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Brothers and Sisters has taken up residence in my player. Bill put together a beautiful “Super Deluxe Edition” and Scott wrote a beautiful essay with Kirk and many others including EJ contributing. There is a ton of music.

And so now the band’s sound has changed. Of course it has how could it not? You cannot take the human element away from the creation and not have that creation change in a profound way. No gear or person can substitute step in for another and have it be the same. It’s a physical impossibility. It doesn’t matter if you have the licks down, it doesn’t matter if you have the gear, it doesn’t matter if you have the throat. The human factor, the heart, the hands, the journey, the affinity for the music, the vibe, the understanding, the knowledge, the study, the dedication, the humility, the ego, the upbringing all speak to the particular individual the intent, the focus, the clarity it’s all a part of the mix. Remove something as dynamic as one human individual and it changes. It’s in the blood.

The beauty of the ABB is that they knew this quite clearly as Duane and Berry were their own men. And so they forged ahead without their brothers and created a new version of themselves as a band, a group, but more than that they stayed on the mission to stay as pure to the music as they could. They were still listening to each other both on and off stage.

Time doesn’t stand still it morphs and changes as we do as well. Along the way it informs us as we mold the clay that is ourselves with our decisions, intentions, actions, thoughts, words and deeds. That is who we are and that is what comes out after we plug in. It sounds like you because it is you and you are who you are and what it is, what it becomes depends on those very factors, those points, that DNA that road you traveled and no one else has – hopefully it’s a good one and you are the hero of your own story. The guy on the left sure as hell was.

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.

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

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.

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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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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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