Bluesy, Folk, Old School, Southern
"A work that will touch fans of rock, country, blues, southern and jazz with the same happiness, entering directly into the legend of Rock."
LOLOCELTIC (15.10.2014)  
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Having already established a reputation as a studio musician after working with artists such as Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, Duane Allman decided to form his own band with bassist Berry Oakley and drummer/percussionist Jai Johanny Johanson. He already had very specific ideas about the band, both in terms of the line-up, which he wanted to make up of two guitarists and two drummers/percussionists, and the style he wanted to create from the mixture of influences of each member of the band.

It is with the arrival of his brother Greg that the line-up is completed, the latter taking care of the keyboards but also of the vocals, while quickly investing himself in the composition. The band, which logically ended up being called The Allman Brothers Band, then took up residence in Macon (Georgia) before going to New York to record its first eponymous album at the legendary Atlantic Studios. The sextet had had the opportunity to test their songs in public on numerous occasions, and the recording was done in only four days under the guidance of Adrian Barber. Barber was originally supposed to be in charge of the recording alone, but the late withdrawal of Tom Dowd (Cream's producer) led to him taking over production. The rest of the band's two-week session in studio was spent mixing only.

This eponymous first opus laid the foundations of the Allman style, a mixture of jazz (influenced by Johanson), country (brought by Betts), rock (the domain of Trucks) and blues, a style common to all the members of the group, which enveloped everything in a southern atmosphere specific to its origins. And if the commercial success wasn't necessarily there right away, this would not prevent this first work from featuring in the legend, the quintessence of what the band would offer throughout its career. Everything is already present, from Greg Allman's warm and intoxicating voice to the web woven by the two drummers whose technique and complicity avoid the construction of a wall overpowering all the finesse of the compositions. The guitar work is chiselled, both complementary and capable of magnificent flights of fancy, like Duane's solo on 'Dreams' whose emotion drips from every note. This track also reveals one of the band's specificities, namely its ability to launch into long, hypnotic jams that are never boring.

In fact, The Allman Brothers Band is also a common soul, shared by six musicians who spend their life altogether playing and consuming more or less legal substances. From this sincere friendship comes a complicity that appears on each track, whose variety of styles never undermines the coherence of the whole group. There are many examples, from the first two tracks which see the cover of the Spencer Davies Group's 'Don't Want You No More' become the instrumental introduction to the slow and hot blues 'It's Not My Cross To Bear' without this seeming absurd to anyone. The other cover of the album ('Trouble No More' by Muddy Waters) also fits in perfectly with the rest of the album with Duane displaying his trademark slide playing. Finally, how can we talk about this album without mentioning 'Whipping Post'. This track has already become a legend because of the story of how it was written, Gregg Allman having the inspiration before going to bed but not being able to turn on the light to put it on paper, a child sleeping in the room. He then used two matches, one to light himself, the other with its blackened head as a pencil. With its 11/4 rhythm, its introduction marked by the heavy bass playing the melody on which the 2 guitars are successively grafted in a slight shift, this track has everything to confuse its audience. And yet, it succeeds in catching you and not letting you go, leaving you in an ecstatic state hesitating between exhaustion and the symptoms of a lack.

Few bands can boast themselves of having imposed a style and an identity from their first album, making it a benchmark. The Allman Brothers Band has succeeded in doing just that, hitting rock, country, blues, southern and jazz fans with equal gusto, going straight into rock legend. This is a must-have work that every discotheque worthy of its name should own, if only for its cultural value. But this album has so much more to offer...
- Official website

01. Don't Want You No More - 2:26
02. It's Not My Cross To Bear - 5:03
03. Black Hearted Woman - 5:10
04. Trouble No More - 3:47
05. Every Hungry Woman - 4:15
06. Dreams - 7:20
07. Whipping Post - 5:16

Berry Oakley: Basse
Butch Trucks: Batterie
Dick Betts: Guitares
Duane Allman: Guitares
Gregg Allman: Chant / Claviers
Jai Johanny Johanson: Batterie
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