I grew up with the Allman Brothers Band. I didn't know dick about rock and roll until I was a young adult, but I loved the sound of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts urging each other on on their guitars; I loved the non-stop double set of drummers; I loved Gregg Allman's raw-throated vocals. I didn't know their names at the time I fell in love with their music, but I went out and found their albums, and then I learned their names.
I find it weird that just a few nights ago I got the unstoppable urge to listen to "Layla," in which Duane and Eric Clapton and the rest of the band tear the world apart for love. And tonight, I'm mourning the little brother who idolized big brother Duane.
Here are possibly my two favorite Allman Brothers' Band songs. Midnight Rider, because of the controlled desperation of the lyrics, which Gregg's voice carried; Whipping Post because it made me feel every lash of the whip, and filled my head with its thunderous bass line and Gregg's howl. (The live version at the Fillmore is amazing - go watch it here - but I include the album version here because that's the one that hit me in the gut first.)
RIP, Gregg Allman; you finally made it to angel.
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