Happy Birthday Gregg Allman!


Gregg Allman has always sounded older than the hills. His voice is caked in river silt and bathtub whiskey, sleepless nights and even rougher dawns. It's a sound that goes way beyond workingman's friendly, taking us down into the valley of true bluesmen and new age romantics, communicators of shared pain and fleeting happiness. That he's also an indestructibly great musician, pounding the keys with a mixture of subtle complexity, barrelhouse roughness and surprising tenderness (and he ain't a bad guitarist either), only adds to the man's residing substance. Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1947, as Gregg moves into his sixties, especially after recent health scares, we're awful damn glad he's still around. The Allman Brothers Band is an American institution, a doctoral level seminar in jazz-blues-rock each time they step on a stage or into a studio. What they've wrought, with Gregg Allman firmly at the wheel since their inception, is unique, rousing and pleasantly blue-collar despite their occasional highfalutin excursions. A very happy birthday to you, sir.

We begin our Gregg-erly salute with a fantastic solo reading of "Come And Go Blues," made all the more affecting by the splinters and dings Allman leaves in while he whittles.

We scoot over to the Fillmore East on September 23, 1970 for "Whipping Post" from an unaired PBS special. Impassioned sort of covers the feeling in Gregg's voice and the overall surge of the Brothers on this one.

Though fully capable of filling every single minute they've got on any tune, the Allmans can also nail things dead in just a few minutes, such as this fiery "You Don't Love Me" from a Letterman performance. It'll probably make you sigh like we did when you see Dickey and Woody wrestling notes from their axes.

Gregg is often at his finest in bittersweet waters like this beautifully broken acoustic version of "Melissa" from 1990.

The Brothers kind of own the Beacon Theatre in NYC, and this crisp, lean take on "Midnight Rider" from 2003 shows why.

We blow our final birthday kiss to Mr. Allman with a Saturday night in Macon, Georgia in 1973, the survivors putting their shoulders into Elmore James and blowing Southern soul into every note.


[Published on: 12/7/08]

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r0llingst0ned starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/7/2008 02:12PM
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Great piece of writing - long live the Allmans!!

corey5 Sun 12/7/2008 03:14PM
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Happy Birthday Gregg!! He looks younger now than in 1990. The power or clean living. Can't wait for the beacon to celebrate year 40. Thanks jambase for some hot musuic on a cold sunday.

Jukebox Hero Sun 12/7/2008 03:19PM
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Jukebox Hero

Man, that video of Melissa really makes me miss Dickey's playing. While healthwise and in overall tightness, the band seems in better shape than they have been in a long time, it's just not the same without him. No hate on Warren or Derek, both are amazing, but both play more like Duane than Dickey. Jack Pearson is the only player who really comes close to Dickey's sound in my opinion. Anyways, happy birthday, Greg! I'm glad you're doing so well.

tron420 star Sun 12/7/2008 03:34PM
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Thugin it and lovin it Sun 12/7/2008 03:45PM
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i wish they could keep it for 60 more

crowesfan starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/7/2008 04:01PM
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Gregg Allman = One of the best singers in any genre of music. Happy Birthday buddy. Wish I could be at the Beacon, but I will definitely be at Wanee

Jeff Kash Sun 12/7/2008 04:59PM
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Jeff Kash

Why doesn't Warren Haynes throw a Habitat for Humanity Benefit for Gregg? Or why doesn't he say he's going to donate more money, and then pocket it?

footie starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/7/2008 05:51PM
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Nice choice on the clips! A great mix of line-ups where none is really better than the other. Happy B-Day Midnight Rider!

Deadphishbiscuits Sun 12/7/2008 06:24PM
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61 years young and still throwin it down. A Happy Birthday to you Mr.Allman and wishing you many more

TheACDCBag starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/7/2008 07:23PM
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Got to give it up to Gregg, he's got his shit together and was recently quoted "i am feeling like i did when i was in my thirty's" the abb is going to put out one hell of a 40th aniversery. To the Allman Brothers of 2009!

bubbarock starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/7/2008 08:28PM
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Wow...that "Come an Go Blues" is amazing! Happy Birthday, Gregg! It was great seeing you at Red Rocks over Labor Day Weekend!

Bring back Dickey!

Marcsmall Sun 12/7/2008 10:33PM
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rider11 starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/8/2008 08:03AM
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Happy Birthday! See you Friday in Ashville!!

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire star Mon 12/8/2008 08:43AM
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wow ABB is even using birthdays advertisements on jambase.com to promote their name for next years big 40th anniversary tour. will they use dickeys on the 12th. doubt it.

nonetheless still wish gregg a happy healthy one.

jimmy row Mon 12/8/2008 09:11AM
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First thigs first I love ABB...What gets me, is this guy can rock it with ABB but then puts out a solo song like "I'm No Angel" That song's weak

JParadise starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/8/2008 10:00AM
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Gregg didn't write I'm No Angel...the song actually kinda saved the guy's life to be honest though....if he hadn't had a hit with that one, he probably wouldn't have lived through the 80's.....so take that one for what it's worth.

db28 Mon 12/8/2008 11:22AM
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too bad he's a narc. he rat out a bunch of people in early 80's miami.

gregboyer starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/9/2008 09:29AM
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Gregg is one the best voices in rock/blues and the Allmans are still the greatest. Derek and Warren cannot be topped. I loved Dickey's playing but there is only so much BS you can deal with. Tron420 you need to go change your diaper, moron.

D-Line Tue 12/9/2008 11:42AM
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i was one of those people that got very salty when they dropped dickey, but over the years ive come to learn that even tho its not the same its better in its own way, derek and warren work more on stage at an ABB show then any two guitarist's ive seen. not taking anything away from dickey, he worked hard too, but ive seen great southern about 4 times since hes left the band, and dickey just doesnt sound good anymore, the guitar is there, but you cant understand a word hes saying anymore being hes usually drunk, so i can understand the reasons he had to go. altho gregg as "the person" was actually quit a scumbag himself, not only did he rat on a bunch of people but he was also the reason warren and woody left the first time, he didnt wanna give warren credit for his own songs (example "soulshine") which was wrote by warren, but wasnt allowed to sing it. now they both take turns on that song. i guess you can say he has a huge ego, but what musician doesnt? but gregg the musician is an icon, an american muscial hero, the older he gets the better his voice sounds, its amazing. when warren joined the band again, the band was revived and also made a record i think is one of the best released by the brothers ( HITTING THE NOTE). cant wait to see those beacon shows! happy birthday bro!! you think cher remembered? lol. hey tron420 go f yourself. and p.s. i doubt they need to "promote" or "advertise" anything, they are the allmand brothers band, they sell themsleves and will sell out even if they announce a tour a day before tickets go on sale.

motonibur starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/9/2008 04:37PM
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happy belated gregg....a little late cause i was out celebrating our shared BDAY...

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Fri 12/12/2008 03:28PM
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