The Allman Brothers Band - Manley Field House, Syracuse University, April 7, 1972

by Kevin Wierzbicki

This live Allman Brothers Band concert was recorded during their "five man band" period when the line-up featured Gregg Allman on vocals and keyboards, Dickey Betts on guitar, Berry Oakley on bass and Jaimoe and Butch Trucks on drums.

Band founding member and guitarist Duane Allman had died in a motorcycle accident just six months before, so the two guitar interplay between he and Betts is not heard here. The overall guitar sound though is awesome as Betts' playing is, as always, phenomenal. In fact, the entire band is hot and the show is very enjoyable as it presents a snapshot of where the band was at in the early '70s.

The first half of the show finds the guys performing songs that pay tribute to some of the blues greats that influenced them, including songs that they really made their own and that would remain in the band's set for decades, like Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues," T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday" and the Elmore James classic "One Way Out."

The only original in the first half of the show, housed on disc one of this two CD set is Allman's "Ain't Wastin' Time No More," a cut from their new at the time Eat a Peach album. Besides Gregg's soulful vocals and Hammond B3 playing the cut also features sweet slide guitar from Betts and a ripping bass line from Oakley.

The first half of the show wraps up with a nearly 16-minute jam on Willie Cobbs' "You Don't Love Me" that gives everybody a chance to stretch out. The latter part of the show is exclusively original material that begins with a 15-minute jam on Betts' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," another cut that would remain in the band's live set for years.

That song is an instrumental but it's followed-up by two ABB vocal cuts that are very famous, the hit single and classic rock mainstay "Midnight Rider" and Allman's "Whipping Post" that in typical ABB fashion stretches to 20-minutes.

A shorter improvisation called "Syracuse Jam" is here too; the cut begins with some Betts riffing with the rest of the band falling in after a few bars. A nice bit of Southern rocking that builds in intensity, "Syracuse Jam" has never been repeated since this show and cannot be found on any other recording. Another ABB staple, "Hot 'Lanta," wraps up this fine show.


Share this article

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pin it Share on Reddit email this article