There are a lot of bands I listened to just during certain phases in my life, then were put away like musical skeletons in my closet. The Allman Brothers are not one of those bands. They've been a constant in my life since my cousin's husband Billy - a dirtbag of a guy with a huge beer gut and no redeeming qualities except or his music collection - introduced me to this album. The first time I sat through the entirety of the live version of Whipping Post, I felt spent, as if every ounce of my energy was drained just by listening to it. It was such a defining moment for me, musically, that I can remember what I was wearing (Levis, Grateful Dead tshirt), what Billy was drinking (quart of Miller), that their house smelled like stale cigarettes and the couch cushions had pot seeds all over it, and that my baby cousin Melissa - Sweet Melissa - had a rash on her arm in the shape of Nevada. I hated that house, but loved that Billy let me borrow from his record collection. I never gave At Fillmore East back to him.
The Allmans became my happy place band. They're summer. They're the open road with the window down, they're a field of flowers, a college road trip, a surge of warmth in the middle of winter. And this particular album, especially side 4, is a bunch of twenty something kids and an impromptu keg party in the park, all standing on a picnic table and belting out "Sometimes I feel....sometimes I feel..." in ecstatic karaoke, long before karaoke machines took the joy out of spontaneous singing.
This is an album by album review of my entire record collection. This means music spanning almost 40 years, from my Archies record I cut off a cereal box to whatever I bought last week.
This is where I get to be the music critic I always wanted to be, but no magazine would have. These are more like sensory reactions than reviews; it's about what the music did for me, not what it should do for you.
You can read the entire details of the project and why I'm doing it here.