Allman Brothers Band: Ramblin' On

Best of The Beacon

By: Nancy Dunham

Gregg Allman :: 03.16.09 :: Beacon Theatre by Perrucci
It's a given that some Allman Brothers' fans will stay in New York for several nights to see shows during the band's annual Beacon residency.

Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Bruce Willis, Taj Mahal, Stanley Clarke plus Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell of Phish are just some of the musical guests who've joined the band during the shows thus far. Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood and others are on the short list of those expected to make appearances before the run is over.

"I can't spoil all the surprises," said Gregg Allman. "We're mixing it up."

Aside from the excitement generated by secret guests and set lists, the ABB isn't making many plans public because they don't know what's around the corner during this residency. Take the second night when David Hidalgo and Cesar Rojas of Los Lobos joined the band.

"The guys from Los Lobos came directly from JFK [airport] to play," said long-time ABB manager Bert Holman. "They had just flown in, took a cab to the Beacon, and walked in. They gave [us] the high sign and came up and played... They stayed on until 1 am, all of us just talking."

That kind of connection is what convinced Devon Allman, Gregg's son, to become a musician.

"The first song at the first concert [at a 1989 show in Miami] I knew," said Devon, who will play a Beacon after party show with his band Honeytribe on March 27. "The electricity, the bond between the band and crowd was overwhelming. It's not about being a 'rock star,' it's about being able to touch people with that type of energy."

Although the 15 nights of shows are sold out, fans can check out live streaming videos of each show at Founding drummer Butch Trucks started the site, which includes extras such as interviews with band members and archived video.

"Every day we keep raising the bar," said Holman. "It's always part of the challenge."

Continue reading to see what's up with Devon Allman's Honeytribe...

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