Monday, March 12, 2012


The Allman Brothers Band 3/9/12 credit: Brian Ives
On Friday night I saw opening night of The Allman Brothers Band's annual March Madness at New York City's Beacon Theater. I actually went the first year that they did it, 1992.  It was great then, and they were positively mind-blowing Friday.  I wrote a review for my new job at CBS, but I can't editorialize much in that role.

I brought this up in the article, but I think there's a serious argument to be made that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should update the Allmans' membership.  Right now, the founding members are in: keyboardist/singer Gregg Allman, drummer/percussionists Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, the late lead guitarist Duane Allman, the late bassist Berry Oakley, and guitarist/singer Dickey Betts, who is no longer a part of the band.  I think that guitarist/singer Warren Haynes, percussionist Marc Quinones, guitarist Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and late bassist Allen Woody should all be in as well. I've been thinking this for a while, but after Friday night's show, I'm sure of it. I cannot think of any other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band who developed that much in the years since being inducted.  I can't think of any other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band that I think should have an "updated" lineup of inducted members.

Despite the fact that they don't record much anymore, this band is as vital and as alive as any that you'll see.  Yes, Gregg, Jaimoe and Butch have been playing many of these songs for decades, but Warren, Derek, Oteil and Marc give them new life.  You never watch Derek and feel like you're seeing a nostalgia act.  It's real, it's in the moment, it's vital, it breathes.  Those of you who have read No Expiration for a while, you know I'm not a "jam band" guy per se (although I respect the scene).  The thing about The Allmans, their music has a punch and a power that most jam bands don't have. Yes, some of their songs get a bit too long (I don't want to hear "Mountain Jam" ever), but many of their long songs work incredibly well. Don't believe me?  Well, there's eight nights left to this year's March Madness, why don't you go check it out?

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