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Bring on the blues jams - Official Allman Brothers Band Countdown - #1 In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (1 Viewer)

turnjose7

Footballguy
38. Don’t Want You No More (The Allman Brothers Band/The Fox Box – cover)

Studio Version

Live at the Fox Theatre, 2004

The opening track to their debut album, “Don’t Want You No More” immediately announced that the Allman Brothers Band was going to be something special. From the very beginning the song grabs you as the harmonized lead guitars launch into the main riff, and it never lets go from there.

The song is a cover of a Spencer Davis Group tune that formed the B-side to “Time Seller.” This was the first single recorded by that group after the departure of Steve Winwood. The SDG version is a very good song.

The Allman Brothers, of course, take it to another level, removing the lyrics and transforming the pop song into a high-energy rock instrumental. Duane and Dickey both have nice solos, but it is Gregg’s organ playing that really stands out. While Gregg is known much more for his songwriting and vocals, there were times when his organ contribution helped make the song and nowhere is that more clear than here. The other highlight of the song is the way it seamless transitions into the very different sounding “It’s Not My Cross to Bear.”

This was another song that Dickey and Berry had been playing with The Second Coming and brought to the ABB. In my last writeup I mentioned that a concert in Jacksonville Beach in 1969 is considered by some to be the first true Allman Brothers concert, while others consider it a Second Coming concert with Duane joining as a guest. The album released of this concert includes an extended jam based around “Don’t Want You No More.”

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
37. No One to Run With (Where It All Begins – Dickey)

Studio Version

I’m a sucker for any song with a Bo Diddley beat, so I am naturally drawn to “No One to Run With.” This song was written by Dickey and his friend John Prestia in the 1980’s, but because he didn’t have as much going on musically then (the Allman Brothers were broken up at that time), he set it aside. He brought it back to the band 10 years later and it became a centerpiece for the 1994 album Where It All Begins, serving as the single release from that album and reaching #7 on the mainstream rock charts. It also was featured on the soundtrack to the movie “The Cowboy Way.” Full disclosure: I have never seen that movie, and based on the reviews I don’t plan to. Doesn’t seem like many would recommend it.

The song, on the other hand, has a lot to recommend it. I already mentioned the Bo Diddley beat. The melody on the chorus is one of my favorites and Gregg sings it really well. I also like the percussion provided by Marc on this one.

If I had one criticism of this song it would be that I feel like the lead guitars are holding back a little bit on the studio version. However, this was a popular one in concert (their most commonly played song among those that were brought into the lineup following the 1990s reunion), and there isn’t any holding back on live versions like this. Warren’s slide on that performance and the whole outro jam are awesome.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
37. No One to Run With (Where It All Begins – Dickey)

Studio Version

I’m a sucker for any song with a Bo Diddley beat, so I am naturally drawn to “No One to Run With.” This song was written by Dickey and his friend John Prestia in the 1980’s, but because he didn’t have as much going on musically then (the Allman Brothers were broken up at that time), he set it aside. He brought it back to the band 10 years later and it became a centerpiece for the 1994 album Where It All Begins, serving as the single release from that album and reaching #7 on the mainstream rock charts. It also was featured on the soundtrack to the movie “The Cowboy Way.” Full disclosure: I have never seen that movie, and based on the reviews I don’t plan to. Doesn’t seem like many would recommend it.

The song, on the other hand, has a lot to recommend it. I already mentioned the Bo Diddley beat. The melody on the chorus is one of my favorites and Gregg sings it really well. I also like the percussion provided by Marc on this one.

If I had one criticism of this song it would be that I feel like the lead guitars are holding back a little bit on the studio version. However, this was a popular one in concert (their most commonly played song among those that were brought into the lineup following the 1990s reunion), and there isn’t any holding back on live versions like this. Warren’s slide on that performance and the whole outro jam are awesome.
One of the best post-reunion tracks and my second-favorite from the album it comes from (I presume we’ll get to #1 later). 

The music is exquisitely performed Bo Diddley, but the lyrics were always what made this track special for me. Explicitly it’s about drifting apart from old friends when you and/or they change, but more abstractly, it can be seen as a lament to all the contemporaries Dickey, Gregg, Butch and Jaimoe lost.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
One of the best post-reunion tracks and my second-favorite from the album it comes from (I presume we’ll get to #1 later). 

The music is exquisitely performed Bo Diddley, but the lyrics were always what made this track special for me. Explicitly it’s about drifting apart from old friends when you and/or they change, but more abstractly, it can be seen as a lament to all the contemporaries Dickey, Gregg, Butch and Jaimoe lost.


