Allman Brothers – Trouble No More

Gregg Allman sounded like an old man in his early twenties and when he WAS an older man. He could sing like he lived every bit of the blues he was singing about. This was the first song the Allman Brothers ever played in front of an audience.

It’s hard to believe that their first two albums didn’t go anywhere in the charts. The first two were made up of many of their classic songs. Their first album The Allman Brothers Band contained Whipping Post, Trouble No More, It’s Not My Cross To Bear, and one of their signature songs Dreams.

Their second album Idlewild South contained In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Midnight Rider, and Hoochie Koochie Man. It took their third album At Fillmore East to kickstart their career to the top. Many of those songs on the first two albums would be classic now thanks to the live treatment they were given on the double live album.

After Duane was killed on a motorcycle on October 29, 1971 the band finished up the album that was started a few months before. Eat A Peach was released in 1972 with studio cuts and some live cuts that were left over from the At Fillmore East album including Trouble No More. The album was a massive hit and a perfect followup to At Fillmore East. The album had radio-friendly songs plus great live versions of songs they had been playing in their set.

This was a popular Muddy Waters song. It’s based on a 1935 song called “Someday Baby Blues” by a country-blues singer named Sleepy John Estes. Waters transformed the song with his Chicago blues style, adding a much more prominent guitar. On the Muddy recording….Little Walter played the harmonica and Jimmy Rogers played the guitar.

The Allman Brothers did their own interpretation of blues songs and usually with an extra charge. The first time they played the song was on May 11, 1969, when they played at Piedmont Park in Atlanta at a free festival sponsored by an underground newspaper… the paper gave them a glowing review and put them on the map outside of Macon.

On October 28, 2014, the band played their final show, the farewell concert at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Their final song was Trouble No More.

Trouble No More

Don’t care how long you gone
I don’t care how long you staying
But, good kind treatment
Gonna bring you home someday
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

You just keep on betting
That the dice won’t pass
Well you know, darling
You are living too fast
But someday, baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

I’m gonna tell everybody
In your neighborhood
That you’s a sweet little girl
But, you don’t mean me no good
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

Well, I know you’re leavin
Well, you call that gone
Well, without love
You can’t stay long
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

Well, goodbye baby
Come on, shake my hand
I don’t want no woman
You can have a man
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

Skydog – The Duane Allman Story: by Randy Poe

After re-reading Gregg Allman’s biography My Cross To Bear  I noticed this book about his brother Duane… the founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. It’s a good read and an informative book. Its forward is written by one of his friends…ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons.

The Allman Brothers Band formed in 1969 and they lost their leader Duane Allman in 1971. They continued on to be one of the most successful American bands ever. They finally called it quits in 2014.

I saw this book about Duane and I was excited to read it. Going in… I had read Gregg’s bio, Duane’s daughter’s (Galadrielle Allman) book Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman, and One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band so I was well rounded on the Allman Brothers. Duane lived a short life but Poe seemed to find many of the musicians he played within the 60s and 70s.

Duane believed in brotherhood…not just with his brother but the band and the entire cast around them. Phil Walden was the president of Capricorn Records, The Allman Brothers record label. He would call for a meeting with the band…he really only wanted to see Duane. Duane not only brought everyone in the band but he brought the roadies also. He told Walden flatly.. .you will not talk with just me but with all of us. Walden would reply …but Duane why are the roadies in here? Duane said they were just as important as the band…without them, we can’t play. The roadies would stay. Duane’s lack of ego in his vision for the Allman Brothers Band made them who they were even after he was gone.

He created a family atmosphere with the Allman Brothers organization. Their 3rd album At Fillmore East was their breakthrough…the album cover shows the band against a brick wall. On the other side of the album shows the roadies in front of the wall also…and a picture of one roadie Twiggs Lyndon who couldn’t be there that day. Another band that shared that same philosophy was the Grateful Dead where the roadies were family. Modern businesses would be wise to take this philosophy and use it.

Duane worked with many musicians and touched their lives. Many that drifted in and out of his bands were not forgotten. The original keyboard player for the Allman Brothers was Reese Wynans until Greg joined. Duane broke it to Reese that the band didn’t need two keyboard players.

In a short time, Duane met Boz Scaggs and recommended Reese to play with him and he did. That started his successful career and he would play with many musicians in his career and was the keyboard player in Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band Double Trouble.

