The Allman Brothers Band is one of those groups guitarists identify after just a handful of notes.
First released in 2003, this reissue was recorded during ABB’s two performances at the 1970 festival, and it’s fascinating to hear the rapid development of ABB’s legendary original lineup. ABB was still growing, musically, and had released its self-titled debut in late ’69. The follow-up, Idlewild South, wouldn’t be issued for two more months. However, they were already playing new material.
Sounding slightly rough around the edges in some spots, including the kick-off, “Statesboro Blues,” they quickly settle down on a mesmerizing version of “Dreams” that radiates with rich guitar work from Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, melodic bass runs from Berry Oakley, and shimmering organ chords and soulful vocals from brother Gregg.
Both versions of the then-new “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” showcase smoky jazz and relaxed blues textures, with dazzling dual guitar from Duane and Dickey. A 28-minute version of “Mountain Jam,” featuring guest Johnny Winter, is a percolating free-for-all with plenty of stinging guitar and a unique Oakley bass solo.
This article originally appeared in VG March 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.