Following a spectacular opening night performance that included guest appearances by Taj Mahal, Levon Helm, Larry Campbell, Theresa Williams, and Brian Mitchell, the Allman Brothers Band returned to the stage Tuesday for night two of their fifteen show run at New York’s renovated Beacon Theatre. The band continued offering torrid performances of their classic catalogue, led by Gregg Allman, whose vocals sound crisper than ever, and Derek Trucks, who continues to make a great case as being the world’s foremost master of the guitar.
The full set list from show #2, featuring guests Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, as well as Johnny Winter, is listed below: March 10, 2009 Beacon Theatre
Set 1: Ain't Wastin' Time No More, Done Somebody Wrong, Hot 'Lanta, And It Stoned Me, Stand Back, Revival, Red House *, You Don't Love Me *, Highway 61 Revisited *
Set 2: Les Brers in A Minor, Come and Go Blues, Melissa (Gregg Acoustic, no Derek), Don't Keep Me Wonderin’ +, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl +, Wasted Words, No One To Run With
Encore: Extended blues intro > One Way Out +
* w/ Johnny Winter
+ w/ Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos
Following the first night off of their marathon three week run, the Allman Brothers returned to the stage for show three (of fifteen) with a vengeance. Highlights of the first set included a Santana-esque rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking” and guest appearances from blues legend Buddy Guy, along with Trey Anastasio, and Page McConnell of Phish fame. Guy left little doubt as to why he has long been revered by many as amongst the most talented bluesmen of all time. Yet even he marveled at the wonder that is Derek Trucks, turning to Trucks to proclaim, “I’ve got to see you do it, Derek.” Following the set closing “Southbound,” the band returned for a second set filled with marathon jams, taking 75-minutes to perform just four songs. March 12, 2009 Beacon Theatre
Set 1: Little Martha (Derek and Warren), Trouble No More, Leave My Blues at Home, Who's Been Talking, Black Hearted Woman w/ The Other One tease, You Can't Lose What You Never Had, The Sky Is Crying *, You Don't Love Me *,Southbound * +
Set 2: I Know You Rider +, Liz Reed +, Dreams, Jessica
Encore: Statesboro Blues w/ The Blues is Alright
* w/ Buddy Guy
+ w/ Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell
Rumors of additional guest appearances over the next two weeks are becoming more plentiful now that the Beacon run is under way. In addition to previously named (though unannounced) guests such as Eric Clapton, Boz Scaggs, Dave Mason, Aretha Franklin, and members of The Dead, new names being mentioned as guests now include Bob Dylan, BB King, Lenny White, and Stanley Clarke.
NIGHT FOUR – SCAGGS BRINGS A DIME
Though Friday night’s performance may not have been the most exciting of this year’s Beacon run, the Allman Brothers delivered another excellent show that featured the Asbury Juke Horns for much of the evening, as well as an interesting appearance by “TV’s” Bruce Willis. Playing harmonica, Willis added a lot to “One Way Out,” but seemed in over his head throughout “Smokestack Lighting.” The highlight of the show came in the second set, as Boz Scaggs took over the stage for four songs, including “Loan Me A Dime,” which Scaggs recorded with Duane Allman in 1969. March 13, 2009 Beacon Theatre
Set 1: Midnight Rider, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’, Done Somebody Wrong, Instrumental Illness, Into The Mystic *, One Way Out +, Smokestack Lighting +, Southbound *
Set 2: It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry $, Sick and Tired $ *, Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City $ *, Loan Me A Dime, The Same Thing * %, Wasted Words, No One To Run With
Encore: Whipping Post
* w/ Asbury Juke Horns:
Richie Rosenberg “La Bamba”: Trombone
Eddie Manion: Baritone Sax
Mark Pender: Trumpet
Chris Anderson: Trumpet
Joey Stann: Tenor Sax + w/ Bruce Willis, harmonica $ w/ Boz Scaggs, guitar and vocals % w/ Joe Bellia drums
NIGHT FIVE – SATURDAY NIGHT JAM
Saturday night’s are always special during the Allman Brothers Beacon runs, and March 14, 2009 would prove to be no different. From the show opening “Little Martha” (with video tribute to Duane playing on the screen behind the stage) through the show closing “Mountain Jam,” featuring a scorching rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” in the middle, last night’s performance allowed each member of the band to show case their individual talents. Gregg, whose vocals have never been crisper throughout his entire career, shone early in the set during “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” while Derek Trucks cut loose with extensive chops during “Rockin’ Horse.” Everyone was given the chance to solo during “Dreams,” which featured guest appearances by jazz luminaries Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) and Lenny White (Return To Forever).
