In the weeks leading up to the Beacon shows The ABB made it clear that they would be bringing in more musical guests for these shows than ever before. They usually jam with everyone who's anyone in music; but these shows would be extra heavy on the special appearances in honor of Duanne Allman, and they'd like those guests to include as many performers who had played with Papa Duanne as possible. This immediately brought up rumors of lots of musicians most notably the banished Dickey Betts and Duanne's Derek and the Dominoes mate Eric Clapton. Clapton having the double connection to The Allman Brothers Band since he also had Derek Trucks join his band on a tour a few years ago. Clapton's appearance is pretty much set for two days, probably March 27th and 28th, and rumors continue to fly that Betts will play with his old band on March 23rd. The band continues to deny Dickey Betts being on the list of guests but the Allman's fans seem to be willing his appearance to happen. Only time will tell.
So far the guests have included Levon Helm of The Band, Larry Campbell and wife Theresa Williams of Helm's band and Phil Lesh and Friends, Bluesmen Johnny Winter, Taj Mahal and Buddy Guy, Phish members Trey Anastasio and Paige McConell, Boz Scaggs, Randy Brecker, Robert Randolph, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Bruce Willis on Harmonica, and members of Los Lobos. Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead are rumored to be sitting in later in the run as well as other assorted rumors.
The show I caught on March 14th was really hot! A trio of Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and Oteil Burbridge opened up with Duanne Allman's Little Martha to a backdrop of Duanne Allman images behind them. Sweet touch! Greg Allman and the rest of the band came out to join them on rousing renditions of Ain't Waistin' Time No More, Walk On Guilded Splinters, Rocking Horse, Gambler's Roll, Revival, and Woman Across The River. Then they were joined onstage for the set-closing Dreams by Jazz Session Man Randy Brecker on Trumpet and Return To Forever Drummer Lenny White. This was a great version of the Allman Brothers Classic with great jams by Brecker, Haynes, and Derek Trucks interspersed with Greg belting raspy vocals. Great stuff! The second set opened with the typical Melissa duo of Warren on Slide and Greg on Acoustic Guitar. Then they were joined by the next special guest - Robert Randolph - on Steele Pedal Guitar on Turn On Your Lovelight and One Way Out for a collaboration of world class slide guitar players in Randolph and Trucks that really rocked the Beacon Theatre. Adam Nussbaum, a Jazz Drummer who has played with Brecker, also joined in place of Jaimo on these two songs. Then came the high point in the show for me; Randolph and Nussbaum leave the stage and are replaced by Lenny White and Randy Brecker, again, for a great version of Miles Davis' Jazz Classic In A Silent Way and the Dickey Betts instrumental In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, which led into it's usual Drum Jam with Lenny White still sitting in for Jaimo and really adding alot of energy to the Drums section of the show. This led into the Bass Solo which wound up being a Bass Duet with the one and only Stanley Clarke joining a gushing Oteil Burbridge onstage for a real thrill for all (especially Oteil). The rest of the band could be seen on the side of the stage watching in awe as the two Bass players jammed with one another. Unfortunately Clarke left the stage at this point rather than staying on and interacting with the rest of the band. This was followed up with the end of Elizabeth Reed to end the second set. The Encore of Mountain Jam followed with Warren inserting Led Zeppelin's Dazed and Confused in the middle. This was a great surprise at the end of a night filled with surprises. The only thing that's not surprising is that The Allman Brothers Band can still Rock and that I'll be Rolling back to the Beacon Theatre for more!
To watch these Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theatre 40th Anniversary Shows on streaming video live and archived through September 30th Go To www.moogis.com