Yep. You might have noticed that there are two tracks from the album that haven't been listed yet. I'm interested to see which of them is your favorite (they are ranked pretty close on my list). 

Also agree that the lyrics on this song are great. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Yep. You might have noticed that there are two tracks from the album that haven't been listed yet. I'm interested to see which of them is your favorite (they are ranked pretty close on my list). 

Also agree that the lyrics on this song are great. 
One of those is the one I was speaking of. I’d say Nowhere is 2, Sailing is 3 and the other unlisted one is 4.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
36. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Eat a Peach/The Fox Box – Gregg)

Studio Version

Live at Mar Y Sol Festival, 1972

Live at the Fox Theatre, 2004

“Ain’t Wasting Time No More” was the first song Gregg wrote following Duane’s death. Gregg: “I wrote ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More’ for my brother right away. It was the only thing I knew how to do right then.” Actually, he had written most of the music prior to Duane’s death and was working on some lyrics concerning soldiers returning from Vietnam. “And all the war freaks die off, leavin' us alone.”

This was the first song written to explicitly feature an electric slide guitar part from someone other than Duane. As I mentioned in the “Wasted Words” entry, Betts was less comfortable with electric slide than acoustic. Dickey: “It was difficult to suddenly have to play slide and I put in some time to get my part down for ‘Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.’ I’ve always enjoyed playing acoustic slide and would even play it with Duane; when the two of us played acoustic blues I was often the one with the slide, but I never cared as much for playing electric slide.”

This is obviously a great song. You can hear the emotion in Gregg’s voice and the driving piano riff is really cool. For me this one gets downgraded a little bit because I haven’t heard as many outstanding live versions that add a lot over the studio version as with their other great songs. The Mar Y Sol version is an exception and is probably my favorite from that era of the band. Dickey does a great job with the slide on that one. Versions with the final lineup, like the Fox, are also great, probably because Derek and Warren are both more natural slide players than Dickey.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
36. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Eat a Peach/The Fox Box – Gregg)
I would probably have this higher (Binky: lower). Every year when I was in college, the first day it was warm enough at the beginning of spring to do so, I would open my dorm windows, put on Eat a Peach and let the sounds of this waft out into the courtyard. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
I thought "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" would be popular, though I think it is getting even more love than I anticipated.

I found more time to get some writing done than I planned this weekend, so may drop several songs today. Going out of town May 10. My goal is to have the countdown done before then so there aren't any long delays. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
35. Who’s Been Talking (The Fox Box – cover)

Live at the Fox Theatre, 2004

This is another dark horse entry and some might take exception to this one even being considered an important enough part of the Allman history to be included on the list. It wasn’t one of their studio recordings, after all, and was only played live 88 times. But other songs on the list like “Pegasus” were played less often live and I have a couple of versions of this one on my regular playlist rotation. Plus, it is my list and I really like it and so I’ll include it if I want.

“Who’s Been Talking” is taken from Howlin’ Wolf’s second album, one of the greatest blues albums every recorded. The original version, while maybe a little less known than some of his other legendary songs, is a true masterpiece.

While certainly different, to me this is still one of the best Allman blues covers. I like the way rhythm section really emphasizes the Latin flare. And though he may not be Howlin’ Wolf, Warren is a great singer in his own right, and I really like his vocals on this.

What really hooks me, though, is some of the amazing guitar solos that have been featured as part of this song. I particularly like this version featuring former ABB guitarist Jimmy Herring playing along with Warren and Derek. Also some great piano on that one (provided by Widespread Panic pianist JoJo Hermann).

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
34. Pony Boy (Brothers and Sisters – Dickey)            

Studio Version

Now this is what I would call porch music. The closing song on Brothers and Sisters is another that might not be as well known to the casual fan but which I like better than some of the more famous songs from that album.

According to Dickey, this style of country blues is called “black bottom blues,” but since people mistakenly believe that term has minstrel show connotations (it actually refers to the dark soil of the Mississippi delta), it is rarely used. The musical style is highly influenced by the guitar work of Robert Johnson. The humorous lyrics evoke the songs of Blind Willie McTell, though they are actually based on a true story from Dickey’s life – his uncle used to ride his horse home from the bar to avoid getting a DUI.

The instrumentation in this one is really interesting. Dickey plays the slide on a dobro, an instrument more commonly associated with Duane (who played it frequently during his time with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends). The other acoustic guitar is played by Tommy Talton (best known as the leader of Cowboy, which was purportedly one of Duane’s favorite bands). Lamar plays an upright bass to keep the song all-acoustic. Finally, there is no drum kit on this song. Butch provides the percussion by banging a piece of plywood on the floor. At the end, several members of the band play spoons for the outro.

