Beauty and grace are always common subjects in music, but none do it so significantly or as extraordinary as the prodigious Allman Brothers Band. With Duane and Gregg Allman as the front runners of The Allman Brothers Band; the rest of the company followed directly behind as each member featured on their self-titled, debut record, The Allman Brothers Band is an incredible addition, leading like monumental members of their own sections. Together, The Allman Brothers Band would become a memorable, quotable, and loveable group from “Where Florida Begins”, none other than Jacksonville, Florida.
The band started as nothing more than just simple a jam band, but would eventually turn into something entirely larger than life. With each member fulfilling their own duty, becoming outstanding in their own style of playing and in their own field. With Duane Allman on the slide and lead guitars, Gregg Allman on the organ and leading vocals, Dickey Betts on the lead guitar, Berry Oakley preforming on bass guitar and background vocals, Jai Johanny Johanson on the percussion, as well as Butch Trucks leading on the percussion as well. Not only were The Allman Brothers Band substantially tight in their musical playing, but they often times performed with one set of two different percussionists at a time. This could mean that Johanson would be performing on the congas while Trucks performed the actual sectional set drum parts; and vice-versa. Often times, there were two drummers playing a set a time and made for a grand stage performance live. The backing instruments are just as important as the leading instruments and are often times thrust into the foreground with solos or breaks in the standard line-up.
Moments where this is especially true is the track, “Dreams” which is closer to the end of The Allman Brothers Band’s Self-Titled, but still an important track to highlight for the use of Gregg Allman’s organ and just how incredible he was at such a young age of twenty-one years old. No one in the recording process of The Allman Brothers Band was over twenty-five at the time and this is not only an incredible feat in sound, but also an incredible accomplishment in creative art at such young stages in life. As “Dreams” continues on, it becomes one of the most beautiful tracks to ever be created by The Allman Brothers Band as it continues gently, but is moving in the way that a stream or current would be. It is soft in approach and almost soothing to hear, Gregg’s instantly recognizable sound is projected perfectly and gracefully. The following instrumentalists tread closely behind his leading hand and play elegantly; in a subtle, but fluent manner.
The final moments of The Allman Brothers Band is just as eloquent as the start of the record, but picks the pace up with “Whipping Post”, a definite crowd favorite and explosive ending to an outstanding piece of wonder. Almost coexisting within that defined beauty of the first half, “Whipping Post” is a straight-forward attack of rocking momentum, but slows to a dramatic crawl of howling high-pitch guitar that echoes in eternity with a memorable statement. That guitar will forever resonate within The Allman Brothers Band as being one of the essential pieces to grace their musical talent. When paired with the sudden momentum shifts and the constant organ and backing instruments that reign through the silence as instruments of pure acoustic beauty. “Whipping Post” is magical and a perfect closing to an artistic zenith that only continued to climb years after the initial release.
From the masterminds of pure, unfiltered beauty; The Allman Brothers Band becomes a staple in music history for their unending influences on other musicians and for making an album that is simple in concept, become one of the most cherished albums for generations to pass and follow.