Allman Brothers Band : Stony Brook, NY 9/19/71

Written by Jamie Lee

December 18, 2011

If you are like me, you have enjoyed the pleasure of digging into an old box and pulling out a long-lost favorite, a live performance from a beloved group that served, at one time, as a soundtrack to your younger, wilder days.

This is the feeling that permeates from the speakers upon the introductory notes of “Statesboro Blues,” which opens the Allman Brothers Band’s Stony Brook, NY 9/19/71. Culled from two shows – one early, one late – the album is a testament to not only Duane Allman’s talent, but his leadership of the fledgling band. He is front and center, introducing songs and calling to the road crew, while driving the band into sweaty, raw run-throughs of the bands early repertoire. The first few songs waver, the adjustment of the levels audible and a muted hiss that unfortunately suppresses most everything except for the icy glide of Duane Allman’s slide. The sound quality improves three songs in, and the masterful interplay between band members comes to life; Gregg Allman’s keys twinkle, Barry Oakley’s bass bubbles, and the drummers – Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Truckers – deliver a barrage of percussion.  The rare “Blue Sky” is the centerpiece of the album, but the band doles out plenty of improvisation on the two-song, 40-minute second disc, featuring an exploratory “Dreams” and a thematic “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”

Originally released in 2003, Stony Brook, NY 9/19/71 is being reissued in conjunction with Entertainment One Music, who is distributing releases from Peach Records and Allman Brothers Band Recording Company. This archival release documents one great night in Allman Brothers Band history. Old favorite or new discovery, this is one for the books.

Stony Brook, NY 9/19/71 is out now on Allman Brothers Band Recording Company.