This wasn’t played all that often in concert, so it is tough to find a good live recording, but this one is worth a listen. It features Jack Pearson on guitar. For those who don’t know, Pearson was briefly an official member of the Allman Brothers in the late 1990’s when Warren had left to focus on Gov’t Mule. He is brilliant guitarist who could have been a significant contributor to the band, but he only stayed with them a short time because he suffered severe tinnitus which was exacerbated by the loud Allman shows. After his departure he would still appear every now and then as a special guest for a few songs during Allman shows.

 

foxco

Footballguy
I thought "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" would be popular, though I think it is getting even more love than I anticipated.
I mean when the opening piano to this song comes on I'm pumped and know the next few minutes of my life will be stress free. Almost a perfect song IMO. Definitely top 10, probably top 5 for me. Really enjoying this list. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
33. Trouble No More (The Allman Brothers Band/Eat a Peach – cover)

Studio Version

April 1969 Demo

The Final Show, October 2014

The one that started it all.

In early 1969 Duane was putting the final touches on his dream band. Five of the founding members (Duane, Jaimoe, Berry, Dickey, and Butch) along with Reese Wynans were tearing up the live music scene in northern Florida and southern Georgia. But they didn’t have a singer. As previously mentioned, Duane, Dickey, and Berry were alternating vocals and doing a decent enough job, but a top-notch vocalist was clearly the missing piece when stacked up against all the instrumental talent. Duane kept telling the others that the person they needed was his brother, and he was eventually able to convince Gregg to escape from L.A. and make his way back home.

On March 26, 1969 Gregg walked into Berry’s house where the band was rehearsing and heard them doing a fiery version of Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More” (which is itself a variation on “Someday Baby Blues” by Sleepy John Estes). He was blown away. Duane walked over and handed him a sheet with the lyrics. Gregg was not familiar with the song and was scared to try it, but Duane lit into him: “You little punk. I told these people all about you and you don’t come in here and let me down.” Gregg grabbed the lyrics and sang his guts out, and everyone immediately knew the band was complete (including poor Reese, who realized he was out since he played the same instrument as Gregg; though I suppose getting to play with SRV and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a decent consolation prize).

The group recorded a demo of the song in April 1969. It eventually became an important track on their debut album, capturing the essence of the band: virtuoso musicianship that pushed the boundaries of conventional music, while at the same time authentically embracing its blues roots. Duane’s slide guitar on this is simply phenomenal, the rhythm section is super tight, and Gregg’s vocals are stunning. My favorite part is immediately following Duane’s solo when Berry, Dickey, and Duane respectively each do a short lead break with their instrument, the drums play a quick fill, and then Gregg comes back growling “GOODBYE BABY!”

When the band played its final show on October 28, 2014, this was the final song they played, and the last notes stretched into the morning of October 29, the 43rd anniversary of Duane’s death. In between that first rehearsal and that final show, they played the song another 470 times including an outstanding version from the March 1971 Fillmore East run that was included on Eat a Peach. It is therefore fitting that when the band released its 50th anniversary boxed set in 2019, they titled it Trouble No More.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
32. Come and Go Blues (Brothers and Sisters – Gregg)

Studio Version

Live at the Beacon, 2003

“Come and Go Blues” is the fifth song from Brothers and Sisters to appear so far in the top 50. Spoiler alert: the album’s two remaining songs are still to come, meaning the entire album makes the top 50. The debut album is the only other album to have all of its songs make the top 50 (Idlewild South had “Leave My Blues at Home” on the outside, Eat a Peach had “Stand Back” fall a little short, and even At Fillmore East had “Done Somebody Wrong” narrowly miss the cut). Not bad for a band making its first album without its leader.

The song was written on an acoustic guitar tuned to open G using a Travis picking technique, which was Gregg’s style at the time. The song is notable for being the first song the band recorded with new bassist Lamar Williams following Berry Oakley’s death. What a debut performance. Lamar’s melodic bass lead is one of the standout features on this recording. The bass would continue to be a highlight in many subsequent versions of this song with both the Allen Woody and Oteil Burbridge lineups.

While there are many great live versions out there featuring the full band, some of my favorite versions of this song are Gregg performing it as an acoustic solo number, like here. Just hauntingly beautiful.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
I made some waves with a couple of my picks already. I may again with this one. 