Set two saw a gospel vibe encase the Beacon as pedal steel wizard Robert Randolph took to the stage for a rousing “Lovelight” that eventually erupted in to “One Way Out.” The set closed with “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” that found bass legend Stanley Clarke join the stage for a lengthy solo. While Clarke did showed himself to be an amazing talent capable of performing a solo for the ages, his playing was not really within the context of the song. He left the crowd, and the band, grinning far and wide as he exited the stage, allowing the Brothers to go back in to “Liz Reed,” bringing the set to a delightful close. March 14, 2009 Beacon Theatre
Set 1: Little Martha, Ain't Wasting Time No More, I Walk On Guilded Splinters, Rockin’ Horse, Gamblers Roll, Revival, The Woman Across the River, Dreams *
Set 2: Melissa (Gregg Acoustic, No Derek), Lovelight + > One Way Out +, In a Silent Way $ > Liz Reed>Drums>Stanley Clarke bass solo>Liz Reed
Encore: Mountain Jam > Dazed and Confused >Mountain Jam
* w/ Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Lenny White (drums)
+ Robert Randolph
$ w/ Brecker on sax
NIGHT SIX – MUSCLE SHOALS GOSPEL NIGHT
Week two of this year’s Peakin’ at the Beacon run kicked off in fine fashion last night, with old Duane Allman cohorts John Hammond and Bonnie Bramlett taking prominent roles through much of the performance. The Allman Brothers offered perhaps the most diverse set list of any of the shows thus far, with Hammond leading the band on three of his songs to close the first set.
Set two began with the rarely played “Oncoming Traffic,” performed as a duet between Gregg and Bonnie. Bekka Bramlett, Bonnie’s daughter, then joined the stage for a pair of Delanie and Bonnie classics, “Comin’ Home” and “Only You Know and I Know.” Susan Tedeschi came next, joining the Bramletts in singing a powerhouse rendition of “The Weight.” The three shades of gravely vocals harmonized exquisitely, paving the way for Derek Trucks’ slide guitar crescendo that brought the song to a close. Not to be outdone, Warren Haynes took the lead on the set closing “No One To Run With,” offering one of his strongest performances since rejoining the band nearly nine years ago.
Haynes and Trucks then returned to the stage in tandem for an emotional “Preachin’ Blues,” an appropriate start to the encore of a show that featured a very strong Muscle Shoals gospel vibe throughout. The evening’s festivities concluded with a marathon take on “Jessica,” allowing everyone in the group time to shine, with Haynes’ pushing the song to its absolute peak, leaving the crowd with just a single word to summarize the show – “Wow!”
