Allman Brothers Band - Down in Texas '71
by Kevin Wierzbicki
This vintage show recorded on Sept. 28, 1971 in Austin, Texas features the band's classic early line up: Duane Allman on lead and slide guitars, Gregg Allman on keys and vocals, Dickey Betts on guitar, Berry Oakley on bass and Jaimoe and Butch Trucks on drums and percussion. The show starts with a tribute to fellow Georgian Blind Willie McTell (and a longtime Allman Brothers Band favorite) "Statesboro Blues" before moving on to another blues classic, Muddy Waters' "Trouble No More." Apparently the soundman didn't hit the 'record' button at the appropriate time and "Statesboro Blues" begins with the song already in progress. Fans will surely forgive the blip, and all is well with the rest of the set including the famed guitar interplay between Duane and Dickey on "Trouble No More," Gregg's soulful vocals on his own song "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" and great slide guitar on two Elmore James covers, "Done Somebody Wrong" and "One Way Out." An abbreviated version of the Betts opus "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" clocks in at a little over six minutes but a jam on T Bone Walker's "You Don't Love Me" spreads out to 15 minutes and includes plenty of the sweet guitar riffage you'd expect along with Gregg's choogling Hammond B3 work. About half way through the cut comes improvisation time and a guitar solo that leads the other instruments into the final jam; this segment could have been more cohesive but that's the nature of live, improvised music. The now deceased Juicy Carter plays sax on about half of the cuts here including adding some funky honks to closing number, the instrumental "Hot 'Lanta." A bonus track features a radio interview with Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.