This book doesn’t stop at Duane’s death. It follows the band all the way up to their end in 2014. In the end, he gives a good discography of Duane’s studio recordings. It’s really incredible how many sessions the man was on and he didn’t even reach the age of 25.

The book goes over why he turned Eric Clapton down on joining Derek and the Dominos. This was before the Allman Brothers had made it. He remained loyal to his band because it took him so long to find the right mix of musicians to get the sound he wanted. They didn’t have a hit until the Live At Fillmore East album was released in July of 1971. It would go gold 5 days before Duane was killed. 

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about Duane and The Allman Brothers. It is full of great information. After you read it you will want to look up all of the recordings he was on. His playing was edgy, tasteful, and like great jazz…takes you on a journey.

At the end of the book, you have to wonder how far he would have gone if he would have lived.

One passage from the book: “In September 2003 ‘Rolling Stone’ published its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, placing Duane at #2 just behind Jimi Hendrix. Gregg Allman commented that he thought it was a very wonderful gesture and said “…I thought ‘You made your mark man. You didn’t make any money, but you made your mark.”‘ Rounding out the top five were B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson—pretty impressive company for a kid from the South who didn’t even live to see his 25th birthday.”.

If you want to read about the Allman Brothers I would recommend these books also.

My Cross To Bear by Alan Light and Gregg Allman

One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band by Alan Paul

For a more personal view and her journey to know her dad…

Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman

Allman Brothers – Southbound

Just the opening licks to this song hook me for the rest of the way. Southbound was on the number 1 album Brothers and Sisters in 1973.

The Sound of Vinyl

The making of this album was anything but easy. On October 29, 1971, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle wreck. He was the undisputed leader of the band and the source of their music. After he died it hit the members hard including his brother Gregg Allman. They all agreed to continue on though. They had just released Live At Fillmore East (selected for preservation in the Library of Congress)…along with Live At Leeds considered the top live rock album of all time.

It was just climbing up the charts and money started for once to roll in for the band. They were working on the follow-up album Eat A Peach when Duane was killed. They regrouped and finished the album. It was a hybrid of studio/live recordings. Dickey Betts the other guitar player took a crash course on slide guitar.

The one member that could not get over Duane’s death was bass player Berry Oakley. He was not just another bass player. His playing reminds me of Paul McCartney in a way because it was so melodic. After Duane died he pretty much gave up and was drinking constantly. The other band members tried to babysit him on tour but nothing worked. Gregg Allman said: Berry didn’t want to die but he didn’t want to live either. 

Remembering Allman Brothers Bassist Berry Oakley On The Anniversary Of His  Untimely Death [Videos]

Duane Allman and Berry Oakley

On November 11, 1972, three blocks from where Duane was killed, Berry ran straight into a City Bus with his motorcycle. Some say it was on purpose because there were no skid marks at the scene. Someone took him home after he refused to go to the hospital. Three hours later he was rushed to the hospital, delirious and in pain, and died of cerebral swelling caused by a fractured skull. The Doctors said even if he would have gone straight to the hospital after the accident…he couldn’t have been saved.

The Allmans again decided to carry on. They didn’t replace Duane at first with another guitar player…they replaced him with a piano player named Chuck Leavell who would later play with the Rolling Stones among others. Oakley was replaced by  Lamar Williams, an old friend of drummer Jaimoe. Lamar would die early also in 1983 of lung cancer. His doctors believed that the disease was derived from exposure to Agent Orange during his Vietnam service. The album sessions started in the Autumn of 1972 and Oakley’s bass can be heard on two songs… “Wasted Words” and their huge hit “Ramblin’ Man.”

Lamar Williams (Allman Brothers) | Know Your Bass Player

Lamar Williams

Lamar Williams plays bass on Southbound… Southbound was written by Dickey Betts with Gregg on lead vocals.

