By: Rick Massimo
For The Providence Journal
There’s nothing like the real thing.
Yesterday was hippie-rock day at the Dunkin’ Donuts Newport Folk Festival, and while bands such as Assembly of Dust, The John Butler Trio and The North Mississippi All-Stars all had their strong points, when their spiritual forefathers The Allman Brothers Band came on to close the show at Fort Adams it was like a genetic study revealing where the younger bands’ mix of shaggy, danceable rock and free-form innovation came from.
In a two-hour-plus show that threw together hits “Midnight Rider,” “Melissa” and “Revival” with a rendition of “Leave My Blues at Home” that included a 10-minute, four-way percussion jam and a 14-minute “Mountain Jam,” the band claimed equal billing with The Grateful Dead in the history of where jam-rock began and in the same breath showed the origins of Southern rock. (The guest appearance of North Mississippi All-Stars guitarist Luther Dickinson on “The Weight,” trading slide solos with Trucks, helped seal the generational deal.)
Organist and singer Gregg Allman looked every one of his 59 years but still had the voice that almost single-handedly created Southern rock. Guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks traded solos and slide fills that carried songs along, as well as harmonized riffs (such as on “Mountain Jam”). Bassist Oteil Burbridge filled out most with complex runs but kept a funky bubble, turning languid on “Melissa.” Drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, along with percussionist Marc Quinones, worked hard in the engine room. Even the dedicated audience, announced at 7,800, was wrung dry.