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The Allman Brothers Band at The Beacon, March 21, 2009

Posted: Mar 21, 2009

Saturday night in New York City at 74th and Broadway. Everyone seemed to still be trying to get over the two back to back Eric Clapton jams. No small wonder. Both were just off the charts good. But then came the question, who’s next?

The sounds of “Little Martha” filled the theatre as Warren, Derek and Oteil performed a beautiful version with images of Duane Allman projected behind them. A 2009 Beacon staple. Then, without hesitation, it was into a full tilt boogie “One Way Out.” Smokin.’

And the Fillmore East songs just kept on coming with a smoldering “Statesborro Blues,” and when Gregg got lost in the moment and missed his vocal cue at the beginning, the entire audience sang the first verse for him before it came back around and Allman jumped in. It was actually a very cool moment. Derek Trucks just channels the spirit of Duane Allman, especially on songs like this one, and he was just on fire, as was the great Warren Haynes. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Then came “Black Hearted Woman,” and the heat just got more intense. Warren was putting a hurtin’ on that Lester Paul axe baby. Sounded so good. Reminded me of The Mule, and all them late night shows we went to when Woody was still with us. Oh yeah,

At one point, and I sweat this is true, Gregg was filing his fingernails during the song. Talk about relaxed. I was thinking I’d look over there again and he’d be reading Catcher in the Rye. Just kidding. I know the nails have to be kept in shape for keyboard players and guitarists alike. Just making a bit of sport.

After Warren ripped it to shreds, it was Derek’s turn, and he just built a whole new fire in the center of the stage. This may have been the best “BHW” of the run so far. And dare I say it again, that light show for this song alone should get an award. Mind blowing and cooler than a peach daiquiri.

Warren introduced the Asbury Juke Horns for a return visit, and they proceeded to pull out all the stops on “Same Thing,” which I have to admit, sounded superior with a horn section. Oteil ripped on a funky jazz bass solo, followed by an amazing sax solo from the Jukes, and before it was all over, the stage was rocking full steam ahead, drums, guitars, horns - turbo jazz rock. The call and response between Warren and Derek was on another planet, man. Awesome. I just kept wondering what Duane would think. Man, he would love this.

Another song that sounded just great with the horns was “Soulshine.” Just beautiful. Gregg and Warren swapped off lead vocals, and the Jukes guys just made it smoother than Tennessee Whiskey.

Out came Southside Johnny himself, harp in hand. along with Susan Tedeschi, this time strapping on a guitar. Yeah baby, yeah. They just rocked the blues royally on “Little By Little,” backed by the horns. Susan trading vocals with Southside, and ripping on her on lead solo. That woman is so darn good. Southside Johnny was a bit weak in the vocal department tonight, but Susan made up for it in spades.

Then Susan started up her super soulful version of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”  I have seen her sing this so many times, but usually solo. The version tonight with the Brothers was downright breathtaking.

Susan continued to rock with a great version of Bobby Blue Bland’s “Lost Lover Blues.” The band sounded great. (Imagine that.) And Susan just sang from the deepest recesses of her soul.

Then came “Stand Back,” with Gregg trading vocals with Susan on a red hot version of the Allman standard. The Juke Horns were back onstage, dressing it all up even further. Derek simply nailed the solo to the wall, brothers and sisters. In my opinion after watching all these Beacon shows. Mr. Derek Trucks can simply do no wrong. Neither can his lovely bride for that matter.

The intermission came too soon.

Set two brought out Bruce Hornsby, a man I have long admired, not just as a solo artist, but for his great work with The Dead. He is amazing. And kicking the set off with an old favorite of mine, Bill Withers’ “Grandma's Hands” was just cool. Backed by The Juke Horns and Susan T. How cool is that.

Bruce sat in on “Elizabeth Reed,” and it was excellent. He turned in a magnificent solo, as did the guitar pickers, the bass player and the drummers. Oh, and that Allman guy too.

Next we went down to the South with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” with Bruce sharing vocals with Gregg and the Juke Horns sounding outstanding. But just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, they took off on “Jessica.” Hornsby was filling in for Chuck Leavell and doing a great job. By the way, where is Chuck this run? If I closed my eyes, I would have thought Dickey was playing that lead coming out of the build up toward the end. Derek aced it again. Then came the mellow breakdown, with Oteil just playing the coolest jazz solo ever, followed by Hornsby’s equally mellow piano solo. Beautiful stuff.

The encore smoked. “Southbound,” with Hornsby, Susan on guitar and the horns. Susan aced her lead solo, sounding quite a bit like Dickey Betts, in my opinion. The rave up jam was a red hot close for yet another show. See y’all back here on Monday.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

Little Martha
One Way Out
Statesborro Blues
Black Hearted Woman
Same Thing  (w/ The Juke Horns)
Soulshine  (w/ The Juke Horns)
Little By Little  (w/ Southside Johnny, Susan Tedeschi, The Juke Horns)
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (w/ Susan Tedeschi)
Lost Lover Blues  (w/ Susan Tedeschi)
Stand Back  (w/ Susan Tedeschi, The Juke Horns)

Grandma’s Hands (w/ Bruce Hornsby, Susan Tedeschi, Juke Horns)
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (w/ Bruce Hornsby)
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (w/ Bruce Hornsby, The Juke Horns)
Jessica (w/ Bruce Hornsby)

Southbound  (w/ Bruce Hornsby, Susan Tedeschi, Juke Horns)


For further Allman Brothers Band interviews and articles please visit:

Six Degrees of Swampland: The Allman Brothers Band

 Please also visit our 2009 Beacon Page to see reviews of every show




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johnnie says...

Thanks Bro, looking foward to it..

michaelbuffalo says...

It's been being between 815 and 830! Enjoy!

johnnie says...

Hi guys, Be at the show this Thursday, what time to the boys hit the stage..Thanks

elaine1987 says...

I have really enjoyed these Beacon reviews. You have really done an excellent job. I can only imagine how wxciting these shows were live. but your articles make me feel as though I were on the front row... maybe onstage! Thank you.

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