An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set is the thirteenth album by the rock group the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded live in December 1991 and March 1992, and released in 1992. An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set was the first live Allman Brothers Band album, and the third overall, to feature Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody on bass. Haynes and Woody had joined the group when it reformed in 1989.
The Allman Brothers Band's fifth live release in 25 years, cut during 1994 in Raleigh, NC, and at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey, is a high-water mark in their Epic Records catalog. If anything, they're even better here than they were on the earlier Evening with the Allman Brothers Band, the old material getting fresh new approaches – the band was on for both nights, and presented sets, including an acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Jessica" (which won a Grammy Award), that soared and flowed, especially Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes' guitars. What's more, the clarity of the recording and the volume at which it was recorded make this a most rewarding 70 minutes of live music on a purely technical level – you can practically hear the action on the guitars during the acoustic set. It won't replace Live at Fillmore East or the live portions of Eat a Peach, but it deserves a place on the shelf not very far from them.
This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience…
This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience. Some lingering elements of the psychedelic era then drawing to a close can be found in "Dreams," along with the template for the group's on-stage workouts with "Whipping Post," and a solid cover of Muddy Waters' "Trouble No More." There isn't a bad song here, and only the fact that the group did even better the next time out keeps this from getting the highest possible rating.
The Allman Brothers Band's comeback album, and their best blues-based outing since Idlewild South that restored a lot of their reputation. With Tom Dowd running the session, and the group free to make the music they wanted to, they ended up producing this bold, rock-hard album, made up mostly of songs by Dickey Betts (with contributions by new keyboardman Johnny Neel and lead guitarist Warren Haynes), almost every one of them a winner. Apart from the rippling opening number, "Good Clean Fun," which he co-authored, Gregg Allman's contribution is limited to singing and the organ, but the band seem more confident than ever, ripping through numbers like "Low Down Dirty Mean," "Shine It On," and "Let Me Ride" like they were inventing blues-rock here, and the Ornette Coleman-inspired "True Gravity" is their best instrumental since "Jessica".