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Allman Brothers Fill Fillmore With Southern Rock

‘At Fillmore East’ cemented the band’s live reputation for delivering incendiary southern rock.

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At Fillmore East

“From its inception, on 12 March 1971, the Allman Brothers Band rapidly established a near-mythical reputation through its incendiary, marathon concerts.” Those are the words of “Allmanologist” John Lynskey, in his liner notes for 2014’s extended edition of one of the great live albums in rock history. At Fillmore East entered the Billboard US album chart on 24 July 1971.

Listen to At Fillmore East right now.

“No other group could touch the Allman Brothers when it came to extended, improvised jamming; they truly were in a league and dimension of their own,” Lynskey continued. “Duane Allman was joined by his brother Gregg on keyboards and vocals, the dual drumming combo of Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, bassist extraordinaire Berry Oakley, and Dickey Betts, Duane’s foil on guitar. Together, these individually talented artists blended into a unit whose sum exceeded the total of its impressive singular parts.”

Recorded over the weekend of 12-13 March 1971, the album was released in the wake of the first two studio sets by the ABB. The Allman Brothers Band and Idlewild South had marked them out as pioneers of a new southern rock sound, and sold moderately well, but it was this live release that really sealed their status.

At Fillmore East promo pic

The 24 July edition of Billboard listed At Fillmore East as a “National Breakout” along with albums by the Byrds and country stars Lynn Anderson and Charley Pride. It went into the chart that issue at No. 82, on its way to a No. 13 peak, as the magazine’s review proclaimed: “They’ll put out hard blues Macon, Georgia-style blues far into the night on this four-sided showdown that features the blues of Will McTell, Elmore James, T-Bone Walker plus second lead guitar Dicky [sic] Betts and the band.”

The four shows were recorded by revered Atlantic Records engineer/producer Tom Dowd, who’d produced Idlewild South. Dowd also oversaw the sessions for the Derek & the Dominos project that led to the thrilling guitar interaction between Duane Allman and Eric Clapton.

Allmans drummer Butch Trucks remembers: “That weekend in March of ‘71 when we recorded At Fillmore East, most of the time it clicked. We were finally starting to catch up with what we were listening to. We had lived together…we got in trouble together; we all just moved as a unit. And then, when we got onstage to play, that’s what it was all about — and it just happened to all come together that weekend.”

At Fillmore East can be bought here.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. henry

    July 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    They’re one of the best band.

  2. Michel Godbout

    July 24, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Great site, love it…
    Thank you. Peace

  3. Martin Ginger

    July 25, 2015 at 7:27 am

    I saw Duane in San Diego right before the la concert where they were playing second to three dog knight
    Duane’s my greatest guitar player my hero for sure

  4. R.E. Kipp

    July 25, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    One of the Greatest Bands of all time. And I have the 2 disc set that was made from that concert.

  5. Gene

    March 13, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Although they didn’t like the results, i’d love to hear the Thursday night show with the horn section. Anybody have that?

    • wudstock54

      March 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      It leaves a lot to be desired. Much better without the horns. That show is on the new Box set.

  6. Neil Elsohn

    April 11, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I was there for all 4 shows. Utterly amazing. I was a fan for life since I saw them open for the Dead on Feb. 11, 1969. Probably saw the brothers well over 100 times. The best band ever

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