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Little Martha – whether Duane was referring to an old girlfriend or not is irrelevant. The fans have designated this young soul as Martha. How could we not? After all she stands watch forever forlorn in Rose Hill Cemetery just the way we feel after the smoke has cleared and the show has ended. And the fans do get a say about all of this the ABB fire and passion, life and journey, the gothic southern novel of it all and the revelation of the music.

Little Martha: Two minutes and seven seconds is never going to sound so complete and pastoral. When I finally arrived at performing a facsimile of this song I was there. It was one of my goals to try and learn it and it takes time. There are so many moving parts and I’m not a full time musician but a labor of love and love is after all what it is all about. Of course my version pales to the original I’m only two hands but when I get it moving and it starts to transcend and I follow the melody and inspiration where it takes me well the muse is floating there smiling and I feel as one feels when they get after it and hit the note, take the journey and feel the vibe. That’s why we play isn’t it and why we share of ourselves to bring it all out and bring it all together?

And so we have the closing of Eat a Peach but what about the opening?

What better tune than Ain’t Wastin Time No More expresses lyrically each of our precarious positions in this reality? It’s as much of a lyrical touchstone as Little Martha is an instrumental touchstone. Both are gigantic in their beings complete and resounding at once effortless and complex. A lyrical milestone Ain’t Wastin Time No More covers the whole realm of existence in stanza after stanza. That’s right its poetry and more than a song. Gregg has composed words to live by. I had a friend once say to me, “you can always make money but you can’t make time.” I fully encourage everyone to play hooky as often as you can. Life is so much more than punching the clock, collecting a pay check and paying a bank. Listen to Ain’t Wastin Time No More back to back with Little Martha and hit repeat it’s kind of a revelation of juxtapositions with Gregg’s lyrics sitting beautifully next to Duane’s acoustic poetry.

If you do run the tunes together back to back after Little Martha ends the intro to Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More is an acoustic piano. There seems to be some righteous acoustic symmetry to that and righteous was the way the brothers – all the brothers in the band – treated their music their creation and that’s why the payoff was so huge.

There’s a lesson in that for all of us in how we choose to live our lives, what we say, how we act and what we do. The lesson is quite literally in the lyric of Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More and that feeling embodied by that lesson is in the song Little Martha as it translates those words into a painting of notes awakening across the sky of your soul. One preceded the other so perhaps we have Gregg translating for us what Duane was trying to tell us in his music and all you really need to live a life well fulfilled with joy and happiness and prosperity brothers and sisters is to bring some righteousness to what you do and how you live and breathe.

Fillmore East is still tearing up my stereo system and its time for a huge shout out to Berry Oakley who anchored the front line. Duane called him out as the third guitar player. I have spent countless words trying to get at the melded mind set of their musical trajectory coursing through the time and space that confronted them and us and the atmosphere they rearranged with their sonic homage to the creative spirit and their righteous attack that brought such purity to their music but in the end its a futile task just put the music on and listen, listen, listen and listen some more.

I try with varying degrees of success to focus on just one player to really appreciate what they are bringing to the show but in the end I’m over taken and overwhelmed by the complexity and intricacy of the entire dynamic and simply blown away by it all voice, words, tone, tempo and magnitude. So hell yeah I’m still listening to Fillmore East (The Fillmore Concerts version Tom Dowd mix) and hell yeah I can’t stop….no surprise there though as well to all the brothers and sisters.

My oh my this is a great shot of the original sextet working the simultaneous groove. It looks like its Berry’s turn to break out notice where Butch’s eyes are watching on Berry’s hands.

I can’t over emphasis the beauty, power and velocity of talented musicians owning their musicianship fighting the urge of ego, working together and delivering the goods like no other.

