MUSIC REVIEW; Allmans hit all the right notes
15 July 2003
Copyright (c) 2003 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.
“Tonight’s the last show (of the tour), I think it’s gonna be very special,” Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes said before his group’s 160-minute set.
He wasn’t kidding. The Allmans jump-started the night with a startling version of the classic rock opus “Layla,” with a ridiculously melodic slide guitar coda by Derek Trucks.
Before they were done, they added an effective take of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” and a riotous “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” featuring lacerating lead guitar work from Haynes.
The rest of the set was a mix of vintage Allmans tracks seasoned with tunes from the band’s fine new album, “Hittin’ the Note.” Gregg Allman was in excellent vocal condition, but the key to Sunday’s show was the inspired interplay of Haynes and Trucks.
This was the first local Allman Brothers set since the ouster of original guitarist Dickey Betts nearly four years ago that didn’t obviously miss his trademark songs such as “Jessica,” “Blue Sky” and “Ramblin’ Man.”
Whether it was “Desdemona” from the new disc with its “Take Five”- flavored break, a mid-set jam that rivaled the Grateful Dead in its prime, or such muscular blues-drenched tracks as “Trouble No More,” the Allmans just devoured the music.
Susan Tedeschi began the night with a rock-solid bluesy set that featured husband Trucks on a couple of songs. Though Tedeschi is already a superb singer and guitarist, her set hinted that her best work is still to come.