An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set is the thirteenth album by the rock group the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded live in December 1991 and March 1992, and released in 1992. An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: First Set was the first live Allman Brothers Band album, and the third overall, to feature Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody on bass. Haynes and Woody had joined the group when it reformed in 1989.
The Allman Brothers Band's fifth live release in 25 years, cut during 1994 in Raleigh, NC, and at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey, is a high-water mark in their Epic Records catalog. If anything, they're even better here than they were on the earlier Evening with the Allman Brothers Band, the old material getting fresh new approaches – the band was on for both nights, and presented sets, including an acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Jessica" (which won a Grammy Award), that soared and flowed, especially Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes' guitars. What's more, the clarity of the recording and the volume at which it was recorded make this a most rewarding 70 minutes of live music on a purely technical level – you can practically hear the action on the guitars during the acoustic set. It won't replace Live at Fillmore East or the live portions of Eat a Peach, but it deserves a place on the shelf not very far from them.
Essentially the Allman Brothers Band's Gold collection is an expanded version of both the Universal Masters and 20th Century Masters collections. It contains two discs that total 30 cuts and cover the band's catalog from 1969's Allman Brothers Band to 1975's Enlightened Rogues. There are five cuts from the first album, including the original studio version of "Whipping Post," and four from Idlewild South, including the studio read of "Midnight Ride." The cuts from At Fillmore East number four with the inclusion of the 13-minute "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," and five from Eat a Peach, including "Melissa," "Blue Sky," and "Ain't Wasting Time No More." Five cuts come from Brothers and Sisters and, yes, "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica" are among them…
This two-CD set won't cause you to throw out your copy of Fillmore East, but it is at very least a worthy companion to that 1971 classic. Recorded the previous year at the famed Cincinnati venue (but not released until 1991), Ludlow catches the band in the moments just before their peak. Some of the material will be familiar to fans, but this collection adds gems such as John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" and the blues classic "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town" to their recorded repertoire. And if you thought the 33-minute "Mountain Jam" on Eat a Peach was extensive, you need to hear Ludlow's 44-minute version, which comprises the entire second CD.
Filmed in Baden Baden, Germany, July 5th, 1991.
The story of the Allman Brothers Band is one of triumph, tragedy, redemption, dissolution, and more redemption. Since their beginning in the late '60s, they went from being America's single most influential band to a shell of their former self trading on past glories, to reach the 21st century resurrected as one of the most respected rock acts of their era.
The show was Great! This is my favorite line-up so far for the band- but I always say that. Greg looked and sounded super- singing and playing. He is a classic blues rock musician. Butch, Jaimoe and Marc are the best! Rico sat in for Butch on one tune as well. Way to go Rico… Marc has settled in solid with the band. Tazzz… Oteil had some crazy sounds coming out after his scat solo. Love the thunder of the bass and drums! Derek looks relaxed when he plays with the ABB.
It takes an aircraft-carrier of a release such as Live at the Beacon Theatre to remind us just how unique the Allman Brothers Band always was and still is. Traditionally a byword for down-home R&B/country blues-rock, the reality is that the band's gigantic sound is almost a musical form in itself. Make no mistake, the Allmans are still making big music, now with a two-guitar front line as well as their trademark two-drummer rhythm section (augmented these days with an additional percussionist), plus Gregg Allman's Hammond cutting through all of this like a serrated knife.