The Allman Brothers Band

Allman Brothers’ New Guy Steps Up

Friday, August 17, 2001

Concert review

By Chris Varias

Cincinnati Enquirer contributor

The old, new guy made his presence felt.

Warren Haynes, the Allman Brothers guitarist who left in

1997, is back, replacing Jimmy Herring, who in turn replaced

original guitarist Dickey Betts, whom the band sacked.

During the Allmans’ Wednesday-night show at Riverbend,

Mr. Haynes wasn’t shy about returning. If the star of the show

wasn’t head brother Gregg Allman, it was Mr. Haynes, who

handled lead vocals several times throughout the night, and

whose muscular solos served as climaxes to many of the

songs.

The show was one sprawling set (with a quickie encore of

“Revival”) lasting 2 3/4 hours, in which the band jammed the

blues, jammed the blues-rock, jammed the blues-soul covers,

and jammed the hippie jams.

(By the way, did they do “Revival,” a song by Mr. Betts

known for its chorus “People can you feel it? Love is

everywhere,” for the sake of irony? Mr. Betts was arrested

Saturday for domestic battery.)

Mr. Haynes, who handles lead vocals for his Allmans

offshoot Gov’t Mule, did a good job stepping to the microphone

for versions of Willie Dixon’s “The Same Thing” and Otis

Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long to Stop Now.”

His guitar solos were always searing, providing a nice

balance with Derek Trucks’ quieter slide-guitar work.

Mr. Haynes was definitely the loudest player, but Mr.

Trucks again proved to be the band’s understated genius.

Mr. Trucks seemed happy to sit back for most of the

evening without putting up a challenge to his partner’s flashy

playing. But the payoff for Derek Trucks-watchers came in the

set’s last song, a 30-minute rendition of the instrumental “In

Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”

The song’s “jazzy” passages provided the structure for

Mr. Trucks to play solos that truly were derived from jazz, if

jazz is indeed the sound of surprise.

Opener Susan Tedeschi didn’t fare as well. With each

performance, she smacks more of novelty. She’s a fine blues

guitarist. But her singing voice sounds a little too much like

Bonnie Raitt’s, and her reliance on covers — this time around

from Sly, Dylan and Marley — only proves she’s no songwriter.

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