Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Beginnings - The Allman Brothers Band

Beginnings: It's still so highly inconceivable that these young men in their twenties created such an abundance of sophisticated music. Go back and listen to the first two albums (ABB and Ildewild) reissued in 1973 as the album Beginnings. The level of musicianship is already in place and each track is a mini symphony of blues, gospel, soul, jazz and screaming rock and roll played not only with fire but nuance. Check the 3:12 mark of Dreams as Duane dances dramatically on point literally sliding through the song seemingly effortlessly. The road had taught tightness but each member brought their own life experience to the band. Dickey grew up in a family full of musicians, Jamioe had been playing in Otis Reddings band, Duane had worked with as many top notch musicians and artists as one possibly can. This wasn't a garage band. This wasn't just a bunch of stoned out hippies. These guys were deadly serious about their music. Lifting the arm of a 45 player with your foot studying the old blues masters I mean come on I love my guitar and to play out live but I freaking hate changing my strings.

Go back and listen to each song deeply and take the time to notice the interplay between Butch and Jaimoe. Listen for the bass how it runs along side of the guitar leads while still holding down the rhythm, listen to that organ as it stalks the whole movement in the background and then when it captures the front of the mix and the words. World weary at such a young age already confronted by a record industry selling them out and the music out to churn out a buck, witnessing the struggles of a single Mom in the 1950's and 1960's these men had a depth of character and a level of commitment and a vision they were not going to relinquish.

Get Beginnings if you don't have it put it in your car player and listen. There is a tidal wave of interplay going on each and every cut a miraculous layering of acoustic, electric rhythm and voice. If you are in a drum circle focus on Jaimoe and Butch. The subtleness and sensitivity in which these twenty year olds played right out of the gate on their first two albums is beyond incendiary.

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