31. Midnight Rider (Idlewild South – Gregg)

Studio Version

Live at Fillmore East, 1971

Live on MTV Unplugged

One of the band’s most iconic songs, “Midnight Rider” is a fantastic blend of blues and country. Some of Gregg’s strongest lyrics are delivered with one of his most soulful vocal performances backed with strong harmonies. Gregg called it the song he was most proud of writing.

The writing and recording of this song are interesting. Gregg was spending a lot of time writing at Idlewild South (a lakeside farmhouse rented by the band for the entire brotherhood to hang out). Suddenly the idea for “Midnight Rider” hit him out of nowhere, and he had the song mostly finished in just over an hour. Like “Come and Go Blues,” Gregg wrote this song on an acoustic guitar using an open G tuning and Travis picking.

However, Gregg struggled to come up with a third verse for the song. He traveled to a warehouse where the band was storing their equipment and played the song for roadie Kim Payne. He kept playing the song over and over, until eventually Payne became irritated and said “I’ve gone past the point of caring/some old bed I’ll soon be sharing,” giving Gregg the last verse. For years Gregg gave Payne a cut of the royalties for his contribution despite Kim not having a contract or an official writing credit at the time. Payne was later fired from the band and at some point Gregg was late with a payment. Payne took and held captive Gregg’s motorcycle until Gregg went to the record label and had a contract officially drawn up, guaranteeing Payne a percentage of future royalties.

As soon as Gregg had the last line, he wanted to record the song. By this time it was the middle of the night, so Payne helped him break into the studio. The only people Gregg could find to help him record were road manager Twiggs Lyndon and Jaimoe. Gregg taught Twiggs how to play bass and the three of them cut a demo with Gregg on 12-string acoustic, Twiggs on bass, and Jamioe on congas. On the subsequent official version, Duane plays the acoustic guitar part because it is more difficult to record properly in the studio and Duane had extensive studio recording experience from his time at FAME. Dickey provides the electric flourishes that help round out the song.

The song was released as a single by the Allman Brothers Band but failed to chart. Many subsequent versions of the song performed very well on the charts, however, including a solo version by Gregg, and covers by Willie Nelson and Joe Cocker, among others.

“Midnight Rider” is obviously a phenomenal song but is a little lower on my list because when played live, the band uncharacteristically stuck pretty close to the original. There are some great versions out there, but they lack a bit of the creativity of some of the band’s other work. Basically, it is ranked where it is for the same reason as “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.” Both are amazing songs, but neither pushes the bands to otherworldly status like some of their material.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
Is Melissa up next?  😜


Haha. We'll see. Really not trying to make picks to be contrarian. Just giving my assessment and I set out the criteria for what I was looking for at the beginning. Don't worry you will still see some stuff later in the rankings that is a little more "chalky." 

 

simey

Footballguy
Haha. We'll see. Really not trying to make picks to be contrarian. Just giving my assessment and I set out the criteria for what I was looking for at the beginning. Don't worry you will still see some stuff later in the rankings that is a little more "chalky." 
I'm teasing. I understand that their live performances of these songs is a big influence on your rankings.  During a song when seeing them live, I could go to the bathroom (which usually meant you had to wait in line for an empty stall), get a beer and some food, look at merchandise, chat up whoever, and return to my seat and they would still be on the same song as when I left. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
I'm teasing. I understand that their live performances of these songs is a big influence on your rankings.  During a song when seeing them live, I could go to the bathroom (which usually meant you had to wait in line for an empty stall), get a beer and some food, look at merchandise, chat up whoever, and return to my seat and they would still be on the same song as when I left. 


If a song isn't double digits minute long, is it really a song? 

I have about a 30 minute commute to work and on multiple occasions have made the trip without finishing a  song on my regular playlist. 

I also prefer movies that are 3 hours long. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
30. Instrumental Illness (Hittin’ the Note – Warren/Oteil)

Studio Version

Live at the Beacon, 2003

Our first entry in the top 50 from the band’s final studio album is “Instrumental Illness.” The 2003 album Hittin’ the Note is the only studio album not to feature original guitarist Dickey Betts. As already noted by some of the posters, despite losing one of their founding members, the band was able to create an outstanding album. It received critical acclaim and many called it their best album since Brothers and Sisters.

Obviously Dickey was known for writing most of the band’s major instrumentals, but here Warren and Oteil step up and give us a masterpiece that can stand up to anything Dickey wrote. The opening bass riff immediately grabs you and draws you in, and then is quickly followed by a guitar theme every bit as catchy as anything Dickey crafted. Both Derek and Warren have amazing solos. The ending is also really cool as you have all the instrumental flourishes following Warren’s solo that make it sound like the finale, until the bass starts back to introduce a return to the main theme.

