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Still listening to the Fillmore Concerts 1992 mix by Tom Dowd – Whipping Post is just crazy – the first six minutes dissolve into an amalgamation of themes, trances, movements and refrains that eclipse the standard format of what a popular song is and evolve into art. The shifts that this live exploration of sound make are a kin to winding through a mountain pass so subtle and soft are their landings you may fail to notice every strand of grass or shift in rock formation but they are there.

In its whole its a creative work of genius and the gods but each note, arpeggio and sonic exploration has a purpose and melds from the righteous spirit that drove their creation in the first place.

Their work together on these recordings are true compositions rivaling the masters Bach, and Mozart. Call it jazz, call it rock n roll but it is so much more and beyond the “jam band” moniker its ridiculous. Get this music out listen to it again deeply and pay attention. If you think you know it because you listened to it repeatably years ago you will be surprised at the sophistication, the maturity, the musicianship and the touches and flourishes that permeate the main themes and arcs. It’s quite unbelievable what is going on here as the musicians work together and intertwine with each other.

Eat a Peach is on deck next on my musical sojourn back through their catalogue but its going to have to wait for a while more as I re-listen to disc two and circle back to the first disc – I really don’t see an end in sight and that in and of itself is a beautiful thing.

Contemplating filling up another music hall and the people who he doesn’t know or may ever see again who absolutely love him. It would make me wonder as well as to the gift that was larger than myself yet so very much a part of who I am and the universality of it all and yet here I stand just a man but then again all this has evolved before my eyes and so it informs me and I inform it and it being the music and if it ever becomes more than the music I lose my way, my frequency, my channel, the signal, the muse with the confusion, cloudiness and static of the ego and yet my soul, my journey, my life informs the art and distills the creativity so much bigger than who I am but still entwined and coalesced around my very soul and being and the love and the passion and the energy and the enthusiasm from so many strangers and their life’s trajectory and myself with friends, family and lovers swirling through the score and yet alone here leaning on my Hammond informed by the vision, reminded by the words as I play and sing, and contemplate and listen and listen and listen some more digging deeper into the moment ….so I can hear it, so I can feel it so I can share it and help to try and bring it forward with all of you and everyone about to arrive, who set the stage and play along and this is what I imagine Gregg Allman is here/there thinking.

Beginnings: It’s still so highly inconceivable that these young men in their twenties created such an abundance of sophisticated music. Go back and listen to the first two albums (ABB and Ildewild) reissued in 1973 as the album Beginnings. The level of musicianship is already in place and each track is a mini symphony of blues, gospel, soul, jazz and screaming rock and roll played not only with fire but nuance. Check the 3:12 mark of Dreams as Duane dances dramatically on point literally sliding through the song seemingly effortlessly. The road had taught tightness but each member brought their own life experience to the band. Dickey grew up in a family full of musicians, Jamioe had been playing in Otis Reddings band, Duane had worked with as many top notch musicians and artists as one possibly can. This wasn’t a garage band. This wasn’t just a bunch of stoned out hippies. These guys were deadly serious about their music. Lifting the arm of a 45 player with your foot studying the old blues masters I mean come on I love my guitar and to play out live but I freaking hate changing my strings.

Go back and listen to each song deeply and take the time to notice the interplay between Butch and Jaimoe. Listen for the bass how it runs along side of the guitar leads while still holding down the rhythm, listen to that organ as it stalks the whole movement in the background and then when it captures the front of the mix and the words. World weary at such a young age already confronted by a record industry selling them out and the music out to churn out a buck, witnessing the struggles of a single Mom in the 1950’s and 1960’s these men had a depth of character and a level of commitment and a vision they were not going to relinquish.

Get Beginnings if you don’t have it put it in your car player and listen. There is a tidal wave of interplay going on each and every cut a miraculous layering of acoustic, electric rhythm and voice. If you are in a drum circle focus on Jaimoe and Butch. The subtleness and sensitivity in which these twenty year olds played right out of the gate on their first two albums is beyond incendiary.

Saw the ABB in V. Beach last night 5th row center – stood for two hours straight – massive air bass playing, head bopping and butane burning- I think I scared Oteil……..the sound down front was beautiful but could have brought Gregg’s key board up a bit more in the mix.  Fun crowd not too drunk lots of hand shaking, smiles and interaction with everyone around us.

They went old school to start the show which is what I was craving – That’s what love will make you do was a surprise  – I thought oh no as it started and then was singing, dancing and sweating before it was over – sounded great.  They were very faithful to the original licks on Blue Sky, Jessica and Southbound but of course blazed their own in the moment imprint when stretching it out.  Lots and lots of energy.  The array of drums practically in our lap was huge and I was way into the drum break which is unusual for me!  Into the Mystic was extremely heartfelt and on point a beautiful rendition that had me mesmerized – Warren brought out a sweet new guitar for that number – the tone was excellent the mood was achieved.  And Grace Potter – well hells bells the chick sounded just like Bonnie Bramblet – I thought – no wonder these guys like her – she shimmied in front of Gregg at one point and well that was the biggest smile I’ve ever seen from him – I was happy to catch that moment.  Great rendition of The Weight reminded me exactly of Duane’s version with Aretha Franklin thanks to Derek and the time signature of the band really special they nailed it.  Grace has some pipes on her.  That was so fun!

Here’s a set list I found looks mostly right to me might be missing a song around Statesboro Blues.  They also teased out a little Mountain Jam during Jessica.  Lots of veterans and service boys in the crowd as well who were pumped to see their Allman Brother Band – a very good show, lots of energy – the sound was excellent did not use ear plugs – no ringing – awesome weather beautiful night surrounded by loved ones – what more could you ask for!

Don’t Want You No More >
It’s Not My Cross to Bear
Statesboro Blues
Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
That’s What Love Will Make You Do
Midnight Rider >
Les Brers in A Minor
Blue Sky
Who to Believe
The Weight (w/ Grace Potter)
Done Somebody Wrong
One Way Out (w/ drums)

Into the Mystic*

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Journey Home Reviews

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Paul Burke is some fantastic, talented writer. Journey Home is an eye-opener. It is down to earth and humanly raw! I highly recommend it as a must read!!" -- Knowledge Tree Bookstore
I randomly stumbled upon this book online and it looked intriguing. Little did I know that it was more than just a curious cover...a wonderful picture of nature and a nice mindset of our place within it. I recommend the hell out of it!" -- Jonny Bear
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I just finished reading Journey Home and I can't tell you how bowled over I am. It is so insightful and powerful and it emanates such wonderment of reality. It is Phenomenal on so many levels...tremendous! -- Aimee'
When I first started reading Journey Home I couldn’t put it down! Each person and situation became vivid in my mind. I could feel the book. It became one with me and the sounds ... here on Big River. The unexpected twists and turns, continued to peak my interest, and the first night I read till I could see no more. Then, as I awoke I read till I was done. A book of this quality is an Amazing Gift for all to read and Understand!!!! -- Dusty



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