A friend of mine asked me to differentiate between the grateful dead and the allman brothers after I laughed out loud (its a blotter vs mushrooms, roses vs peaches thing) I thought for a moment. Please know I’m a veteran of decades of both bands and I would simply state the ABB locked in more often, stronger and together. It’s degrees of variation but while the grateful dead was more of a cosmic soup sloshing around the bowl of existence lapping up side to side with solar flares of transcendence over heart aching ballads and thundering reverberation following Jerry religiously no matter what blind alley he lead them down, through or up the Allman Brothers Band in contrast jumped on that first note like a skim boarder ridding a wave as far as it would take them then turning and charging after the next wave of music and consciousness shredding the lip catching air, turning and pivoting with the waves. Tighter by necessity the ABB driven by a freight train of rhythm, organ and bass achieved thundering elevation immediately while the Dead meandered wobbly floating seemingly directionless then focusing sharply in an Escher like pattern getting there sooner or later but getting there they did.

I watched Pelicans dive for game yesterday afternoon striking their targets, diving in directly from over head in a straight line quickly and with acceleration hitting their targets repeatably over and over again – the visualization of screaming marshals and stalking thundering rhythm in a cascade of movement and righteous glorious splash reversing gravity throwing water in the air as they submerged and reemerged floating then taking flight again seemingly effortlessly sweeping through the air wings fully extended only to recoil and strike again. It was something to marvel at and behold and it looked like music to me and felt like something heavenly

I want you to take a good look at these musicians and how they are all concentrating and looking at each other. This is how its done. It’s Dickey’s turn a guitar god in his own right to lead but the ensemble playing behind him including Duane is playing “with” him and working, concentrating, and listening in order to weave in and out of the magic.

Each musician is propelling the other and informing the other as the music takes direction. It is an amazing amount of good fortune that this sextet with these specific musicians was captured live by such a renowned and skilled producer Tom Dowd.

Fillmore East as I have just been re-listening to it only recently is a freaking stunning collection of musicianship,and fire. It is an outrageously groove driven pallet of sound, an avalanche of intricacy and composition with halting pinnacles of contemplation and I haven’t even gotten to the second disc yet.

I’m listening to “The Fillmore Concerts” a 1992 remaster of the original release just as the ABB were emerging again off the heals of the Dream Box set and Seven Turns. I’m ecstatic to have it in my collection and truth be told haven’t listened to it in decades as I was all in on the later day sextet with Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and Oteil Burbridge.

Berry Oakley’s bass work while never receiving as much press as Duane’s guitar skill, drive and vision possess the same amount of finesse, brilliance, heart, drive and fire. It is something to behold listening to the original six working together and it is a miracle that this moment in time was captured. Imagine if this recording suffered the fate of the Layla sessions ohhh my what a tragedy that would have been. Instead we have this prodigious amalgamation of the pinnacle of music that is certainly the Mount Everest of music here on Earth and quite possibly a sliver of what it must sound like in heaven – effortlessly dancing and commingling each note, chord and beat thundering through its woven path, barreling through passages of time momentarily settling like a light rain upon your soul and then exploding like a volcano. You better believe it was all about the music and if you bring any other attitude to the stage you suck.

Men of real accomplishment and legacy who affected positive change both for themselves and those around them. That is what real legacy is all about not passing your name down, or slapping it up on every building and billboard you can find or digging a hole so deep looking for gold you can not climb out.

We are steps away from success for all on our tiny planet with our whisper thin atmosphere in this enormous universe but that step is going to have to be a step up in consciousness. And its going to take real strength not avarice or a sycophant commitment to ones own ego.

These men lead by example and persevered undaunted by the attack the messenger clan of bullies. It takes real strength to be a gentleman, to be patient, to listen, to see the others point of view and to work out differences, to truly listen and it takes nothing at all to be arrogant, greedy, ignorant and afraid of the knowledge that confronts you and tells you who you are. We are steps away from a better world but its going to take the strength of humility and wisdom to confront the obvious wrong and make it correct. That’s what these two men spent a life time doing and thats why in the final chapter they are both smiling.