One of thing that makes this song stand out is Marc’s percussion fills. I have hinted at it in other writeups, but the addition of Marc to the already outstanding rhythm section of Butch and Jaimoe really adds an exciting element to the band’s sound.

Warren also plays this with some of his other groups. One of my favorite performances I have heard was when I saw Warren’s Ashes and Dust band live. For those who don’t know, this was a band Warren put together for one tour and consisted of mostly bluegrass musicians, along with one of my favorite drummers, Jeff Sipe (formerly of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and later The Invisible Whip). Here is a version by the group.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
30. Instrumental Illness (Hittin’ the Note – Warren/Oteil)

Studio Version

Live at the Beacon, 2003

Our first entry in the top 50 from the band’s final studio album is “Instrumental Illness.” The 2003 album Hittin’ the Note is the only studio album not to feature original guitarist Dickey Betts. As already noted by some of the posters, despite losing one of their founding members, the band was able to create an outstanding album. It received critical acclaim and many called it their best album since Brothers and Sisters.

Obviously Dickey was known for writing most of the band’s major instrumentals, but here Warren and Oteil step up and give us a masterpiece that can stand up to anything Dickey wrote. The opening bass riff immediately grabs you and draws you in, and then is quickly followed by a guitar theme every bit as catchy as anything Dickey crafted. Both Derek and Warren have amazing solos. The ending is also really cool as you have all the instrumental flourishes following Warren’s solo that make it sound like the finale, until the bass starts back to introduce a return to the main theme.

One of thing that makes this song stand out is Marc’s percussion fills. I have hinted at it in other writeups, but the addition of Marc to the already outstanding rhythm section of Butch and Jaimoe really adds an exciting element to the band’s sound.

Warren also plays this with some of his other groups. One of my favorite performances I have heard was when I saw Warren’s Ashes and Dust band live. For those who don’t know, this was a band Warren put together for one tour and consisted of mostly bluegrass musicians, along with one of my favorite drummers, Jeff Sipe (formerly of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and later The Invisible Whip). Here is a version by the group.
You had asked about my thoughts on their post-True Gravity instrumentals. Honestly I don’t remember much about this one. I haven’t listened to Hittin’ the Note in forever. I’ll have to revisit.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
29. Woman Across the River (Hittin’ the Note – cover)

Studio Version

Live at the Beacon, 2003

Live in New Hampshire, 2004

We have back-to-back entries from Hittin’ the Note. We already mentioned that this is the only album without Dickey. It also was the first studio album featuring both Derek and Oteil (though both had already been touring with the band). However, it is the emergence of Warren’s influence in the band that in my opinion gives the album its characteristic feel. He had a role in writing all nine of the original songs on the album. By this time he was also functioning as the de facto music director of the band and had a large role in introducing some new and interesting covers.

“Woman Across the River” was written by Stax songwriter Bettye Crutcher and originally recorded by Johnnie Taylor. A bluesy version by Freddie King was probably the inspiration for the Allmans. The ABB version is faster, but the tempo changes and some of the guitar licks are similar. However, the song was also recorded by Little Milton who was a big influence on Warren and who played with Gov’t Mule on a number of occasions, so that may have also had a role on the Allmans adopting this one.

This is another one in which Warren and Derek would trade amazing guitar licks. It’s also another great vocal by Warren, some spectacular bass by Oteil, and even Gregg would get involved with an organ solo on occasion.

 
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turnjose7

Footballguy
28. It’s Not My Cross to Bear (The Allman Brothers Band – Gregg)

Studio Version

Live at Roseland Ballroom, 2010

It’s hard to imagine a more a more interesting start to an album than the beginning of the Allman Brothers debut. We’ve already talked about how the energetic opening track “Don’t Want You No More” immediately grabs your attention. If you were listening to the album for the first time in 1969, however, I think it would be the second track, “It’s Not My Cross to Bear” that would really make you sit up and ask where these guys came from.

The transition from “Don’t’ Want You No More” to “Cross” is seamless, but the contrast between the two songs could not be greater. The latter is an aching, slow blues truly worthy of the legendary blues masters. The structure is interesting as it’s based on an 8-bar blues progression but with a couple of variations that add some complexity for such a young songwriter. Even more than that, it is the soulful vocal delivery that really belies his age.

Gregg first started working on “Cross” when he was living in L.A. John McEuen: “I recorded Gregg’s first demo of ‘Cross to Bear’…to me, it was his first truly original direction. It was about half the tempo the Brothers eventually recorded it at, just almost painfully slow and very cool. I had never heard a song like that, a very adult-sounding song from such a young person.”

