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"All My Friends – Celebrating The Songs And Voice Of Gregg Allman" Reviewed

Be Friendly Now

Be Friendly Now

Like many a live album before it, you shoulda been there. There being the Fox Theatre in January where Gregg Allman’s friends and colleagues came together to play tribute to the Allman Brothers legendary leader. But if you weren’t there the recording released a coupla weeks ago is pretty impressive if not mindboggling except… Vince Gill performing a song off Gregg’s 1973 solo album and Martina McBride pulling out the title track “All My Friends” off the unfortunately named Cher and Gregg,  Allman And Woman

With a band that includes (according to Rolling Stone): “London’s the Killer Horns, backing vocals by the McCrary Sisters, Allman Brothers Band and Rolling Stones alum Chuck Leavell on keys, and the evening’s music director, Don Was, on bass”, the band sound great but with a third of the tracks ersatz Allman’s and the rest of them powerful but not particularly special Gregg songs and sounds, the album isn’t really the thriller you’d perhaps hoped for.

Opening with a fine “Come And Go Blues” and continuing through Sam Moore and Dr. John, it combats you with way too much Widespread Panic, before Greg comes out for a sublime “Statesboro Blues” featuring Taj Mahal. But getting there, and working your way through the album, this is nothing really much. The thing about tribute albums is live ones don’t work (not even the Dylan MSG gig was all that) and that song to performer is everything. This is too obvious: Derek Trucks and Warren Hayes are all over it, Susan Tedeshi, Devon Allman, everybody who has seen the Allman Brothers in the last few years didn’t much need any of it. An indie rock tribute (where is Kurt Vile when you need him?) would have been much more fun.

The evening closes out with a 13 minute “Whipping Post” and once you get pastWarren, Derek and Greg underneath one more time, you will realize you have heard this before and while not really minding hearing it again, believing you should have been there

Grade: B

 

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