Wednesday, January 21, 2009

'Cause I can play this here guitar, Pt. 25

I've always had a tenuous appreciation of "Southern Rock". Marshall Tucker Band made some nice trivial music, but the low-grade idiocy and oafishness of Lynyrd Skynyrd turned me off. And so help me Jeebus, if I never have to hear FreeHolyFuckingChristWhatASillyEmbarrasingLameJamBird ever again, I'll be a happy guy.

But the Allman Bros. are unique, in that they are indeed from the south, yet as rockers offer some subtleties and swing not really found elsewhere. While they had their problems, including drugs, alchohol, and, you know, two original members dying, they made some special music that transcended the "Southern" appelation.

While Duane was the fiery inspiration for the admiration of the band, with his wonderful slide guitar playing, Dickie Betts became the musical focus after Duane's tragic death. His signature song "Jessica" showcases the Allman's sound: 2 drummers who merge into 1 creature, guitars not distorted to death, bass lines that truly sing like another melody, and an overall swing that would make Glenn Miller proud today.

Here's Dickie playing "Jessica" in 1982:

To prove this isn't an accident, here's the original lineup, including Duane, doing "Whipping Post" in 1970. For the musically trained, the intro is in 11/8! Part 1:

Part 2:

Rock on.