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Allman Brothers Band: Song of the South-Duane Allman & the Rise of the Allman Brothers Band (DVD)

This is a pretty well put together documentary on the legendary Southern Rock act The Allman Brothers Band, but with more of a focus on their late, great guitar hero Duane Allman. Going all the way back to his childhood and early musical career, Song of the South looks at the developments in the life of young Duane that led him to putting together a host of bands that eventually morphed into The Allman Brothers Band alongside brother Gregg. A good portion of the film looks at all the famous sessions he did with various R&B acts at the legendary Muscle Shoals recording studio, the early Allman Brothers albums & tours, including the quintessential live Fillmore album that skyrocketed them to fame. Of course, no documentary on Duane would be complete without a detailed account of his time spent with Eric Clapton in Derek & the Dominoes, as the band put together one of the great guitar albums of all time in Layla.

Though there is very little live footage of Duane in existence, this film includes snippets of a lot of them, as well as plenty of photos from the archives. With a multitude of interview segments from former bandmates, engineers, producers, tour managers, friends, and journalists, the documentary paints a great picture of a young musical genius who left us way too soon just as his band was gaining huge mainstream success. In depth commentary about the fateful motorcycle accident that took Allman's life in 1971 is included, as well as the toll it took on bassist Berry Oakley, who fell more seriously into drugs & alcohol before also losing his life in a bike accident one year later, less than a mile from the spot that Duane had his crash. Though Song of the South doesn't dive too much into the career of the band after Duane & Berry's deaths, it does stress that despite much success, things were never the same again during the rest of the '70s, but fails to mention the comeback in the '90s and the bands resurgence on the live scene over the last 20+ years.

All in all, a nicely done account of a brilliant musician who unfortunately had his spark snubbed out way too quickly.

Added: August 10th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: MVD Visual
Hits: 1828
Language: english

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