Mojo (Publisher) - 11/03, p.1413 stars out of 5
- "...Well-recorded performances, which alternate between pioneering quasi-psychedelic rock-jazz-blues jams and the tastiest Southern blues rock..."
Allman Brothers Band: Gregg Allman (vocals, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards); Berry Oakley (vocals, bass); Duane Allman, Dickie Betts (guitar); Thom Doucette (harmonica); Butch Trucks, J. Johnny Johnson (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Johnny Winter (guitar).
Recorded live at the Atlanta Internation Pop Festival, Atlanta, Georgia, July 3 & 4, 1970. Includes liner notes by Kirk West.
Personnel: Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards); Berry Oakley (vocals, bass guitar); Duane Allman (guitar, slide guitar); Dickey Betts, Johnny Winter (guitar); Thom Doucette (harmonica); Butch Trucks (drums, timpani).
Audio Mixer: Thom Cadley.
Recording information: Atlanta International Pop Festival (07/03/1970-07/05/1970).
Photographers: Carter Tomassi; Twiggs Lyndon; Joe Sia.
The 1970 Atlanta International Pop Festival was one of the first big rock festivals of the decade, beating out the Isle of Wight by over a month. It was also home turf for the Allman Brothers, who were invited to play the opening and closing sets of the three-day event. In retrospect, it's interesting to note how--despite their penchant for extended jams--the Allmans were somewhat at odds with the flower-child ethic of the day; after the MC delivers a classic hippie/stoner intro, the tough, raw opening strains of "Statesboro Blues" come off as delightfully incongruous. Nevertheless, the band's improvisational blues-rock majesty made them a crowd-pleaser. It's easy to see why; the level of energy (and musicianship) here equals, if not surpasses their legendary live Fillmore East recordings from the following year, which showcase much of the same material.
Dickey Betts and Duane Allman's guitars play ably against Greg Allman's thick organ voicings and the percolating polyrhythms of drummers Butch Trucks and J. Johnny Johnson. Between-song announcements of a rain delay and the opening of the gates to non-paying fans reinforce the Woodstock-era vibe, making this two-disc set effective as both a musical and historical document.