When Gregg first joined the rest of the guys in the band he brought them twenty-two songs he had written. They rejected the first eleven before he showed them two they liked, “Dreams” and “It’s Not My Cross to Bear,” and they immediately knew they had found what they were looking for.

The song remained important throughout the history of Gregg and the Brothers. It was played live more than 500 times, often following “Don’t Want You No More” at the beginning of a show. Gregg also recorded a version with his solo band for the album I’m No Angel, and it of course was the source of the title of his autobiography.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
You had asked about my thoughts on their post-True Gravity instrumentals. Honestly I don’t remember much about this one. I haven’t listened to Hittin’ the Note in forever. I’ll have to revisit.
It's pretty cool but it's not as focused as the ones I rank really highly. I guess I prefer when they use blues/rock as their base as opposed to jazz. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
32. Come and Go Blues (Brothers and Sisters – Gregg)

Studio Version

Live at the Beacon, 2003

“Come and Go Blues” is the fifth song from Brothers and Sisters to appear so far in the top 50. Spoiler alert: the album’s two remaining songs are still to come, meaning the entire album makes the top 50. The debut album is the only other album to have all of its songs make the top 50 (Idlewild South had “Leave My Blues at Home” on the outside, Eat a Peach had “Stand Back” fall a little short, and even At Fillmore East had “Done Somebody Wrong” narrowly miss the cut). Not bad for a band making its first album without its leader.

The song was written on an acoustic guitar tuned to open G using a Travis picking technique, which was Gregg’s style at the time. The song is notable for being the first song the band recorded with new bassist Lamar Williams following Berry Oakley’s death. What a debut performance. Lamar’s melodic bass lead is one of the standout features on this recording. The bass would continue to be a highlight in many subsequent versions of this song with both the Allen Woody and Oteil Burbridge lineups.

While there are many great live versions out there featuring the full band, some of my favorite versions of this song are Gregg performing it as an acoustic solo number, like here. Just hauntingly beautiful.
Always loved this one. The opening guitar flourish is just heavenly, and the bass work is magnificent throughout. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
35. Who’s Been Talking (The Fox Box – cover)

Live at the Fox Theatre, 2004

This is another dark horse entry and some might take exception to this one even being considered an important enough part of the Allman history to be included on the list. It wasn’t one of their studio recordings, after all, and was only played live 88 times. But other songs on the list like “Pegasus” were played less often live and I have a couple of versions of this one on my regular playlist rotation. Plus, it is my list and I really like it and so I’ll include it if I want.

“Who’s Been Talking” is taken from Howlin’ Wolf’s second album, one of the greatest blues albums every recorded. The original version, while maybe a little less known than some of his other legendary songs, is a true masterpiece.

While certainly different, to me this is still one of the best Allman blues covers. I like the way rhythm section really emphasizes the Latin flare. And though he may not be Howlin’ Wolf, Warren is a great singer in his own right, and I really like his vocals on this.

What really hooks me, though, is some of the amazing guitar solos that have been featured as part of this song. I particularly like this version featuring former ABB guitarist Jimmy Herring playing along with Warren and Derek. Also some great piano on that one (provided by Widespread Panic pianist JoJo Hermann).
I'd never heard this one before. I never owned/listened to The Fox Box and I did not see or collect recordings from the final lineup of the band. 

It's Howlin' Wolf crossed with the Santana arrangement of Black Magic Woman. Which is nice but not something I'd rank ahead any of the ones from your 51-114 list that I called out earlier. 

 

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Footballguy
As much as I haven't revisited it a whole lot since the early and mid '00s, there is something on Hittin' the Note that I adore and would probably put in my top 25. Looks like it might be in your top 25 as well. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
The song was released as a single by the Allman Brothers Band but failed to chart. Many subsequent versions of the song performed very well on the charts, however, including a solo version by Gregg,
Gregg was a drugged-out mess when he began his solo career, so one might attribute the decision to re-do Midnight Rider to laziness, but the first time I heard that version I was  :eek: . He (or whoever arranged it) completely reworked the song into something very different from but just as powerful as the original. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
27. I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (Live at Ludlow Garage: 1970 – cover)

Live at Ludlow Garage, 1970

Live at Fillmore East, from Bear’s Sonic Journals

I already mentioned “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town” in the entry for #46 “Jelly Jelly.” As discussed there, “Jelly Jelly” was in large part based on “Outskirts.”

