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The Allman Brothers Band at The Beacon, March 27, 2009

Posted: Mar 27, 2009

The Duane slide show never gets old, and you never know what song The Allman Brothers will play while it is being projected. Tonight it all began with a rousing “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” with Derek Trucks hittin’ the note on some fine slide guitar. Trucks was puttin’ the Skydog mojo all over that little ol’ Gibson SG. Sounded so good. It was clear that our next to last Beacon show was gonna be another good one. What? Did I say “next to last?” Say it ain’t so, Joe! I feel Beacon withdrawal coming on.

“You Don’t Love Me” was next, and it was rocking. The band seemed a bit mellower tonight, without the teeth-gritting intensity of last night’s round. Warren Haynes was playing the Les Paul with maximum taste. Gregg Allman suffered another “senior moment,” forgetting when to come in, but hey, no biggie. He is probably more than a little burned out after thirteen shows in a row. No harm. No foul.

Next came that awesome new instrumental, “Orpheo,” taking us far past the ozone into some sort of space time continuum. I closed my eyes, and for just a skinny minute, I thought I saw Spock. No kiddin.’ Young Mr. trucks again stood and delivered. He has really blown my mind over and over during the Beacon run. Maybe they should call this song “Beaconfreakin.”

Next was “End of The Line,” making its first appearance of the run.  What a great song. I had not heard it in far too long. Great playin’ all around, and Gregory nailed the vocal.

For the first guest of the evening, out came none other than my buddy Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie fame. “The Sky is Cryin’” raised the roof about three inches, with Jimmy blowing harp and sharing vocals with Warren. I  was tripping on having just been with him down at The High Lonesome, and now Jimmy was onstage with The Brothers. How cool.

Jimmy ruled the stage, as always, and sounded like a million bucks in large bills. He introduced what I call my theme song, Little Milton’s “Grits Ain’t Groceries,” which Jimmy recorded with Wet Willie back in the day. It sounded great, with Jimmy blowing sax and wailin’ the blues like only he can.

He introduced his biggest Wet Willie hit with a story about the late Tom Dowd, and how Dowd heard the song for the first time and said it would be a hit. Cool. “Keep on rollin’ with the changes, ‘til the sun comes out again.”

Speaking of .... without any intro whatsoever, “Soulshine” began, with Kid Rock onstage singing. The great thing for me was seeing another dear friend on Jaimoe’s drum kit. Paul T. Riddle, the founding drummer of The Marshall Tucker Band. Kid did a pretty good job, actually. It seemed like they were putting a square peg into a round hole, but it wasn’t too bad. I guess I’m just used to Gregg or Warren singing that one.

To close out the first set, they added Jimmy Hall back into the mix, and absolutely blew my mind by playing “Can’t You See,” with photos of Toy and Tommy Caldwell and George McCorkle projected on the back screen. Awesome. Kid Rock seemed to hog the vocal, and at one point Warren looked like he was trying to take a verse. Same with Jimmy Hall. But Mr. Rock dominated. Oh, well. Jimmy can sing the soup out of that one. Still, a great tribute to Toy, Tommy and George in the middle of a wonderful tribute to Duane. And it was cool seeing Kid Rock bowing and saluting Paul Riddle and Jimmy Hall at the end.

Speaking of tributes. Butch Trucks opened the second set saying, “I’m not playing on this one, so I am introducing it. This is a song that was written about Duane and we want to do it our way,” Yep. “Free Bird.” (Although Butch was wrong. It was written before Duane died and dedicated to him after the fact.) Gregg sang the soup out of it. During the song, photos of Duane, Berry Oakley,  Lamar Williams, Ronnie Van Zant and others were projected. Downright awesome. At the point where Lynyrd Skynyrd does the fast jam, the Brothers went straight into “Nobody Left to Run With.” How cool. The band was cooking on an open flame, with absolutely breathtaking guitars from Derek and Warren, and Oteil just plain outdoing himself.

Ivan Neville joined in on keyboards for the next one, “Who’s Been Talking.” Warren lead the pack in an amazingly beautiful extended jam to lead into the song with a real honest to God Carlos Santana vibe. Just beautiful. Then when it came time for the lead during the song proper, Warren knocked it out of the park.

Family night at the Beacon. Gregg’s son Devon Allan came out to join in on “Midnight Rider,” even singing a few lines solo and sounding mighty fine.  Then came the jam of the night, well, at least to that point. “One Way Out” featured Devon, with Berry Oakley, Jr. on bass in for Oteil and Jimmy Hall returning on harp.  Talk about cookin.’ Derek was smiling. Warren was smiling. Gregg was smiling. The guys were having a large time. Devon’s lead break was pretty great, and Jimmy Hall just strutted all over that stage, a master of the harmonica. A master showman.

With all the guests safely offstage The Brothers took a ride with “Les Brers in A Minor.” At one point, Oteil was grinning from ear to ear. You just know it has been a fun night for them as well as us. But wait! Paul T. Riddle sat in on Butch’s drum kit, and during the marathon “drums” section, they wheeled a huge bass drum out front and Butch played along with Paul T., Jaimoe and Mark in a four-man drum assault for the books. Then came the onslaught of guitar from Warren, kickin’ it “Old Mule” style. Off the charts. Amazing. Mind blowing. Yep. You bet your sweet bippy.

For the encore, the sound of acoustic guitar filled the air, as Gregg delivered “Melissa,” and boy howdy it was good, but it was not over yet. For the first time this run, the ABB pulled out a second song for the encore with a full tilt “Southbound.” Jimmy Hall on harp, Berry Oakley, Jr. on bass, and Paul T. Riddle on drums joined in for what had to be the most killer version of the song so far during the Beacon run. Wow. A simply majestic end to another great show. Southern rock night. I love it.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

SET LIST  MARCH 27, 2009
Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
You Don’t Love Me
End of The Line
The Sky is Cryin’ (w/ Jimmy Hall)
Grits Ain’t Groceries (w/ Jimmy Hall)
Keep On Smilin’ (w/ Jimmy Hall)
Soulshine  (w/ Kid Rock and Paul T. Riddle)
Can’t You See (w/ Kid Rock, Jimmy Hall and Paul T. Riddle)

Free Bird
Nobody Left to Run With
Who’s Been Talking? (w/ Ivan Neville)
Midnight Rider (w/ Devon Allan)
One Way Out (w/ Devon Allan, Berry Oakley, Jr., Jimmy Hall)
Les Brers in A Minor (w/ Paul T. Riddle)

Southbound (w/ Jimmy Hall, Paul T. Riddle, Berry Oakley, Jr.)


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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Dayum!!!!! I SO hope there will be a DVD compilation coming out soon!!!!!!! Wish I could'a been there..... Bro, You the MAN!!!!!

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