Allman Brothers Band Isolated Rhythm Track: Ramblin’ Man

Brothers And Sisters was the first album by The Allman Brothers Band that didn’t feature their former leader Duane Allman. The album, released in 1973, would also be the last album to feature bassist Berry Oakley and his playing on the Dickey Betts song Ramblin’ Man is the main focus of this article.

Ramblin’ Man saw the band take a new musical direction away from blues/rock that they had thrived and lived on under Duane’s leadership and introduced a number of country elements. The song was a huge hit and remains one of the most popular songs by the band to this day and also cemented Dickey Betts’ position as a songwriter in the band.

Take a listen:

As you can hear, Berry’s bass playing is nothing short of exquisite and showed what a masterful player he was. Most of the time when people listen to The Allman Brothers Band, they tend to focus on the guitar playing or the vocals yet the rhythm parts are often overlooked. They are some of the most important parts of the song and hearing them stripped back like this is wonderful.

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BOOTLEG SERIES #9: The Rolling Stones – Live at the LA Forum, Los Angeles, CA. 11th July 1975.

In July of 1975, The Rolling Stones would embark upon a fantastic run of nights (five to be precise) at the legendary LA Forum in Los Angeles. This was actually the first tour with Ronnie Wood on board after Mick Taylor quit the band at the end of 1974. Although Ronnie Wood wouldn’t fully commit to the Rolling Stones until 1976, he agreed to join the band on this tour having been their number 1 pick to replace Mick Taylor.

Before the band kick off with a stunning rendition of Honky Tonk Women, Fanfare For The Common Man (a 20th century musical work by Aaron Copeland) rings out through the stadium to get everyone in the Forum up and ready for the Stones. And what a song to use, a beautiful piece of music. Then you’re immediately hit by those powerful opening riffs that could only be from Honky Tonk Women. What a way to open a show! Starting with a piece of classical style music before the Human Riff vibrates your soul with his guitar playing. I can feel it just by listening to this performance, I can’t imagine how great it would have been to be there to witness this opening in person. Beyond amazing! All Down The Line, from 1972’s Exile On Main Street comes next which is one of the more underrated songs the Rolling Stones recorded. At least that’s my opinion. It’s a fast rocker and a great song. Next up is a real treat. A medley of two songs from two era’s of the band, the first being If You Can’t Rock Me which is from their 1974 album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll which is one of my personal favourites from that period. The second song in the medley is the great Get Off Of My Cloud which was released as a single 9 years earlier. The two go great together and this is one of the many highlights of the show.

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BOOTLEG SERIES #6: The Allman Brothers Band – Live at Central City Park, Macon, GA. 4th May 1969.

One of only a few existing bootlegs from 1969, this show was the bands 4th live outing (according to official records on the bands website) after debuting as a band in Jacksonville, Florida two months earlier. The Jacksonville show will no doubt be a future BOOTLEG SERIES entry, but this set differs drastically from that show as far as the setlist is concerned.

The band open with a roaring rendition of Black Hearted Woman, a song from their self-titled debut album and a Gregg Allman original. It’s followed by one of the first known performances of I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town, a Casey Bill Weldon song made famous by Ray Charles in 1961. This version has the same kind of arrangement that Stormy Monday would go on to have later in the bands ‘Duane-era’ career. It’s a wonderful rendition in it’s own right though and probably the highlight of the show.

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