Southbound - The Allman Brothers Band - Brothers and Sisters (1973)
Comeback Album Miniseries - Pt. 3
Alright, most everyone has heard about this band. The thing about really popular bands is that people tend to write more about history's more successful acts. Which means I get to scour the internet on lots of old websites which are even more poorly formatted than this blog, searching for stories about music. But thanks to all these poorly formatted websites, we can find lots of stories about the Allman Brothers Band. Some of them are happy, some of them are sad. Most of them are probably factual. Most of them are worth reformatting in a more digestible format. Either way, it's worth sharing. [Photo below of the band at their farm in Juliette, GA. L to R: Betts, Williams, Leavell, Trucks, G. Allman, Jaimoe.]
In the early seventies, the Allman Bros were ready for a comeback, due to some pretty tragic circumstances. In 1971, Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash. About a year later, a second founding member of the band, bassist Berry Oakley, died in a motorcycle crash as well. Remarkably, both motorcycle accidents occurred within a quarter mile of one another. Oakley and Allman are buried next to one another in Macon, GA. [Photo below of walking directions between both motorcycle crash sites. Oakley's crash occurred at the corner of Inverness and Napier. Not at the Foxxie Box.]
After the deaths of both Duane and Berry, the band decided to continue playing. Dickey Betts was effectively leading the band, playing lead guitar, and writing lots of their new songs. It may be fair to say he carried the torch that Duane Allman once held. Duane and Dickey are both regarded as some of the greatest guitar players of all time, and both had a knack for slide guitar. Lamar Williams was awarded the role as the band's new bassist. A large reason that I picked this track off of this album is because it features an amazing bass line from an amazing bassist. The band held a lot of rehearsals and impromptu sessions for the album at a farm that they had bought in part with the money they made from their previous release, Eat A Peach. That's a good business decision. That's some Warren Buffett type shit. If you wanna make great music, buy a farm where you can play whatever, whenever the hell you want. If you want to keep making great music, maybe don't buy a motorcycle. Was that in poor taste? Perhaps. I don't think too many people read this, though. Apologies to the families.
I could have picked Jessica. It's off the same album. But I didn't. I could have written about Chuck Leavell's piano solo, but that's a story for another time. Instead I'll just show you this picture of Dickey Betts and his daughter Jessica, for whom that track is allegedly named. And we'll end this story on a high note and a Getty Images watermark.