Set 1: Statesboro Blues , Don't Keep Me Wonderin' , Hot 'Lanta, Who's Been Talking , Come and Go Blues, Desdemona, So Many Roads *, Shake For Me *, Cryin' For My Baby *
Set 2: Oncoming Traffic +, Comin' Home %, Only You Know And I Know %, Come On In My Kitchen ^, The Weight $, No One To Run With
Encore: Preachin' Blues @, Jessica
* w/ John Hammond, guitar & vocals
+ Duet – Gregg vocals & piano, Bonnie Bramblett, vocals
% w/Bonnie and Bekka Bramlett, vocals
^ w/ John Hammond, guitar & vocals; Bonnie Bramlett, vocals
$ w/ Bonnie and Bekka Bramlett, vocals; Susan Tedeschi, vocals; Bruce Katz,
@ Warren and Derek duo
NIGHT SEVEN – WASTIN’ TIME GROOVIN’
Night seven began with a run of old school Allman classics, “Don’t Want You No More,” “Ain’t My Cross to Bear,” and “Trouble No More,” before giving way to the new school Brothers Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and Oteil Burbridge. Together, the trio lead the band through a monumental “Rockin’ Horse” that saw Haynes shredding his Les Paul until the entire band backed off, leaving Derek front and center, slide in hand, offering shades of “Little Martha” during a spectacular jam that would eventually segue back to the end of “Rockin’ Horse.” Without pause, the Brothers then launched “Soulshine,” setting off a huge crowd reaction to the song that has long been considered Haynes’ anthem.
The second set began with a three song appearance from Sheryl Crow, most notable for the performance of the Blind Faith classic “Can’t Find My Way Home.” With the guests out of the way, the Brothers got back down to business with unique second set, especially the rendition of “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” offering a subtle, understated groove that was so sublime that it had Derek dancing along, shaking in much the same way Oteil is often seen, a stark contrast to the young man that normally stands statuesque as his plays, except for, of course, those ferociously fast fingers that strum a guitar in a manner few have ever fathomed. As has been the case throughout the Beacon run, Gregg Allman’s vocals remain as crisp, clear and strong as any point in his career, a man whose age has seemingly caught up with a voice and mature lyrics that seemed to come from a grizzled veteran when he first wrote and sang them some 40 years ago.
Set 1: Don’t Want You No More> Ain’t My Cross to Bear, Trouble No More , Rockin’ Horse> Little Martha Jam> Rockin’ Horse> Soulshine> You Don’t Love Me, Orfeo (aka New Instrumental), Please Be With Me *, All My Friends *, Everybody's Talkin'
Set 2: Train To Cry +, Midnight Rider +, Can't Find My Way Home +, Statesboro Blues, Ain’t Wastin' Time, Hoochie Coochie Man, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down $, Black Hearted Woman> Drums> Oteil Scat >The Other One Jam
Encore: One Way Out %
w/ Scott Boyer, Tommy Talton and Brian Mitchell
+ w/ Sheryl Crow
$ w/ Boyer and Mitchell
% w/ Talton and Mitchell
Wednesday is an off night, as the band rest up for what promises to be one of the most historical weekends of their illustrious career. Though no guests have been announced before taking the stage, word leaked out that Eric Clapton will be joining the Brothers on stage (a first) both Thursday and Friday, supposedly with the intent to perform half of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album each night. If you have not yet caught Moogis fever, it’s not too late to sign up now and watch the festivities live.
NIGHT EIGHT – HISTORY IN THE MAKING
The rumors were true, and expectations exceeded. But, before Eric Clapton took to the stage, the Allman Brothers made their mark on those in attendance (and those watching at home on http://www.moogis.com/ ) with a strong first set . From Warren Haynes rapid fire riffs on “Revival” through the set closing “Whipping Post” (rarely heard during any first set), the Brothers were on fire throughout. The highlight of the first set came during “Woman Across the River,” particularly the extended jam that featured constant teases from the band’s yet to be named “New Instrumental.”
With anticipation in the crowd at an all time high, Gregg Allman took the stage alone to open the second set, performing “Oncoming Traffic,” before the band joined for a rollicking “Come and Go Blues,” followed by an epic “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” (with Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis joining Gregg on piano). The crowd erupted when Clapton joined the Brothers on stage, for the first time ever, leading the group through a stellar “Key to the Highway.” And then, the show really took off, with Clapton adding hypnotic guitar licks to “Dreams,” followed by a larger-than-life take on “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad.” As the entire band surged through the song’s instrumental bridge, Clapton turned towards Oteil Burbridge, jaw dropped, shaking his head in amazement at the prowess the bassist was putting on display. “Little Wing” left many with tears, before Susan Tedeschi joined for a spot on take of “Anyday.” The band briefly left the stage, and then returned, with Clapton, for a show closing “Layla” that was every bit as picturesque as the original.
