Rolling Stone - 12/24/70, pp.51-2
"...The Allmans offer briefer, tighter, less 'heavy' numbers this time around. 'Revival' gets things off rousingly, with tambourine and gospel chorus..."
The Allman Brothers Band: Duane Allman (electric guitar); Berry Oakley (bass instrument); Jai Johanny Johanson (drums, congas, timbales, percussion); Dickey Betts, Gregg Allman, Thom Doucette, Butch Trucks.
Personnel: Dickey Betts (vocals, guitar); Gregg Allman (vocals, piano, organ, keyboards); Berry Oakley (vocals); Duane Allman (guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar); Thom Douchette, Thom Doucette (harmonica, percussion); Jaimoe Johnson (drums, congas, timbales, percussion); Butch Trucks (drums, timpani, percussion).
Recording information: Atlantic South-Criteria Studios, Miami, FL (02/1970-07/1970); Capricorn Sound Studios, Macon, GA (02/1970-07/1970); Regent Sound STudios, New York, NY (02/1970-07/1970).
Photographer: Jimmy Roberts.
If you're going to listen to the Allman Brothers, make sure you have the first four records. THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, IDLEWILD SOUTH, LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST, and EAT A PEACH are the albums the band made with their original lineup, before Duane Allman's fatal motorcycle accident in 1971. IDLEWILD SOUTH, their second album, comes off with a little less ferocity than their debut--which is perhaps the result of reaching for new sounds the second time around. "Revival," the album's opener, introduces Dickey Betts as a composer. The countrified flavor of his songs gives an indication of where the band will head in the post-Duane era.
Betts's other contribution to IDLEWILD SOUTH is the instrumental "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," a centerpiece of the Fillmore East recordings. Gregg's "Please Call Home" and "Midnight Rider" are built around piano and acoustic guitar, respectively, and have a different feel than the band's usual twin Les Paul-and-Hammond sound. That sound is showcased in the balance of Gregg's tunes, however: the funky blues of "Don't Leave Me Wonderin'" (with Thom Doucette on harmonica) and "Leave My Blues At Home." Though it packs less punch than THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, IDLEWILD SOUTH is all the more impressive for its mixture of chunky grooves and sophisticated textures.