The Allman Brothers Band compilation album, released on the Japanese label Buena Suerte, is part of the Super Stars Best Collection series. Partially unofficial release.
Live at Ludlow Garage 1970 features 91 minutes of the Allman Brothers Band in concert at a Cincinnati venue that they loved, nearly a year before their legendary Fillmore shows. The acoustics are good, though a little shaky – the tape was made at seven-and-a-half IPS, the bare minimum professional standard, which leaves more hiss than one might like and a bit less clarity than a fully professional live album might show. On the other hand, the group's sound imparts its own punch and clarity, and it was done in stereo, and if not for the existence of the Fillmore tapes, and the fact that the albums they yielded sold a kajillion copies, this show might well have been released in the 1970s. It isn't as intense as the Fillmore shows, but it does capture the group as a little-known working band with but a single album out and building a reputation – and with Dickey Betts yet to emerge as either a singer or composer and their sound still being worked out ("Statesboro Blues" gets a startlingly subdued performance, anticipating the acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" from the '90s recording An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set).
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.
Blending rock, blues, country, and jazz, the godfathers of Southern rock in all its wild, woolly glory. Collection includes: 'The Allman Brothers Band' (1969); 'Idlewild South' (1970); 'At Fillmore East' (1971); 'Eat A Peach' (1972); 'Brothers And Sisters' (1973).
The show was Great! This is my favorite line-up so far for the band- but I always say that. Greg looked and sounded super- singing and playing. He is a classic blues rock musician. Butch, Jaimoe and Marc are the best! Rico sat in for Butch on one tune as well. Way to go Rico… Marc has settled in solid with the band. Tazzz… Oteil had some crazy sounds coming out after his scat solo. Love the thunder of the bass and drums! Derek looks relaxed when he plays with the ABB.
The Allman Brothers shared the bill with the Grateful Dead on several notable occasions. This release recalls the Brothers in support of the Dead and Love in February 1970 at the fabulous Fillmore East. No specific dates for the performances are noted, so it is presumed this release is a composite from recordings made at some point during the two sets per night that the Allman's performed on February 11th through the 14th. There is no mistaking the unbridled fervor of the original line-up of the band. Rising to the challenge of exploratory psychedelia – while remaining ever faithful to their Southern blues roots – blues standards such as "(I'm Gonna Move to The) Outskirts of Town" and "Hoochie Coochie Man" are strengthened and extended beyond their typical assertions. No longer are they relegated to the inadequately rendered thrashings of garage rock. Betts and the Allman's understand the dynamics of blues. It is out of this respect for the art form that the band is able to pull off such authentic psychedelia-tinged Delta sounds.
It takes an aircraft-carrier of a release such as Live at the Beacon Theatre to remind us just how unique the Allman Brothers Band always was and still is. Traditionally a byword for down-home R&B/country blues-rock, the reality is that the band's gigantic sound is almost a musical form in itself. Make no mistake, the Allmans are still making big music, now with a two-guitar front line as well as their trademark two-drummer rhythm section (augmented these days with an additional percussionist), plus Gregg Allman's Hammond cutting through all of this like a serrated knife.
Whereas most great live rock albums are about energy, At Fillmore East is like a great live jazz session, where the pleasure comes from the musicians' interaction and playing. The great thing about that is, the original album that brought the Allmans so much acclaim is as notable for its clever studio editing as it is for its performances…