Set 1: Little Martha, Statesboro Blues, Done Somebody Wrong, Revival, Woman Across the River w/ teases of Orfeo (aka New Instrumental), Don't Keep Me Wonderin', Whipping Post
Set 2: Oncoming Traffic (Gregg solo), Come and Go Blues, Good Morning Little School Girl *, Key to the Highway +, Dreams +, Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad +, Little Wing +, Anyday %
Encore: Layla +
* w/ Danny Louis
+ w/ Eric Clapton
% w/ Clapton and Susan Tedeschi
NIGHT NINE – HISTORY, REPEATED
Though some may complain that the Allmans and Eric Clapton chose to play much the same set list as the previous night, few would argue that the performances were superior to the prior night’s show. This was particularly true of Clapton’s guitar solos, as he seemed far more relaxed than he had Thursday, when at times he looked almost like he thought he was in over his head trying to keep pace with this band of Brothers.
Gregg Allman yet again proved himself to have one of the finer voices in the blues world, especially during the epic rendition of “Stormy Monday.” The intensity on stage only grew from there, with non-stop performances of “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad,” “Little Wing,” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” closing out a set that will surely be talked about for decades to come.
Set 1: Little Martha # > Mountain Jam > Trouble No More, Midnight Rider, 44 Blues *, Wasted Words, Gambler's Roll, Ain't Wastin' Time No More > Jam > Mountain Jam
Set 2: Melissa (no Derek), Leave My Blues At Home, No One Left To Run With, Key To The Highway +, Stormy Monday +, Dreams +, Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad + > Little Wing + > In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed +
Encore: Layla * +
# Oteil solo
* w/ Danny Louis
# w/ Eric Clapton
NIGHT TEN – OH SUSAN
Eric Clapton is a tough act to follow, but the Allman Brothers Band seem determined to continue pushing their performances to new peaks night after night. On Saturday, the band set aside their blues roots mid way through the first set, allowing bassist Oteil Burbridge, along with the Asbury Juke Horns, to get funky during a 10-minute take of “The Same Thing.” It was not long, however, until the blues reigned once more, as Susan Tedeschi made her third appearance of this year’s Beacon run, closing out the first set with four songs that included a tear jerking “Don’t Think Twice.”
The second set featured but four songs, all featuring Bruce Hornsby on piano. The majority of the hour-plus set focused on two marathon instrumental numbers, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Jessica,” with moving take on “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” sandwiched in between. The set list below may not appear spectacular, but it hardly paints a proper picture of how strong the Allmans performance truly was. The band is indeed peaking once again, as they always seem to during their annual residency at the newly renovated Beacon.
Set 1: Little Martha, One Way Out, Statesboro Blues, Black Hearted Woman> Other One Jam> Black Hearted Woman, The Same Thing *, Soulshine, Little By Little +, Don’t Think Twice %, Lost Lover Blues %, Stand Back +
Set Two: Grandma's Hands % $, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed $> The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down * $, Jessica $
Encore: South Bound + $
* w/Asbury Juke Horns
+ w/ South Side Johnny and Susan Tedeschi
% w/ Susan Tedeschi
$ w/ Bruce Hornsby
NIGHT ELEVEN – WIDESPREAD BROTHERS
Monday nights have been very special occasions at the Beacon Theatre the past three weeks, and Monday, March 23 was no exception. Set one was a journey back in time, to the early days of Muscle Shoals, for a healthy dose of “Memphis Soul Stew,” featuring members of King Curtis’ band, as well as Susan Tedeschi and Mike Mattison on vocals.
