The Allman Brothers Band: Gregg Allman (Hammond b-3 organ); Allen Woody, Oteil Burbridge (bass guitar); Dickey Betts, Jaimoe Johnson, Marc Qui¤ones, Paul Riddle, Warren Haynes, Butch Trucks.
Personnel: Warren Haynes (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, background vocals); Dickey Betts (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, National guitar, background vocals); Gregg Allman (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, background vocals); Derek Trucks (guitar, slide guitar); Johnny Neel (harp, piano, Wurlitzer organ, synthesizer, background vocals); Allen Woody (acoustic bass, 6-string bass, 8-string bass, fretless bass, background vocals); Butch Trucks (drums, timpani, percussion); Jaimoe Johnson (drums, percussion); Paul Riddle (drums); Marc Qui¤ones (congas, percussion).
Additional personnel: Derek Trucks.
Liner Note Author: John Lynskey.
Recording information: Beacon Theatre, New York, NY (??/1992-03/2000); Club R&R, Los Angeles, CA (??/1992-03/2000).
Photographer: Kirk West.
Many casual observers are under the impression that the Allman Brothers Band's career effectively ended in the mid-1970s, shortly after the death of slide-guitar virtuoso Duane Allman. The group's considerable following knows nothing could be further from the truth; the band kept trucking into the 21st century with a brace of original members. The '90s/early 2000s material that makes up this collection from the band's Epic Records albums is further proof of the Allmans' longevity.
While the jazzy fluidity of the early band's improvisations is somewhat eschewed in favor of a sturdier, more rock-oriented sound on these tracks, the group's basic approach remains largely unaltered. Hard-hitting blues-rock is the order of the day, with Gregg Allman's soulful vocals and swirling organ, Dickey Betts's fiery fretwork, and the double-drum attack of Jaimoe and Butch Trucks remaining squarely at the center of things. Though the inclusion of live versions of three Allmans classics ("Blue Sky," "Midnight Rider," "Jessica") might be considered pandering to the masses, it merely serves to illustrate how much the band can still bring to those chestnuts.