Happy Day 6 of Jerry Week. Today’s show is 9/22/1987 Spencer Davis Opens the Second Set. I remember seeing a white strat as Bobby introduced him. Everyone is up on their feet in an instant rush, cheering as they launch into Gimmie Some Lovin’. Hard to tell who was first us or Phil’s Bass Line.
It’s been a great week so far and I’m truly inspired by the interviews from Bobby’s web feed. It was sweet seeing and hearing Bobby and Donna singing again and side by side. Good ol’ grateful dead we miss Keith as well as Brent, Ron and Vince. No crazy Dead stories today. We took a road trip discovered a new State Park and roads not taken. I will zig back and say this 9/22/87 show is tearing up little red rooster right now- third song in on the first set.

So road trip; We celebrated Jerry Weekend by going to see the Allman Brothers Band in Raleigh at Walnut Creek Amphitheater Saturday night. I gotta say that’s a nice venue and we had pretty good seats for pulling the trigger late but they were searching for tickets because on a Saturday night in Raleigh that show was sold out.

 
The Band? I can’t even write about how good they were I can’t even find the words to begin describing. Words are utterly useless in even getting close to what we witnessed Saturday night and a recounting of the set list pointless. I have seen this band almost as often as I’ve seen the Dead and if anyone thinks they are slowing down you have got to be kidding me. Mindblowingly tremendous, jaw droopingly stupendous, phenomenally beyond comprehension, dumbstruck, blown away again?????? Left a smoking creator on my mind, faced, laughingly ridiculously, speechless. I guess they’re warmed up now!!???!! Shrugged shoulders can’t explain shaking of the head wide eyed bowed – do it again???!!!!!??!!!

Jaw Dropping is the first phrase I could utterly speak. Just utter and sheer dis-belief. An anchor of a rhythm section Hammond B-3, three drum sets and a bass that could have saved the Titanic. Oteil I love you.

There are no words that I can utter that can even touch what we witnessed Saturday night. I’m having a religious experience during Dreams. Warren and Derek. That’s all I can say and Gregg. His color was good, his voice was fine. Liver transplant, pneumonia that cut short the European tour, book tour with tired interviews, Hepatitis, it looks like the Hernia is all that is bothering him now as he ambled down from his keyboard rig a little stiffly at the end of the show, and when he and Butch took a short break mid show.

Blazing set list real core ABB Dreams Liz Read, One Way Out, Statesboro Blues, Electric Midnight Rider, Black Hearted Woman. Tell me that tune doesn’t chug. Its the performance behind those familiar titles that’s the deal in the moment as we all know. They hit the note kids with a rocket launcher. This show still had people applauding even after Little Martha finished playing over the PA system. The lights were already up and the stage hands were striking the show and applause at the end of Little Martha from the still standing fans…too much.

Ahhh the fans – now this I can write about. I’ve seen the ABB with their family in Macon but North Carolina is sort of a second home to them friends and family living there. I knew when I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd opening for them that I was going into the belly of the beast. Skynyrd god bless em now down to just Rossington from the original band had a new set of musicians from the last time I saw them and I will say this they nailed their set list. It sounded spot on. And I’ll leave it there. But the fans were out in force hog tide and hell bent for a good time. It was like a war zone when we left going over the lawn section. Literally bodies down and out “hey you can’t sleep it off here!” People crumbling under the weight of their own fun, weak kneed wrecks, spewing, unapologetic, heads rolling, clutching backpacks like life preservers, confederate flag waving motorcycle mama we’re in the south mother fucker and proud of it! It’s been a while since I’ve been in a group of such tremendously fucked up people barefoot in the ladies room confederate flag bikini top and hell ya!

They blazed, blazed, blazed through a nearly two hour set caught Derek grinning at Warren while Warren shredded, caught Warren shaking his head at Gregg, caught Gregg holding up the band with one hand while he extended his thought on a rumbling stanza, loved Derek parked next to Gregg and the shot of Derek, Butch and Warren driving the music together on the big screen. Needless to say I had my huge Garcia tee shirt on and the road goes on forever. We walked out over a blitzed field full of 24 oz beer cans thrown, strewn and crushed like howitzer sized shrapnel, bodies crumbled and motionless as the still standing recede like the tide down the staircases back to their cars amidst chants of USA, USA, and honey give “me” the keys all under a bright rising moon and a shooting star.

Paul (~):D

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