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The Top Ten Instrumentals of The Southern Rock Era

Posted: Nov 03, 2009

This list might be very different if one were to count the instrumental jams at the end of “Free Bird,” “Green Grass and High Tides” and “Highway Song.” But alas, we are listing only full instrumental tracks. Also note that their are more Allman Brothers songs than any other simply because Dickey Betts wrote so many great instrumentals.

1. Jessica  The Allman Brothers Band
Written by Dickey Betts, this timeless tune was first released in 1973 on the Capricorn album Brothers and Sisters.

2. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed  The Allman Brothers Band
First appearing on their 1970 sophomore release Idlewild South, the definitive version is live on their 1971 Fillmore East recording, with both songwriter Dickey Betts and the legendary Duane Allman playing some of the tastiest guitar ever. Produced by Tom Dowd

3. Long Hard Ride  The Marshall Tucker Band
The title track from their 1976 LP of the same name, this kicking instrumental featured George McCorkle on banjo and bullwhip, and was nominated for a Grammy, Toy Caldwell scorched the fret board of his Les Paul. They were beat out by Chet Atkins!

4. Les Brers In A Minor  The Allman Brothers Band
From their 1972 double album on Capricorn, Eat a Peach, a classic Allman instrumental.

5. Orange Blossom Special  The Charlie Daniels Band
A smoking live fiddle romp from the 1975 Paul Hornsby produced Fire On The Mountain. The classic hillbilly hoedown number has long been a CDB concert staple.

.6. Free Fall   Dixie Dregs
The lead track from their 1977 Capricorn debut featured some excellent guitar work from Steve Morse. Classified as a Southern Rock band, the Dregs, much like Sea Level, were more of a jazz band with some Southern funk tossed in.

7. Sidewinder  The Charlie Daniels Band
From the Road Dogs album, this instrumental is very reminiscent of The Allman Brothers, but with Charlie’s signature all over it. A really great upbeat romp.

8. Rain in Spain   Sea Level
The lead track from their 1977 debut album features tasty lead guitar from Jimmy Nalls and fluid piano from Chuck Leavell.

9. Hot'lanta   The Allman Brothers Band
An instrumental that first appeared on the band’s Fillmore East LP in 1971. It was a song that spotlighted bassist Berry Oakley during shows prior to his death in 1972.

10. High Falls  The Allman Brothers Band
Another great Dickey Betts composition from their Win, Lose Or Draw LP of 1975. The 17-minute live version from Peakin at the Beacon (2003) was nominated for a Grammy.

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gravyboat says...

Great list Buffalo. But where is Little Martha?

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