On this date in history, 6/19/1999, one day after seeing a stellar Santana concert, my friends and I traveled back to Deer Creek for another evening on the lawn to see the incredible Allman Brothers Band. It had been over 17 years since I had seen them last, and I was excited to get in that groove again. Curtis Stigers was the opening act and I either don’t remember anything about his music or perhaps we arrived late. Whichever the case may be, once the ABB took the stage it was rightfully all about them. The first time I saw them, Gregg Allman was most definitely under the influence of lots of alcohol and most likely drugs, but he had gotten clean and sober in 1996, so he was once again at the top of his game. His keyboard playing always lived in the shadows of the killer guitarists who have been a staple of the band since its beginning, but he contributed so much more than the casual listeners were aware of. What we were all aware of was his amazing, blues drenched, rugged “manly man” lead vocals. Gregg sang his ass off this night, as did the twin lead guitars of Dickey Betts and Derek Trucks. This was my first time hearing and seeing young Master Trucks, who was only 20 at the time. His playing contained the spirit, the fire, and the essence of the immortal Duane Allman and added an element of authenticity to the guitar tag team that would remain until the end of the band. Jam band, Southern Rock rebels, or just pure American treasures, whatever label one attaches to the Allman Brothers Band, they will surely live forever in the history of great music.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic