974 after the huge commercial success of Brothers and Sisters by The Allman Brothers Band a year earlier, Highway Call was Dickey Betts’ first solo album which saw his sound and songwriting develop even more. In many ways it can be considered more of a natural successor musically than the somewhat disappointing Win, Lose or Draw album the Allman’s recorded a year later in 1975.
Recorded in 1972 and released a year later in 1973, Brothers And Sisters saw The Allman Brothers Band forced to evolve again due to the tragic death of bassist Berry Oakley. Just like 1972’s Eat A Peach, the album was recorded before and after the death of a key member but the band decided to carry on and hire a new bassist in Lamar Williams. The result, Brothers And Sisters, is an incredible album which may well be their landmark studio recording.
Jessica, a song penned by Dickey Betts, featured on The Allman Brothers Band’s 1973 album Brothers and Sisters. With new member Chuck Leavell on keys, Jessica features Lamar Williams on bass after the death of Berry Oakley in November 1972. You can hear Lamar’s bass part in the third video. Chuck’s keys parts and the solo he plays in the song can be heard in the second video, his solo in particular being a real highlight when heard in isolated form. It’s without a doubt their most well known instrumental and listening to isolated tracks from the song is nothing short of magical.