The song has its origin in a country blues recording by Casey Bill Weldon from called “We Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.” Indeed, Weldon is credited on the Dreams box set as the writer of the song. Artists who have recorded the song include Count Basie, Mel Tormé (The Velvet Fog!), The Everly Brothers, Rod Stewart, Albert King, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and Willie Nelson. Not a bad list in the annals of music history. According to producer Johnny Sandling, however the Allmans were familiar with the song from the Ray Charles version.

This was one of the earliest songs in the Allman rotation, being played in 1969 and early 1970 before being retired. The version on Dreams is from the Ludlow Garage concert referenced in the “Dimples” writeup. The only other existing versions that I am aware of are two incomplete recordings from February 13 and February 14, 1970, which were edited into one track and included on the Fillmore East: February 1970 album.  The unedited versions can be found on the deluxe edition of the album, titled Bear’s Sonic Journals: Fillmore East, February 1970 (Bear as in Owsley Stanley, LSD chemist and Grateful Dead sound engineer – the Allman Brothers and the Dead were playing Fillmore together, and Owsley taped the shows).

So why is this song nearly 20 spots higher than the similar “Jelly Jelly” despite all the great things I said about the musicianship on the latter? Part of is this is the original Allman arrangement. More importantly, as a rule songs that feature Duane Allman are generally better than songs that don’t include Duane Allman.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
26. Soulshine (Where It All Begins – Warren/semi-cover)

Studio Version

Live at Woodstock ‘94

Live at the Fox Theatre, 2004

The most famous song Warren Haynes has written, “Soulshine” has been a concert favorite at shows by the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, The Warren Haynes band, and others for decades. It is called a semi-cover here not because of its association with Gov’t Mule (the Allmans recorded it before the Mule existed) but because it was originally recorded by blues artist Larry McCray.

The Allman version appeared on Where It All Begins, the third album to come from the band’s 1990s resurgence and one on which Warren had a much more prominent role. Dickey was away the day this particular song was recorded and had to fill in a few parts at a later date (more on the recording of this album to come when I get to the last song from the album to appear on the list). I think that shows as I don’t find the studio recording of this one to be nearly as good as any of the amazing live versions. Further, on the studio recording and during early live shows, the song was sung entirely by Gregg. In later years, as at the Fox Theatre, Gregg and Warren would trade vocals. Even though Gregg sings it very well, I prefer the alternating vocals.

This is a beautiful song with awesome chords, a great melody, and a standout bridge. It could be ranked quite a bit higher. I downgraded it for two reasons. One is the studio recording issue that I already mentioned. Second, even though there are some great Allman recordings of the song, it is one of the few songs they did in which my favorite version is decidedly not by the Allman Brothers. That honor instead belongs to the Gov’t Mule version on Live…With a Little Help from Our Friends, a version featuring guest guitarist Derek Trucks. The extended organ intro here adds a lot to the song, but the real magic is in that final dual solo where Warren and Derek are absolutely in sync.

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
Tomorrow we get to the top half of my write-ups and start getting into some really great stuff. I will probably pick up the pace a little as I have been quicker getting the commentaries written than I anticipated.  

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
26. Soulshine (Where It All Begins – Warren/semi-cover)

Studio Version

Live at Woodstock ‘94

Live at the Fox Theatre, 2004

The most famous song Warren Haynes has written, “Soulshine” has been a concert favorite at shows by the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, The Warren Haynes band, and others for decades. It is called a semi-cover here not because of its association with Gov’t Mule (the Allmans recorded it before the Mule existed) but because it was originally recorded by blues artist Larry McCray.

The Allman version appeared on Where It All Begins, the third album to come from the band’s 1990s resurgence and one on which Warren had a much more prominent role. Dickey was away the day this particular song was recorded and had to fill in a few parts at a later date (more on the recording of this album to come when I get to the last song from the album to appear on the list). I think that shows as I don’t find the studio recording of this one to be nearly as good as any of the amazing live versions. Further, on the studio recording and during early live shows, the song was sung entirely by Gregg. In later years, as at the Fox Theatre, Gregg and Warren would trade vocals. Even though Gregg sings it very well, I prefer the alternating vocals.

This is a beautiful song with awesome chords, a great melody, and a standout bridge. It could be ranked quite a bit higher. I downgraded it for two reasons. One is the studio recording issue that I already mentioned. Second, even though there are some great Allman recordings of the song, it is one of the few songs they did in which my favorite version is decidedly not by the Allman Brothers. That honor instead belongs to the Gov’t Mule version on Live…With a Little Help from Our Friends, a version featuring guest guitarist Derek Trucks. The extended organ intro here adds a lot to the song, but the real magic is in that final dual solo where Warren and Derek are absolutely in sync.
This is a great song, but probably their only post-70s tune that I would downgrade due to radio overplay. It's the one I said I would rate 4th on Where It All Begins. Which means now you can deduce what my #1 from that album is. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
Kicking off our top 25...