The second set of the show would be quite different, perhaps the most unique set of the entire Beacon run, as Widespread Panic’s John Bell and Jimmy Herring took to the stage, and the Brothers suddenly became a backing band that hardly sounded like the Allmans at all. After patiently waiting his turn, Bell stepped to the microphone on “Walk On Guilded Splinters,” belting out the familiar tune with all the passion he could muster. Bell’s percussive slide guitar made a formidable foil for Derek Trucks amazing lead slide, leaving the band smiling and the crowd screaming for more. Herring would return later in the set, joining Derek Trucks for a spectacular guitar duel mid way through “Les Brers In A Minor,” with Warren Haynes then taking control to offer a scalding hot lead that would bring the set to a close.
Set 1: Don't Want You No More> It’s Not My Cross To Bear, Done Somebody Wrong *, Can't Lose What You Never Had, Desdemona +, Orfeo (aka New Instrumental), Soul Serenade $, Memphis Soul Stew $> Them Changes $, You Don’t Love Me *
Set 2: Little Martha> Blue Sky (instrumental)> Little Martha> Walk On Guilded Splinters %, And It Stoned Me % (no Derek)> Can’t Find My Way Home, %, Leave Your Blues At Home, Les Brers In A Minor
Encore: Statesboro Blues
* w/ Tommy Ducet
+ w/ Ron Holloway
$ w/ Jerry Jemmott (bass), Jimmy Smith (organ), Bernard Purdie (drums), Mike Mattison (vocals) and Susan Tedeschi (vocals)
% w/ John Bell and Jimmy Herring
NIGHT TWELVE –BEARDED BAND OF BROTHERS
Twelve nights in to a fifteen evening run shows, you may think that the Allman Brothers would start running out of new ideas. It should surprise no one that the band continues to bring out new guests (Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, Sonny Landreth, John Pooper), as they’ve had forty years to make friends within the musical community. However, it’s doubtful that anyone could have anticipated what took place when the band walked on stage for their second set. Joined by Billy Gibbons, every single Brother had grown a beard (albeit a fake one) during the set break, looking more like members of Gibbons’ ZZ Top than Allmans. Though Gibbons would remain on stage for three songs, the Brothers would remove their beards after “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” ending an incredibly funny prank that everyone seemed to enjoy.
In addition to the elegant guitar work Landreth brought to “Midnight Rider,” “Dreams,” and “Southbound,” the first set also featured an epic version of “Rockin’ Horse” that will certainly have fans talking for some time. Not only have the Brothers added an intriguingly funky new intro to the song, they also displayed extreme ingenuity during the song’s bridge, a medley featuring riffs from many Allman classics, including “Little Martha” and “Blue Sky.”
Set 1: Hot 'Lanta, Ain't Wastin Time No More, Rockin’ Horse> Medley Jam> Rockin’ Horse, Trouble No More, Going Down Slow *, A Change is Gonna Come *, Midnight Rider +, Dreams +, Southbound + $
Set 2: Jesus Left Chicago %, Stormy Monday %, Statesboro Blues %, The Same Thing $, Mountain Jam > Smokestack Lightning> Mountain Jam
Encore: One Way Out * + $
* w/ Bob Margolin and Thom Doucette
+ w/ Sonny Landreth
$ w/ John Pooper
% w/ Billy Gibbons
NIGHT THIRTEEN – 40 YEARS AGO TODAY
On March 26, 1969, the Allman Brothers Band made their debut in Jacksonville, FL. Forty years later, the band took to the stage at New York’s Beacon Theatre to perform their self titled first album in its entirety. Highlights of the first set included a lengthy “The Other One” jam in the midst of “Black Hearted Woman,” and a tremendous rendition of “Every Hungry Woman.”
Set two would feature more familiar Allman classics, this time in the form of the Brothers’ second album, Idlewild South, the last studio album the band would complete before Duane Allman’s passing. Memorable moments from the set included a 42-minute “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” (longer than the entire Idlewild South album) that included a lengthy appearance by bassist Oteil Burbridge rocking the drums; and the rarely played “Please Call Home,” allowing Gregg Allman another chance to shine vocally.
