2007 was a year of renewal and rejuvenation that saw the Allman Brothers Band playing at a legendary level, and the proof is on CD! During the summer 2007 tour the band performed over 60 different songs from their extensive catalog, including interesting covers like “Lost Lover Blues,” “And It Stoned Me,” “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Come On In My Kitchen,” “Smokestack Lightning,”“Manic Depression,” “Lovelight,” and “Dazed and Confused.” They also brought back rarely-played originals like “Who to Believe,” “Gambler’s Roll,” “End of the Line,” and “Firing Line.” Gregg and Warren’s vocals were outstanding throughout the tour and the band’s playing was full of power and passion.
There were plenty of special guest appearances this summer, which added immensely to the musical magic. Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars sparked some outstanding jams at Saratoga Springs. JJ Grey of Mofro added vocals and a mean harmonica to "Smokestack Lightening" in Raleigh. Susan Tedeschi sat in at a number of shows, playing a blistering version of “Lost Lover Blues” (which makes it’s first appearance on a soundboard recording) as well as staples such as “The Weight,” “Don’t Think Twice,” and “Anyday.” Bob Weir and the other members of Ratdog sat in with the ABB several times, culminating in a jammed-out version of “All Along the Watchtower” on 8/22 at Holmdel with both bands on stage! Don’t forget pedal steel maestro Robert Randolph, who guested with the ABB several times, including a scorching “Turn On Your Lovelight” encore at the 8/24 Clarkston show.
Best of all, this year saw the band inserting new jams into “Black Hearted Woman” and “No One To Run With,” playing a bluesy intro jam to songs like “Trouble No More,” “Done Somebody Wrong” and “Hoochie Coochie Man,” and generally proving once again that they are the best improvisational rock band in the world. Their classic jam songs like “Jessica,” “Mountain Jam” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” have never sounded better, with soaring solos from Warren and Derek matched in their intensity only by the best rhythm section in rock today. Perhaps Derek summed it up best when he said “this band is playing as a band, better than any other year since I joined in 1999!”
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