Rubadub’s Take on the Allman Bros Band 3.17.06 Beacon
A brilliant St Patrick’s Day gave way to a small parade of guests on the Beacon stage.
First, the list;
Les Brers in A Minor
Trouble No More
Woman Across the River
Every Hungry Woman
Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
Leavin’ Trunk (w/ Taj Mahal on harp)
Checkin’ Up on My Baby (Taj/guitar)
Slow (CC Rider) Blues (Taj/guitar)
Statesboro Blues (Taj/guitar)
Homeless Child (w/ Ben Harper/Lap steel)
Midnight Rider (Harper/steel)
Smokestack Lightning (Harper/steel)
Southbound (Ben Harper/lap steel)
To set the stage; Derek has moved, this year, to the center, with Oteil on his left hand, and Warren on his right, next to Gregg. From the front rows, it appears Derek is sporting two Fender Super 4x10’s, and still spanking his cherry 1961 SG reissue, while Warren is running his sunburst Les Paul and red 335 thru Diaz and Soldano heads and a Marshall 4x12 cabinet.
From centerstage, Derek swung his SG’s neck to conduct the first rushes
of the opening fanfare, Les Brers in A Minor, which Warren quickly brought to an early boil with a climbing, fanning goosebumper. Trouble No More was next, then the Freddie King-influenced Woman Across the River (Haynes on 335). A duel ensued, with Derek and Warren peeling off call and response phrases, as Oteil pushed the drummers in and out of that elastic shuffle. The dueling continued through Every Hungry Woman,
Haynes’ classic phrasing accompanied by BB King-approved grimaces, met with Trucks’ sphinx-like focus on a spot on the storied wooden floor just about five feet in front of him, yet so far, far away.
Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? completed the Band’s opening mini-set,
and Warren’s first solo was an Encyclopedia of Betts, one unmistakeable conjugation of Dickey’s secret familiar blues verbs after another. If one wanted to think Warren sent this solo out to question the sadness of the missing Brother, well, one could have heard the question in the tones here. Emotional peak here.
Taj Mahal can work a crowd like a Pentecostal dervish, and Leavin’ Trunk
is familiar to many, as this Sleepy John Estes tune is well covered by DTB.
Taj’s set led to stomping, clapping, Cab Calloway-style singalongs, (high-dee-high- dee-high-high, oh-whoa-whoa-oh-whoa-oh-oh) and loose, trading-four solos that Taj directed. Despite Warren Haynes’ adept back-up orchestration, the wheels got a bit wobbly on minor things like endings and transitions (frinstance, on Statesboro Blues, Gregg’s jaw dropped when Taj pointed to him for a solo right where the sliding strings are expected to testify; by the way, check out Taj’s version of Statesboro Blues cut in August 1967, and see if Ry Cooder and Jesse Ed Davis’ slide parts don’t sound a wee bit familiar.) The festive St Patrick’s spirit carried the stomping Taj Mahal spirit through the house to the end of the set.
To open set 2, Ben Harper sat centerstage between Derek and Warren and sang Homeless Child, before abusing his overdriven lapsteel to add a frantic Hendrixy burn to Midnight Rider and Smokestack Lightning. Although Warren roared to “stop your train, let a hobo ride”, he declined to deliver my favorite inquiry a la Pigpen, “who bit your baby sister?” Alas. Warren and Derek gave Ben room to shine, and took several big breaks themselves. Wah-inflected, Hendrixy voodoo spoken here.
After Harper’s departure, Black Hearted Woman sandwiched the six-armed drum discussion and Oteil’s barefoot bass soliloquy, and furnished the levitation that leads us to return, over and over, and to read rants like this; slippery fat bottomed changes to elevate the community ass, thrilling twisty unison lines and smeared bluenote clusters to spin the head, and searing speaking strings to hold our breath for us. Oteil’s faithful attention to the bottom did not prevent trips up the neck to give a boost to the melody, and he emerged (for me) as the pivot point, the unwavering linchpin between the battering-ram drums and soaring strings,
and poised to raise the roof with thrumming, doublejointed groove right when the guitarists would achieve escape velocity.
This music is a mixture of Electric Church and Transportation.
Jessica found Derek subbing a mostly-whacked “outside” flight for the piano solo we all heard in our head, and the fluid unison lines carried the house to stand until the Southbound encore, with Ben Harper back on steel. Good thing my pen ran out of ink, or I’d try to describe this raging ride south, too.
Who’d have thought that the next night…(to be con't)
Rubadub would like to thank Hambone T Sparklewell
and Red Mookles and the Hoseclamps (esp. Snuffy!)
for the encouragement to write this review.
Added: Monday, March 20, 2006
Reviewer: Scott Russell