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Allman Brothers Band: The Final Note

Recorded on October 17, 1971 at the Painters Mill Music Fair in Owings Mills, Maryland, The Final Note is of supreme significance as it is the last performance of the great Duane Allman a little over a week before his untimely death of October 29th in a tragic motorcycle accident. With that in mind, the importance of this recording far surpasses the sub-par audio quality, which was captured on a hand-held cassette recorder by a fan in the crowd. Interestingly enough, the quality of this now 'official bootleg' from Allman Brothers Band Recording Company does improve as you make your way through the set list. Common opener for that time period "Statesboro Blues" is pretty rough, but the band is on fire as always with Duane's signature slide guitar licks front and center, and by the second track "Trouble No More" you can hear the band much clearer, though let's be frank, this is still bootleg quality, though a very listenable one. Many of the tracks played here at the Painters Mill Music Fair were indicative of the bands live repertoire during these formative years, including a groove laden "Don't Keep Me Wondering", complete with simmering Hammond organ and bluesy vocals from Gregg and Duane's scorching slide licks, a gut wrenching "Done Somebody Wrong", and a a spirited take on "One Way Out", Duane & Dickey swirling guitar solos around each other while Jaimoe and Butch weave some incredible drum patterns underneath them. Sadly, "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" is incomplete, and cuts out mid-way through Gregg's organ solo and before Duane can launch into his closing guitar cadenza, though Dickie's fiery jaunt is heard here in its glorious entirety. "Hot Lanta" is chock full of tasty Hammond B3 organ tones from Gregg and sax courtesy of Juicy Carter, who shows up here on a few tunes and adds an interesting element to arrangements. Closer "Whipping Post" is just under 13-minutes, somewhat economical compared to other recordings from this era or more recent times, but it's full of piss 'n vinegar, the drums pounding, the guitars blazing, and Gregg's Hammond and vocals in top form.

If you are a fan, The Final Note is a must have. Should you be a stickler for top of the line sound quality, well, this one might disappoint, but I think most will have to overlook that and enjoy this for the sheer importance of this concert, the last time Duane Allman graced us with his talents.

Track Listing
1) Statesboro Blues
2) Trouble No More
3) Don't Keep Me Wondering
4) Done Somebody Wrong
5) One Way Out
6) In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (incomplete)
7) Hot 'Lanta
8) Whipping Post
Total Time 50 minutes

Added: December 21st 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 653
Language: english

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