Southbound

Well I’m Southbound, Lord I’m comin’ home to you
Well I’m Southbound, baby, Lord I’m comin’ home to you
I got that old lonesome feelin’ that’s sometimes called the blues
Well I been workin’ every night, travelin’ every day
Oh, I been workin’ every night, traveling every day
Oh you can tell your other man, sweet daddy’s on the way
Aww, ya better believe
Well I’m Southbound
Whoa I’m Southbound
Oh you better tell your other man, sweet daddy’s on his way
Got your hands full now baby, as soon as I hit that door
You’ll have your hands full now woman, just as soon as I hit that door
Well I’m gonna make it on up to you for all the things you should have had before
Lord, I’m Southbound
Oh I’m Southbound, baby
Whoa I’m Southbound, yeah baby
Well I’m gonna make it on up to you for all the things you should have had before

Allman Brothers – Revival

The Allman Brothers have such a unique style that you can recognize their music right off with the dual lead of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts. This band broke through by touring constantly and playing free shows in parks from Georgia to New York. They played a mixture of rock, blues, country, and jazz and were one of the best.

This was the first Allman Brothers song to chart, this peaked at #92 in the Billboard 100. This was the first original song the band recorded that was not written by Gregg Allman. Guitarist Dickey Betts wrote it.

It was the lead single from their second studio album, Idlewild South released in 1970. Named for a remote farmhouse/cabin the band rented for rehearsals, and where much of it was written and conceived, Idlewild South includes two of the band’s best-loved songs, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed and Midnight Rider.

This was the first Allman Brothers album produced by the legendary producer and engineer, Tom Dowd. During its recording, the band was constantly touring and their sound was road-tested, so much so that instead of doing it as a conventional multi-track recording, the band and Dowd opted to record most of the album live in the studio with minimum if any overdubs.  The band was just that good.

In 1970 they moved into what they called The Big House in Macon Georgia. They didn’t have a lot of money, but their wives and girlfriends found this house to rent. Older big houses like this weren’t too expensive back in 1970 to rent.

It’s now the Allman Brothers museum…it’s on my list to visit.

Visit Us - The Big House Museum

Revival

People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you hear it?
The song is in the air
We’re in a revolution
Don’t you know we’re right
Everyone is singing, yeah
There’ll be no one to fight
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere
People can you feel it?
Love is everywhere

Love Valley Rock Festival…1970

What a festival this was and what a town it still is. It happened in Love Valley North Carolina. The headliners were The Allman Brothers who at that time only had one album out and were largely unknown to the masses. This huge festival was soon known as Woodstock South.  Between 100,000-200,000 showed up.

A man named Andy Barker always wanted to live in a western town. When he was 29 years old he bought some land in 1954 and moved his family there. The land was in Iredell County and he he built the town and it was chartered in 1963. It has a saloon, hitching posts, a small church and more. No cars are allowed in town…you can walk or ride a horse through.

It’s the place for riding horses, rodeos, and hiking trails with 2000 acres to cover. The population of Love Valley is right now at 96. Through the years it seems to stay around 100.

Love Valley: The Town Where Cars Aren't Allowed, Only HorsesLove Valley, NC - Town With No Cars, Only Horses

In 1969 Andy’s daughter Tonda wanted to go to Woodstock but he thought she was too young. So he asked her and her 16 year old brother Jet Barker to organize a festive concert in Love Valley. While in college she had worked with an entertainment coordinator at college and knew the ropes. She managed to secure the Allman Brothers Band who at the time were known in the south but that is about it. They also got some more local bands to fill it out…it was a large bill. It took place Thursday July 16-18, 1970.

One interesting thing that happened was that the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws showed up to do battle with each other. According to witnesses Andy Barker stopped them and confiscated a chain and ax from each and told them there would be no trouble here. They seemed to respect this man because after that the gangs dispersed and some camped out with no reported trouble. The festival went off without any major hitch.

Tonda: “It was perfect, it was like a dream. We had worked so hard and we could finally just sit down and enjoy it.”

Andy planned to make a documentary of it but it didn’t happen. All we have to look at is some grainy footage but that grainy footage shows Duane Allman a year before At Fillmore East was released. They were finishing up their second album Idlewild South at this time. Some very nice bootlegs are out there from their multiple sets.

Along with the Allman Brothers, the line up consisted of these bands: Big Brother and the Holding Company (without Janis), Radar, Peace Core, Wet Willie, Johnny Jenkins, Tony Joe White, Hampton Grease Band, Donnydale, Catfish Freedom, Sundown, Chakra, Hot Rain, Kallabash, Warm Stone Blind, Captain John’s Fishmarket. There were over 40 bands over that weekend.

Some like Wet Willie would go on to have a few hits. Tony Joe White had a top ten hit with Polk Salad Annie the year before.

