Allman Brothers Band - 2nd Set (Mega Blowout Sale)
"This album and its companion first set prove that Warren Haynes of Government Mule was the best possible choice to take the Duane spot. Haynes shines all over this album, not in displaying his own style to the detriment of the great spirit of the Allmans but in synergizing with Betts and the rest of the group towards the greater goal of re-capturing the magical Allman's spirit.
He channels the spirit so well, he gets the rest of the band to remember what they were all about and feel it that much better. And though he has chops to spare, not one note is overplayed. Solos sound sweet endlessly without boring the listener just like vintage Allman Bros. Listen and be amazed and hear Dickey Betts rise up to the challenge of Haynes and play like a revitalized man. The best performances? For me it would have to be "Back Where it All Begins" "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (acoustic), "No One to Run With," "Jessica," "Melissa" (acoustic) and a 10 plus minute "Dreams."
Let me tell you, I even gave these two live sets the ultimate test, I played them back-to-back with the "Fillmore East" album and not only does it hold its own but sometimes it's even preferable. It has the spirit of the Allman Brothers in spades and that's all that matters, that's all that ever mattered (the spirit was wandering out in the air before the Allmans somehow latched onto it in 1969 and it became forever known as the Allmans' spirit), it's a seamless flow in terms of spirit, from a song off these live sets to something from 1971 if you had it back to back on a compilation disc.
Tom Dowd took a lot of care in recording these shows and they have great sound quality. Real old time, pure analog sound quality of sweet tones and instruments played well. No digital harshness or thin sounding digital instruments or crappy digital processing, everything you hear is fantastically analog and thick and things are balanced just right. This entire band is about tone and the recording does them justice.
Also amazing is how well Gregg's voice has held up and how deeply he still feels these songs. I could never figure out how a 22 year old white kid could sound as soulful as he did in 1969 until I read in the "Midnight Riders" biography book that Gregg's best friend Floyd Miles was black and through this friendship he and Duane had been playing with black musicians in the black part of Daytona Beach since the early 1960s. They were known as 'those white boys who can play that funky music.'"