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Duane Allman @ 70

6 Nov


This month marks Duane Allman’s 70th birthday. If you are a fan be sure to check out Photo tab on Talking2musicians with lots of b/w photos brought to life with color  There’s also my epic Duane Allman profile piece on the web most popular jazz website, AllAboutJazz.

Duane Allman Solos brought to life by Billionaire Music Lover

8 Jan

Forgive the headline hook, but that’s my own personal fantasy.  Before going to sleep last night, I listened to a recording of the Allman Brothers Band from January 23, 1971.  They were opening for Delaney and Bonnie at the Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY.

If you’re a serious Allman Brothers fan, you recall the laid back crowd reactions on the Fillmore recordings. Without even hearing any music, this crowd reaction will give you an indication of just how smoking hot Duane Allman and the band were that night in 1971.

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My new interview with the Groovemaster Jerry Jemmott

10 Apr

Jerry Jemmott’s groove is the bedrock of guitarist B.B. King’s career defining hit, “The Thrill is Gone.” He was in the studio with Duane Allman and singer Wilson Pickett recording “Hey Jude,” a track that was instrumental in launching the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist’s musical career; and they were together again for flautist Herbie Mann’s Push Push (Atlantic, 1971), Allman’s first and only jazz sessions, and the last full album he recorded prior to his death on October 29, 1971. Jemmott was also there on December 13, 1968, when guitarist Mike Bloomfield called another six-stringer, an unknown Johnny Winter, up onstage at the Fillmore East—a Friday the 13th that turned out to be Winter’s lucky day.

Jemmott was with singer Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul herself, when she conquered San Francisco’s hippie community at the Fillmore West in March of 1971. The album, drawn from this series of concerts (with a surprise appearance by singer Ray Charles), earned her a gold record, and was something she would later refer to as a highlight of her career.

Jerry Jemmott’s blues credits are truly remarkable: in addition to B.B. King, Freddie King, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, there’s his legendary association with Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and King Curtis. In my last column, Jimmy Herring had this to say about him: “He’s a genius, there’s just nobody like him. He’s the sound that defined an entire generation. I love Jerry Jemmott, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Another of his seminal achievements, which will no doubt be watched by generations yet unborn, was his collaboration with Jaco Pastorius on the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1985). Even beyond its instructional value, because it was done so close to Pastorius’ death on September 21, 1987, it provides an invaluable insight into this extraordinary musician and composer. Pastorius had this to say about Jerry Jemmott: “He was my idol. That stuttering kind of bass line, bouncing all around the beat but keeping it right in the groove—well, they don’t call Jerry the Groovemaster for nothing. He’s the best.”

In this extensive interview Jerry Jemmott speaks about all this, as well as his wide ranging session work for Atlantic Records, and his current gig with blues/rock legend Gregg Allman.

Read the interview here.

Watch Allman Brothers @ the Grammy Awards

14 Feb

Duane Allman’s daugher Galadrielle accepting the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement for her father.  Watch the 20+ minute ceremony here.

Left-Handed Blues

22 Apr

When it comes to the blues, that lonesome road takes a sharp left turn.

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25 Essential Albums: 1960 – 1974, a guide for music fans under 30

13 Oct


This photo from August 1969 shows people on the way to Woodstock.  A month earlier they watched people walk on the Moon, Continue reading

Remembering the Musical Magic of 1966 with Video & Background

17 Aug
Magical Musical Moments of 1966

Magical Musical Moments of 1966

The year 1966 was a big one for the Beatles, the Stones, the Sinatra family, the Beach Boy, the Supremes,  Lovin’ Spoonful, and Donovan

Frank Sinatra, Strangers in the Night (no 1966 clip was available, this was about 15 years later.)  The star of the 40’s had the year’s biggest hit, and hit gold again with “That’s Life.”  His daughter Nancy had the 2nd biggest hit with “These Boots are Made for Walkin'”

Beach Boys, Good Vibrations was in 4th place after the Beatles “Yellow Submarine.”

The Beatles, Paperback Writer was 5th for the year.

Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

“The Sounds of Silence is the song that propelled the 1960s folk music duo Simon and Garfunkel to popularity. It was written on February 19, 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Simon conceived of the song as a way of capturing the emotional trauma felt by many Americans. Continue reading

A Duane Allman Experience

24 Mar


Seeing Duane Allman play live was a life altering event for me. Just as we’ve come to accept the notion of a soulmate, I personally believe there is a musical equivalent. Locked in our core, each of us has musical soul waiting to be set free, and if we’re fortunate we’ll encounter the key. In my case it happened while I was still a teenager, when I experienced Duane Allman on stage at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida – September 16, 1970 to be exact. Continue reading

Novelist Darin Strauss on Derek Trucks

23 Feb

In the New York Times on February 20th, 2008 novelist Darin Strauss posted a playlist in which he postulates that Derek Trucks might be the greatest slide guitarist who ever lived. Strauss is the author of Continue reading

Speaking of Eric Clapton

6 Jul

Everybody loves Eric… and one thing led to another



Eric Clapton is the undisputed King of British Blues. In the 60’s he was a musical butterfly of sorts, generally spending a year in a group. In 1964 it was the Yardbirds. In 1965 he joined John Mayhall and the Bluesbreakers. In 1966 he formed the “supergroup” Cream which lasted two years. That was followed in 1968 by another supergroup, Blind Faith.

In 1969 he was again looking for change. Just as the Beatles had dreamed of escaping the circus of their lives by inventing an alter ego – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, Clapton decided to transform his persona by becoming a member of an imaginary group called “Derek and the Dominoes.”

This was also the year when Eric met and recorded with Duane Allman. In this interview, Duane Allman arrived at the radio studio drunk and high, but interestingly when the subject turned to Eric Clapton he became very focused and serious.

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