Ed Buzzell was a UPI stringer and took these photographs...they are amazing. They don’t show many bands…just the people…you feel like you are there.

Allman Brothers – In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed

This song and Jessica are their two most well known instrumentals.

The Allman Brothers…much like the Grateful Dead could deliver live. They constantly toured early in their careers and played free concerts in parks all over to grow their audience. They released one of the best live albums of all time with At Fillmore East.

This song was originally on their second album Idlewild South in 1970 and later on their live album At Fillmore East.

Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this song for a girl, but not the one in the title. Elizabeth Reed Napier (b. November 9, 1845) is buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, where Betts would often write.

In memory of Elizabeth Reed : allmanbrothers

He used the name from her headstone as the title because he did not want to reveal who the song was really about: a girl he had an affair with who was Boz Scaggs’ girlfriend.

Duane Allman and Berry Oakley are buried in the same cemetery as Elizabeth Reed Napier.

From Songfacts

This was the first original instrumental song by The Allman Brothers.

Betts wrote this is based on Miles Davis’ “All Blues.” While Davis had been incorporating elements of rock into his jazz, Betts used pieces of jazz for this rock instrumental. Jazz rhythms make excellent use of the two-drummer format the Allmans use.

This is one of their live favorites. It usually evolves into a lengthy jam.

At concerts, this was a showcase for Allman’s drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, who performed a drum solo at the end.

The live version on At Fillmore East takes up almost a whole side. Because of the extended jams, it became a double album, but the band insisted it be priced close to a single album.

The earliest known recordings of this song are from the band’s Fillmore East performances on February 11, 13 and 14, 1970. The Allman Brothers were on a bill with the Grateful Dead and Love; the Dead’s soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley kept tape rolling and got the recordings, which were compiled into his “Sonic Journal” project and released in 2018 as Allman Brothers Band Fillmore East February 1970.

In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed

Allman Brothers – Eat A Peach…Desert Island Albums

This is my sixth-round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.

https://slicethelife.com/2020/09/02/2020-album-draft-round-6-pick-9-the-allman-brothers-eat-a-peach/

I was going to pick the At Fillmore East live album but I also wanted some studio tracks…you get both with this one. This is the last album that Duane Allman worked on before a motorcycle crash took his life. He died a few weeks into making the album. The album also included live tracks that were not used on At Fillmore East like One Way Out, Trouble No More, and a 33 minute “Mountain Jam” that was built off a riff from a Donovan song “There is a Mountain.”

They had some sort of chemistry live that was incredible. I’m usually not a fan of long endless live songs but they keep intensity up…plus with this album you get the best of both worlds.

25 years ago I would not have picked this album…I’ve learned more about them in the past few years and have become a huge fan of the classic lineup. When I listen to the Allman Brothers I listen to the music as a whole more than just the songs. They clicked so well as a band that they blended perfectly when at their best.

Their best albums to me are At Fillmore East, Eat A Peach, and Brothers and Sisters. They have been labeled and credited as starting “Southern Rock” but they were totally different than most of their peers. The Allmans were more blues/jazz oriented who happened to be from the south.

The two guitar players were Duane Allman and Dickey Betts…two of the best around at the time. They also had two drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson (Jaimoe) (who played with Otis Redding). Their bass player was from Chicago…Berry Oakley (who would die in a motorcycle crash a little over a year after Duane) who was amazing. Gregg Allman would write and  sing lead on many of the songs and as he said…pushed the gravy on the meat…he added texture with his Hammond Organ.

They started to work on this album in September of 1971 and laid down the basic tracks to for “Blue Sky,” “Stand Back” and “Little Martha.” Duane Allman died on October 29, 1971. So those tracks have Duane playing on them and of course all of the live material features him on guitar. After he died the band went back to the studio and recorded the rest and it was finished in December.

The album was released on February 12, 1972 and it peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #12 in Canada. The original name was going to be “Eat A Peach for Peace.”

The opening song is my favorite one on the album. Ain’t Wasting Time No More…it was Gregg Allman’s song working through the grief of his brother’s death and about soldiers coming home from Vietnam. Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain,the week before, they all seemed the same

Blue Sky is a Dickey Betts song that I never get tired of. The soaring guitars and the few verses that it has are happy and upbeat. Betts initially wanted the band’s lead vocalist, Gregg Allman, to sing the song, but guitarist Duane Allman encouraged him to sing it himself… “Man, this is your song and it sounds like you and you need to sing it.” Dickey Betts wrote this about his Native Canadian girlfriend, Sandy “Bluesky” Wabegijig.

