CD Review:Allman Brothers Band


The Allman Brothers Band
Eat a Peach: Deluxe Edition
Polydor/UME
By David Chiu

In the context of guitarist Duane Allman’s untimely and devastating death, Eat a Peach (1972) holds a special place in the Allman Brothers musical canon. Even though it was assembled not in a sort of conventional fashion—studio numbers recorded before and after Duane Allman’s death and live tracks from the 1971 Fillmore East concerts—Eat a Peach is a work of tremendous passion, anguish, and stately beauty. Almost every track on the record has gone on to become an Allman standard live and on radio from the gritty blues workouts of “One Way Out” and “Trouble No More” through majestic numbers “Melissa” and “Blue Sky.” “Mountain Jam,” based on Donovan’s “First There is a Mountain,” is 30-minutes of jam heaven that not only mines southern rock and blues but also jazz-like improvisation. Perhaps the most touching song is the gut-wrenching finale, “Little Martha,” which finds Duane Allman and Dickey Betts playing on the acoustic guitar—a poignant statement from the original Allman Brothers lineup. The second disc on this deluxe edition is entirely almost live performances from the final Fillmore East concert including the usual staples “Whipping Post,” “Midnight Rider,” and “In Memory of “Elizabeth Reed.”

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