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Tipping My Hat To Kirk West

Posted: Apr 17, 2007 What a day. It was a beautiful day for a drive from my home in Greenville, SC to the big city of Birmingham, Alabama. About five and a half hours on the road brought me to the Best Western Hotel in Leeds near Birmingham, where I would later meet with some of the performers in town for the Scott Boyer Benefit happening tomorrow. For the moment, I would chill, drink a bottle of ice cold Aqua Fina, call home and watch the reports on CNN about yesterday’s heart breaking tragedy at Virginia Tech, and prepare for a meeting with some of the Capricorn Rhythm Section cats.

As I sat down at the Mac Book, I noticed James Calemine had posted his interview with Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule Tour Mystic, Kirk West. It brought to mind a visit I made - along with my friend Scott- to The Big House about four years ago.

Kirk and Kirsten West welcomed us into the house with open arms, and took us on a tour that would make any Allman Brothers fan green with envy. I saw so many great vintage posters, gold and platinum records, photos, guitars...many items that are now focal points of the museum that has come out of the West’s home.

I sat at the kitchen table where Dickey Betts wrote “Ramblin’ Man,” and many other songs. Kirk took me upstairs to Duane Allman’s old bedroom, where there was an altar set up on the mantle. There was a real strong spirit in that room. You could really pick up on Skydog’s energy.

Kirk showed me this vault of hundreds of master tapes of live shows. Exciting stuff. Then he hooked me up with back issues of Hittin' The Note Magazine to complete my collection.

I don’t know if I ever really expressed just how appreciative I was of Kirk and Kirsten’s hospitality that day. If I didn’t, I am now. Thanks guys. And thanks for preserving all those great Allman memories for all of us die hard fans.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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