Melissa is probably the most remembered song off of this album. It’s a great song that Greg had written years before…he couldn’t think of the right woman’s name until he heard a lady in a grocery store yell for her daughter… Melissa.

One Way Out is some of the live feel  that I wanted with Fillmore East and I get it on this album along with the above studio cuts. One of their best known songs.

I thought the island needed a southern touch so the Allmans will do just fine. I’ll just sit back with soul food, listen to Allmans, and watch the tide.

  1. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
  2. Les Brers In A Minor
  3. Melissa
  4. Mountain Jam
  5. One Way Out
  6. Trouble No More
  7. Stand Back
  8. Blue Sky
  9. Little Martha
  10. Mountain Jam Cont’d.

Allman Brothers – Blue Sky

Blue Sky was on the classic album Eat A Peach that was released a few months after The Allman’s great guitarist Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident. This song was written by Dickey Betts and he wanted the lead singer Gregg Allman to sing it. Duane stepped in and told Dickey that he should sing it because it was his song.

Dickie wrote it about his Native American wife Sandy. This is the first song Dickey sang lead on and on the next album he would sing the bands greatest hit “Ramblin Man”. This song did not chart and it was released in 1972.

It’s a classic guitar driven song that flows to the end. It’s very seventies sounding with great licks. Duane Allman and Dickey Betts are playing on this.

 

Rambin Man

Walk along the river, sweet lullaby
They just keep on flowin’, they don’t worry ’bout where it’s goin’, no, no
Don’t fly, mister blue bird, I’m just walkin’ down the road
Early morning sunshine, tell me all I need to know

You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day
Lord, you know it makes me high
When you turn your love my way
Turn your love my way, yeah

Good old Sunday mornin’, bells are ringin’ everywhere
Goin’ to Carolina, it won’t be long and I’ll be there

You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day
Lord, you know it makes me high
When you turn your love my way
Turn your love my way, yeah, yeah

 

My Cross To Bear

I was never a huge Allman Brothers Band fan. I always respected them and I liked their radio songs and heard enough of Duane Allman to know he was a great slide guitar player. I also knew Gregg could make any song his song because of his vocals. I never really wanted to know more about them.

A friend of mine recommended Gregg Allman’s autobiography My Cross To Bear. I have a 72-mile round trip car ride to work every day so I downloaded the audio version. I took a  chance on this one a couple of years ago and I really enjoyed it.  I also downloaded the E-book after I finished it.

The Allman Brothers have always been known as the Godfathers of Southern Rock. I never considered them Southern Rock…like Gregg himself said… they were a blues band with some jazz thrown in and they were from the south.

The audiobook is narrated by Will Patton who does a great job of channeling Gregg.

It is like having Gregg over on your back porch telling you these great stories. He is very down to earth and does not try to make his mistakes sound like someone else’s fault. If you want to know about Duane Allman get this book. He is honest about his brother…warts and all. He doesn’t try to whitewash himself either.

He starts at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction where he was sick, miserable, and bloated because of his drinking problem…from there he starts going back through his personal history and the many ups and downs of the Allman Brothers. He covers the bands that Duane and he formed…The Escorts, The Allman Joys (which I would have kept that name) and Hourglass.

Hourglass made a couple of albums of original material and covers but the record company made them “pop” everything up. They would not let them play with an edge. The Escorts and Allman Joys were cover bands… very good cover bands.

After reading the book I have started to listen to the Allman Brothers more. He gives you some funny stories and you see how close that band was in the early days before Duane and Berry Oakley died. He mentions his struggles with Dickey Betts, alcohol, drugs and wives. You also read about a “foot shooting” party…

He also talks about being on stage noticing Eric Clapton among the audience. That led to the Layla sessions. Eric was a big fan of Duane’s slide playing.

You learn some history about a cover band’s travels, trials, and tribulations in the mid-1960s…youtube has a few crude recordings of the Allman Joys live in the mid-60s. Below is The Allman Joys version of Help. I would have never thought it was Gregg Allman singing.

If you are a music fan you will probably enjoy this book.

 

Help by the Allman Joys in 1966