All Gregg Allman’s Friends

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All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman captures a once-in-a-lifetime performance, honoring one of the most acclaimed and beloved icons in rock and roll history.  A founding member of the Allman Brothers Band and successful solo artist in his own right, Allman possesses a voice that has resonated through four decades.

The new multimedia package, released by Rounder Records features performances by Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Devon Allman, Robert Randolph, Jimmy Hall, Sam Moore, Keb’ Mo’, Brantley Gilbert, Jess Franklin, Dr. John, Pat Monahan, John Hiatt, Jaimoe, Taj Mahal, Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic, Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Eric Church, Jackson Browne, Zac Brown, and The Allman Brothers Band with musical direction by Don Was.

Shot in high definition with 5:1 Dolby sound at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta GA, this remarkable piece pays tribute to a voice that once heard is never forgotten.  It’s a 1-DVD, 2-CD package (also available in multiple format variations including Blu-Ray) which captures the four-hour concert event in its entirety.  The show features a diverse assortment of high-profile Allman admirers paying tribute to the iconic veteran rocker, delivering distinctive new performances of classic material drawn from his four and a half decades as a recording artist; encompassing his landmark work with the legendary Allman Brothers Band as well as his parallel solo career.

All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman would not be complete without Allman’s own authoritative voice, which is spotlighted here on collaborative readings of landmark tunes with Gregg’s onetime L.A. roommate Jackson Browne (“These Days,” “Melissa”), Vince Gill and Zac Brown (“Midnight Rider”) and Taj Mahal (“Statesboro Blues”).  Gregg also joins with the Allman Brothers Band to deliver fiery readings of the classics “Dreams” and “Whipping Post,” which precede a set- closing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” performed by the show’s full cast.  With the recent announcement that the Allman Brothers Band will cease touring at the end of 2014, these may be among the last recordings of the band on stage.

The All My Friends show features a celebrated house band that includes Don Was on bass, former Allman Brothers Band members Chuck Leavell (keyboards) and Jack Pearson (guitar), ex-Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed, Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee and renowned drummer-to-the-stars Kenny Aronoff.

As Allman later enthused, “That show was one of the highlights of my life. It was great to see old friends, and everyone was so gracious and really poured their souls into my songs. It was a very special night.”

 

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Gregg Allman is one of rock’s most acclaimed and beloved icons, possessing a distinctively soulful voice and singular songwriting ability that resonate through a musical career that spans nearly half a century.  Growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, Gregg and his older brother Duane shared a passion for music and a deep affinity for the blues, hitting the road with their band the Allman Joys (later known as the Hour Glass) as soon as Gregg graduated from high school.

After some unhappy early brushes with the recording industry and a frustrating stint in Los Angeles, Gregg and Duane returned to their home state in 1969 and formed the Allman Brothers Band, which quickly emerged as one of America’s most original and influential musical outfits, releasing such albums as The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South and the breakthrough 1971 live release At Fillmore East.

The Allman Brothers Band suffered a devastating blow when Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971.  Despite the loss of his brother and the group’s original driving force, Gregg and his bandmates rallied, driving the Allman Brothers Band to even greater success with the albums Eat A Peach and Brothers and Sisters.  In 1973, Gregg branched out into a solo career with the well-received Laid Back, which he supported with an elaborate tour on which he was accompanied by a 14-person backup band.

In the decades that followed, Gregg has remained a dynamic and prolific musical force, both with the Allman Brothers Band and as a solo artist.  The group experienced a major resurgence in the 1990s, and in the years since has maintained its position as America’s foremost Southern rock band and rock’s greatest improvisational ensemble.  Gregg, meanwhile, has continued to win acclaim for such acclaimed solo releases as I’m No Angel, Searching for Simplicity and the Grammy-nominated Low Country Blues.

Gregg, along with the Allman Brothers Band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1995 (a shame about Gregg’s state on that occasion, but it did prove a catalyst for better days as you can read about in Gregg’s critically acclaimed tell-all memoir My Cross to Bear which spent several weeks as a New York Times Bestseller).  At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012, the group was honored with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Author: Rob Dickens

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