Allman Brothers Band

Friday

Allman Brothers Band

Zilker Park, Sept. 23

There's been any number of variations of the Allman Brothers Band since original brother Duane Allman's death in 1971. As evidenced by this all too brief festival set, few of those lineups have retained the spirit of the original group as accurately as the current incarnation. Original drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, augmented by percussionist Marc Quinones, provide thunderous grooves, and Gregg Allman's voice retains its gravelly, perfect-for-the-blues timbre. Consistent with the group's original blueprint, however, it's the guitars of Warren Haynes and Butch's nephew Derek Trucks, like the tandem of Duane and Dickey Betts many years ago, that now define the Allmans. What's remarkable is how dissimilar their styles are – Haynes is gutbucket, while Trucks is innovative and distinctive – yet how flawlessly they augment each other. Over the course of an hour, ABB gave a crash course in why they remain the quintessential Southern Rock band, mixing the blues with country-ish rock and jazzy extended jams. Even if the set was heavy on tunes from decades past ("Midnight Rider," "One Way Out," "Jessica"), with only one tune coming from their last disc, Hittin' the Note, there was little room for nostalgia. The Allmans are the only band that can play "Whipping Post" without irony. As a closer, it provided the perfect setting for Haynes to duel Trucks. It contrasted their individuality, yet also demonstrated how fervent the band's spirit remains.

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