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Stand Back – when listening to Eat a Peach and believe me it was almost impossible to get to as I had to pry The Fillmore Concerts out of my player – its beguiling to think, project where and what the band was going to do next had brother Duane decided to stick around for some more studio albums. His contribution to Les Bres alone would have taken that tune to another level and I say that absolutely loving that butt shaking tune that Berry just rumbles through.

Okay so maybe I’m stating the obvious but we really only get Blue Sky, Stand Back and Little Martha as studio cuts from Eat a Peach. It’s an immense rip off by the music gods. I know, I know they are a live band and Duane is more than well represented on the Eat a Peach Album I’m listening to the Deluxe Edition with the June 1971 closing of the Fillmore represented on the second disc. It’s a wonderful compilation with excellent liner notes, packaging and throwback labeling on the discs. But contrast Stand Back, Blue Sky and Little Martha for a moment and hold them in your mind. Each tune is in its own right a different genre. While Stand Back is the fuel injected brothers swaggering through their composition Blue Sky is its melodic counter point. Much like their playing these two songs back to back represent the branches of the tree that was the Allman Brothers. They are two tonal opposites yet together much like Dickey and Duane trading riffs. Of course Gregg is writing here and Dickey is writing there but what brings them together the playing of Duane is a very necessary bridge. Not to draw too fine a point on it but Duane was the glue that kept Dickey and Gregg together and without Duane they blew apart and it’s no one’s fault and their personal vision which they were more than entitled too and deserved were different but Duane was the Fulcrum through which their immense talents traveled.

Considering the emergence of the sound that Dickey was bringing forward (Blue Sky) and the swagger of the ABB (Stand Back) and then Little Martha is it really that far out to imagine an all-acoustic album considering Dickey’s Highway Call effort (which I freaking love) and Duane’s solo work with Sam Samudio as featured on the track Goin’ Upstairs? Would it have been so far out of the question that the Allman Brothers with Duane would have done a record sounding like Taj Mahal melded with their swagger? Considering all their influences that were revealed the above mentioned Highway Call and Gregg’s Low Country Blues would such a collective effort over time eclipsed or outfitted the Dawg Music genre with the power of the blues as opposed to just Django? It’s fascinating to imagine what that would have sounded like.

Much has been written and spoken about Duane and the Trane – John Coltrane and Miles – righteous brothers indeed and Tom Dowd’s jazz cat ways but what about the root of the tree of music as embodied by Little Martha? How much more of that would we have seen and heard (Pony Boy)? What would have Duane’s input done to Jessica and Southbound (songs I am passionate about)?

So here we are with Eat a Peach and we just have three studio cuts that are dynamic and all together different and just the greenest of shoots of the myriad of directions this band would have taken, could have taken, fanning off like a giant river oak.

The tree of music that remained and rebirthed time and time again was fortuitous and mighty in its own right and we are all the better for its perseverance, fortitude, drive and power but for a moment play the what if game and use Stand Back, Blue Sky and Little Martha as your jumping off points.

I’m a big fan of the ABB studio work as well, Gregg’s and Dickey’s solo efforts but imagine if it had all stayed together – just three studio cuts from Eat a Peach point the way.

The Allman Brothers occupy a full shelf in my library tons of CD’s Studio, Hits compilation, Mycology is a good one, Box sets, Decade of Hits is also good and live releases including last years show in Raleigh.  There are several albums which had great songs on them but did not make it onto official collections so I am closing the loop so to speak.  There are also a string of albums I would rather forget during the Arista years when Clive Davis tried to milk some more money out of them and turn them into the Dobbie Brothers.  Clearly needing a break creatively the bands sound got homogenized with horns, fiddles and back up signers and lots of synth for the mass market and lost its bearing.  The well was a bit dry but the albums that came before and later Win Lose or Draw, Enlightened Rogues and Seven Turns have some outstanding tracks.

Mycology grabs the strongest tracks off Seven Turns but as an album that came next Shades of Two Worlds is a monster tour de force overlooked powerhouse that sits nicely next to Filmore East.  If you are an Allman Brothers Fan you need to own this entire disc!

The Outlaws are another story they split up before they could get rolling.  Their first two albums Outlaws, and Lady in Waiting have a great variety of strong tracks, vocals, harmonies and fierce playing.  Their third album Hurry Sundown seems to predict their demise or unconscious desire to get away from each other.  Whether they were too busy counting their money or in a power struggle with Henry Paul I do not know.  Even though they derailed themselves those first two albums were a lot of fun when they came out and still stand up very well.  Henry Paul released a nice solo album around this time that is also worth owning.  There is an outstanding Best of the Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides collection that captures most everything and is a must have but for me it left a few sweet cuts off from the first three albums.  Hughie Thomasson, and Billy Jones sounded great together and the original 1970’s line up is worth hearing.

What I did with this Best of the Rest collection was mix in one Outlaw number in between two Allman Brother numbers.  I kicked the whole thing off with Keep Prayin’ Everythings Gonna Be Alright by the Outlaws.  This disc is a proud, strong, spirited addition to my collection and closes with Dickie Betts saying, “lets do this one for the two brothers”.  Here’s the track list.  If you go for it you will find some unearthed nuggets that will put a big old smile on your face.  It all fits on an 80 minute disc and mixes real well.  Without further adieu here’s the Allman Brothers and the Outlaws – The Best of the Rest!

Keep Prayin – (Outlaws)
Pegasus – (Enlightened Rogues)
Need Your Love So Bad – (Enlightened Rogues)
Just For You – (Lady In Waiting)
Nevertheless – (Win Lose or Draw)
Can’t Lose What You Never Had – (Win Lose or Draw)
Hearin’ My Heart Talkin – (Hurry Sundown)
Win, Lose or Draw – (Win Lose or Draw)
Gamblers Roll – (Seven Turns)
Song in the Breeze – (Outlaws)
High Falls – (Win Lose or Draw)
True Gravity – (Seven Turns)
Aint So Bad – (Lady in Waiting)
Sail Away – (Enlightened Rogues)

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Journey Home Reviews

I can't wait to read your book!!!! -- Sophie
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I must tell you how truthful and inspiring it was -- Debbie H
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
Paul, I got Journey Home sent to my house and eagerly devoured it on a trip to New York and back via a long delay courtesy Delta Airlines. You proved to be a great companion... YOU ROCK -- Ken
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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