The band encored with “Statesboro Blues,” during which Gregg made a rare mistake, starting to sing the third verse prematurely, when in fact the band was just getting around to verse two. At the end of the show, Gregg joked to the crowd that they could thank Warren Haynes for causing “yet another mistake.”
Set 1: Don’t Want Your No More> It’s Not My Cross To Bear, Black Hearted Woman, Trouble No More, Every Hungry Woman, Dream, Whipping Post
Set 2: Revival, Don’t Keep Me Wondering, Midnight Rider, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Hoochie Coochie Man, Please Call Home, Leave My Blues At Home
Encore: Statesboro Blues
NIGHT FOURTEEN – FREE BIRD WAS WRITTEN ABOUT DUANE?
The next to last night of the Allmans’ annual Beacon run was a special night indeed, a show case of the immense depths of the Brothers influence throughout the world of Southern Rock. The first set was highlighted by a great take on “End of the Line,” a song that had yet to be performed this year. Jimmy Hall, whose band opened several Allman tours when Duane was still alive, was the evening’s first guest, adding saxophone, harmonica and vocals to a number of songs, most notably “Keep On Smilin’,” his biggest Wet Willie hit. After the band launched in to “Soulshine,” Kid Rock sauntered on stage, singing much of the latter half of the song. While the Kid’s rendition may have left many wondering why he was asked to appear, and he certainly looked a bit out of place on stage, his vocal performance on the next song, the Marshall Tucker classic “Can’t You See,” was nothing short of magnificent.
In the midst of a set of shows that have already become historic, the Brothers started off set two making, and disclosing, a bit of history that few could have envisioned. Before a note had been played, drummer Butch Trucks walked to a microphone to introduce the next song. “I am not playing on this one,” he said, “so they made me come out and talk. This is a very special song that was written about Duane Allman. We want to play it our way, so ya’ll enjoy.” The band then launched in to the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic and perhaps preeminent Southern Rock anthem of them all, “Freebird.” Cutting short just before the legendary guitar solo, the Brothers threw everyone a curve, instead going in to “No One to Run With,” complete with a video montage heavy with footage of the dearly departed Duane.
Set 1: Ain't Wasting Time No More, You Don't Love Me, Orfeo, End of the Line, The Sky Is Crying *, Grits Ain’t Groceries *, Keep On Smilin’ *, Soulshine+, Can't You See w/ * +
2nd Set: Freebird $, No One to Run With, Who's Been Talkin' %, Midnight Rider #, One Way Out *#@, Les Brers in A Minor ^
Encore: Melissa (Gregg, acoustic guitar; no Derek, Jaimoe or Mark Quinones), Southbound * @
* w/ Jimmy Hall
+ w/Paul Riddle & Kid Rock (No Jaimoe)
$ w/out Butch Trucks
% w/ Ivan Neville
# w/ Devon Allman
@ w/ Barry Oakley Jr., no Oteil Burbridge
^ w/ Paul Riddle
NIGHT FIFTEEN – END OF THE LINE Set 1: Little Martha, Done Somebody Wrong. Trouble No More, Rockin’ Horse> Medley Jam> Rockin’ Horse, I Walk On Guilded Splinters, Who To Believe, Born Under A Bad Sign *, Stormy Monday * +, Come and Go Blues +, Jessica + ^
Set 2: Sugare #, I Know You Rider #, Franklin’s Tower # +, Black Hearted Woman> The Other One Jam> Black Hearted Woman, Mountain Jam
Encore: Statesboro Blues
* w/ Floyd Miles
+ w/ Chuck Leavell
^ w/ Paul Riddle, no Jaimoe
# w/ Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, no Oteil
The marathon fifteen night run is over, but it is not too late to subscribe to http://www.moogis.com/ and stream all of the shows in their entirety. Stay tuned to www.HonestTune.com for future updates on the Allman Brothers Band 2009 summer tour.
Thanks to the Allman Brothers Band, and to http://www.moogis.com/ for three great weeks of historic music.