2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Allman Brothers Band fans. Two vintage unreleased shows from 1972 and 1973 will be released on February 12th, along with a seven-disc Duane Allman retrospective box set on March 5th. The 1972 show was the band's first following the October 29th, 1971 death of leader and guitarist Duane Allman. The show recorded on February 11th, 1972 in the band's hometown of Macon, Georgia at the City Auditorium, featured the five surviving original members -- keyboardist Gregg Allman, guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley, and drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe.
The second show, from Long Island, New York's Nassau Coliseum was recorded on May 1st, 1973. The concert, which came six months after the death of bassist Berry Oakley -- who like Duane Allman, also died young due to a motorcycle accident -- features his childhood friend Lamar Williams taking his place and features four tunes that haven't appeared on any of the previous live or archival releases: "Come & Go Blues," "Wasted Words," "Jessica," and "Ramblin' Man."
The historic seven disc set, Sky Dog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, features Allman's timeless session work on records by Aretha Franklin, Herbie Mann, Boz Scaggs, Ronnie Hawkins, Wilson Pickett, Arthur Conley, King Curtis, the Sweet Inspirations, John Hammond, Lulu, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Derek & The Dominoes, and many more -- along with his work with his brother Gregg in the Allman Brothers Band and in their pre-fame configurations.
Of all the jam bands of the '60's and '70s, the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead have outlasted most of their peers in terms of success and a the size of their core audiences. Gregg Allman says that the musical similarities between the Allmans and the Dead far outnumber the differences: 'Let's put it this way; me and my brother (Duane), I'm speaking of, we're more steeped in the blues than the Dead. Improvisation and spontaneity -- yes, yes, quite a similarity."