Brothers in charms

Brothers in charms
March 12, 2011
New York Post

With today's con stant shifts in music, the longev ity of the Allman Brothers Band -- 42 years and running -- is one of the remarkable stories in pop culture.

At the opening night of the band's annual New York City residency Thursday, the rockers were freakin' at the Beacon with a performance that was musically lively and jam-band jazzy, and had a celebratory feel.

The Allmans' devoted graybeard fans (who've scooped up all the tickets for the 13-show residency, ending March 26) didn't seem to mind missing out on many of the band's greatest hits. In the 3½- hour, 18-song performance, the band only played four signature songs -- "Come and Go Blues," "Midnight Rider," "One Way Out" and, as an encore, "Southbound."

Perhaps that final selection was an inside joke about the band's return to the Beacon after last year's far-uptown exile at the United Palace in Washington Heights.

The rest of the tunes were gems from the Allman vault, such as the instrumentals "Bag End" and "Kind of Bird" (an homage to jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker) and the gloriously psychedelic cover of Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters."

At times, it was hard to decipher where one song ended and the next began, as the seven-man band wove jams that ran fast and hard to the edge of the song, then would pull back and do it again. The unusual three-man drum attack did much to give the music a sensation of propulsion.

The night's personal bests included guitarist Warren Haynes' bell-clear blues vocals on the cover of Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man," and Gregg Allman's gruff, gravel voice on "One Way Out."

The band's youngest member, slide guitarist Derek Trucks (nephew of original and current drummer Butch Trucks), remains the Allmans' secret weapon with his lightning-fast liquid solos, which even challenge Haynes' formidable guitar work.

It was a night packed with more noodling than chicken soup, which was much appreciated by the overwhelmingly older, male audience on a cold, rainy night.

Comments: 0