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The Allman Brothers Band: “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”

Most people who grew up with rock and roll know the story of the Allman Brothers. The clip above is from The Fillmore East in 1970 with the lineup that made the band famous.

Here is a long excerpt from the group’s bio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame entry:

As the principal architects of Southern rock, the Allman Brothers Band forged this new musical offshoot from elements of blues, jazz, soul, R&B and rock and roll. Along with the Grateful Dead and Cream, they help advance rock as a medium for improvisation. Their kind of jamming required a level of technical virtuosity and musical literacy that was relatively new to rock & roll, which had theretofore largely been a song-oriented medium. The original guitarists in the Allman Brothers Band – Duane Allman and Dickey Betts – broke that barrier with soaring, extended solos. Combined with organist Gregg Allman’s gruff, soulful vocals and Hammond B3 organ, plus the forceful, syncopated drive of a rhythm section that included two drummers, the Allman Brothers Band were a blues-rocking powerhouse from their beginnings in 1969.

Someone else who gets it just about right — at least for some people — is the top commenter (as of today) at YouTube posting of In Memory of Elizabeth Reed:

I’ve heard a lot of the greats. I’m what you’d you consider old school. There are so many great guitarists but you have to ask you self what really moves you, that’s what it’s all about. And nobody has ever moved me like Duane. Just simply the best. The timing, bending of notes, tone, feeling, just extraordinary. And just 25 when he left us. Hendrix is superb as a lot of others, but Duane for me is the best I’ve ever heard.

Here is the band’s site and a live version of Blue Sky from 1991:

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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