25. Loan Me a Dime (Trouble No More – cover)

Live at World Music Theatre, 2000

There may be some casual fans reading the thread who were not previously familiar with this song. You’re welcome. Listen to the recording from the World Music Theatre and I’m sure you will agree it was worth all the time you spent in this thread just to hear that masterpiece.

Somebody Loan Me a Dime” was original written and recorded by Chicago blues musician Fenton Robinson. “Somebody” was dropped from the title in what most consider to be the definitive version of the song, a cover by Boz Scaggs featuring none other than Duane Allman on guitar. Many fans consider the song to be Duane’s finest work outside of ABB and Dominos stuff.

The Allman Brothers started playing this song live in 2000. The recording at the World Music Theatre was made at an interesting time in the band after Dickey had left but before Warren returned. Derek and Oteil were new to the band and the two guitarists featured here are Derek and Widespread Panic/former Aquarium Rescue Unit guitarist Jimmy Herring. Despite not being together for long, it’s clear that this lineup meshed well (Jimmy Herring, who is himself one of my favorite guitarists, was a mentor to Derek Trucks and is related to him through marriage).

I’m not sure I can say anything that does the beauty of this song justice. The music here probably deserves a top 10 ranking. It ranks this low simply because its association with the Allman Brothers isn’t as strong as most of the other songs on the list.

 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
turnjose7 said:
Kicking off our top 25...

25. Loan Me a Dime (Trouble No More – cover)

Live at World Music Theatre, 2000

There may be some casual fans reading the thread who were not previously familiar with this song. You’re welcome. Listen to the recording from the World Music Theatre and I’m sure you will agree it was worth all the time you spent in this thread just to hear that masterpiece.

Somebody Loan Me a Dime” was original written and recorded by Chicago blues musician Fenton Robinson. “Somebody” was dropped from the title in what most consider to be the definitive version of the song, a cover by Boz Scaggs featuring none other than Duane Allman on guitar. Many fans consider the song to be Duane’s finest work outside of ABB and Dominos stuff.

The Allman Brothers started playing this song live in 2000. The recording at the World Music Theatre was made at an interesting time in the band after Dickey had left but before Warren returned. Derek and Oteil were new to the band and the two guitarists featured here are Derek and Widespread Panic/former Aquarium Rescue Unit guitarist Jimmy Herring. Despite not being together for long, it’s clear that this lineup meshed well (Jimmy Herring, who is himself one of my favorite guitarists, was a mentor to Derek Trucks and is related to him through marriage).

I’m not sure I can say anything that does the beauty of this song justice. The music here probably deserves a top 10 ranking. It ranks this low simply because its association with the Allman Brothers isn’t as strong as most of the other songs on the list.
Love this one. I agree the Boz Scappgs version is the one I listen to most. There will be some other straight blues tunes up ahead but this is my favorite ABB blues tune. 

Getting into the fat of the list here on out. Loving it. Thanks. 

 

turnjose7

Footballguy
24. Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ (Idlewild South – Gregg)

Studio Version

Live at Fillmore East, 1971

Live at The Beacon, 2003

Damn, that’s the way to open a song! The opening lick is played by Duane on slide doubled by Thom Doucette on harmonica. It is that duo that really drives this song. Sure, Dickey adds some cool funky blues riffs, there is a lot of great stuff going on with bass, and Gregg’s growls sound menacing, but it is impossible for the ear not to be drawn to all those great guitar and harmonica fills that saturate this song.

“Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” was part of the band’s second album, an album that saw expanded use of Duane’s slide guitar. Live versions frequently saw him playing out of his mind on that final solo. In later years, Derek also had some incredible solos on this song, though to me it isn’t the same without the harmonica.

Check out this live video recording of the band playing at the Fillmore East six months before they recorded their legendary album there. Unfortunately, the technical quality isn’t the best and Gregg’s microphone seems to be having issues. It’s still worthwhile, though, because live video of the original lineup is quite rare and it is awesome seeing the interplay between Duane and Doucette.

It's worth noting that the studio version of this is also really good. Idlewild South was difficult to record because the band was on the road so much that it had to be recorded in little pieces at multiple different studios. However, it was the first of many albums recorded with producer Tom Dowd, who had worked with everyone from Cream to John Coltrane, and you can clearly hear that the production quality on this album is significantly better than the first album.

 

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