Statesboro Blues – The Final Allman is gone

You likely have read or heard that Gregg Allman has passed away. His brother Duane died so many years ago, but the two left a huge footprint on bluesy rock and roll influencing many.

One of the finest live albums or any album for that matter is their magnum opus “Live at Fillmore East.” Gregg’s soulful voice and musicality are a key reason for their success, but the band is known for the slide guitar playing of his brother Duane and the harmonious guitar of the also talented Dickey Betts. Duane was greatly admired and played the plaintiff sound on Eric Clapton’s “Layla.”

Gregg was also talented and no one should say he did not bring a huge amount to the band. His voice and timing was adroit as was his keyboard work. The songs were his as well. But, the band also had other terrific musicians, including two drummers, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe Johanson. The bassist was Brett Oakley, who died a year after Duane.

“Statesboro Blues” is a vintage Allman Brothers’ song. It is also one of their shorter ones. “Whipping Post,” may be their greatest song, but each of us will have our favorite.  “One Way Out,” maybe a close second for me. “Melissa” is a more serene song about love which shows their range. I saw an interview with Gregg who said he gleaned the song name from a mother chastising her daughter Melissa. “Midnight Rider” was one of their bigger hits. And, Betts sang the lead on “Blue Sky” and “Ramblin’ Man.”

Most of their songs were too long for pop radio, so their hits were fewer than you would expect. Yet, their body of work is substantial. And, to best appreciate them is to download or play a CD of their live songs while cruising down the road.

My wife and I saw them in concert long after Duane and Brett had passed. My youngest son was able to join us. Derek Trucks had joined the band for the tour as Trucks is one of the finest guitarists in the world and is the nephew of long time Allman Brothers ‘s drummer Butch Trucks. We left spent from the concert with Warren Haynes and Derek’s guitar playing amplified by two drummers who took breaks as the lengthy songs wore them out.

It is sad to see the end of an era. But, their  music will live on. May Gregg rest in peace. As he sang late in his career, “I’m no Angel.” Neither are we, but we value your part in our lives.

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26 thoughts on “Statesboro Blues – The Final Allman is gone

    • Holly, thanks for guiding me to fish you out of spam. Allman was far from perfect, but entertained us well. He spoke the truth when he sang “I’m no angel.” Keith

      • Enjoy. The expanded story of Melissa was he had the song in mind without a great name with the right amount of syllables. When he heard the mother fussing at her misbehaving girl with that name, he wanted to tell her thank you.

      • that ‘concept’ was mentioned several times on hugh’s blog – how one event can be a catalyst that inspired a novel – or as you mention, inspire the right syntax in a song. Song trivia is equally interesting!

      • Lisa, you are so right. I have this little trivia game to name a song with a female named title for each letter of the alphabet – Allison, Barbara Ann, Carrie Ann….Melissa is a one to remember. Keith

      • Erika, if you have time, check out Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Crossfire,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “They call me the breeze,” and Marshall Tucker’s “Fire on the Mountain.” Vaughan was considered by many the best guitarist in the world before he died in a helicopter crash. Keith

      • I hope you enjoy! By the way, I am very proud of Angela Merkel. Dealing with our chaotic and egomaniacal President has to be a huge chore for someone who actually studies the issues.

      • What a novel approach, thinking before speaking (or tweeting). I don’t tweet, but I have NOT sent many emails after rereading them.

      • LOL!!! It seems that some have to learn this anew or learn it at all! Sad that one of the most important persons in the political world is one of them!

      • I just listened to the songs you recommended. You totally found what I like. All completely different and still all songs and styles are exactly what I like about the different music directions. I liked “Fire on the Mountains” most. I just love that kind of country style. Thank you very much for introducing me to the bands and songs!!

      • Erika, I am so delighted you listened to them and enjoyed. “Fire on the Mountain” is a great song. If you like that one, you might enjoy “Can’t you see?” Thanks for sharing. Keith

      • I absolutely appreciate your tips and I enjoyed the songs a lot. Of course, I will check out “Can’t you see?” too. You made me curious 😁 thank you very much again, Keith ☺

  1. A lovely tribute, Keith. I wasn’t sure if I had ever heard much of their music, so I went to Amazon and listened to a few clips, but none sounded familiar. I did like what I heard, though.

      • A funny addendum to that. When Herb called last night, I was telling him about your post and how I had listened to various clips but did not recognize any. He said, “Damn, girl, where WERE you in the ’70s? Didn’t you ever turn the radio on?” I guess I missed that boat? But your post accomplished its purpose!

  2. Note to Readers: I mentioned to Erika the tragedy that also befell The Marshall Tucker Band, who was influenced by the Allman Brothers. Two brothers were killed on vehicle accidents (Tim and Tomny Caldwell) in close proximity of time. A third brother Toy Caldwell, died several years later of a cocaine overdose. Not only did we fans lose them, but I feel for their Mom, Dad and family.

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