Gregg Allman - lead vocals, organ, electric piano; Dickey Betts - lead guitar, slide guitar; Lamar Williams - bass; Chuck Leavell - piano; Butch Trucks - drums, percussion; Jai Johanson - drums; Guest: Jerry Garcia - guitar; Guest: Bill Kreutzmann - drums; Guest: Boz Scaggs - vocals, guitar
The second set of the Allman Brother's headlining slot for Bill Graham's New Year's Eve concert begins approximately five minutes before the midnight madness of the New Year's Eve countdown. Following the countdown, the band continues with the kickoff song "Statesboro Blues," a tune they learned from Taj Mahal. The next hour focuses primarily on material from Eat a Peach and their new album, Brothers and Sisters, featuring stellar versions of "Southbound," "Come And Go Blues," "Ramblin' Man" and an outstanding 13+ minute version of "Jessica." One of the highlights of this entire night is a rare live performance of "Les Brers In A Minor." This monumental tune clocks in at almost half an hour, including drum solos; this is where the band begins really stretching out and venturing into unknown territory.
Shortly before the half hour point in this song, the first two guests wander out on stage. Much to the audience's pleasure, two Grateful Dead members, drummer Bill Kreutzmann and guitarist Jerry Garcia, join in on the festivities with no fanfare or announcement. Tentatively feeling his way into the jam, Garcia's distinctive guitar begins blending in and before you know it the familiar sound of "Whipping Post" morphs out of "Les Brers" and they are off into another great jam, now with Garcia and Betts intertwining leads over the rest of the ensemble. They are having so much fun that Gregg never bothers singing the verses and they continue to jam on "Whipping Post" instrumentally. At this point, Boz Scaggs plugs in and as he steps up to the microphone, the musicians let him lead the jam into a relaxed groove into "Linda Lou/Mary Lou" before ending this incredible sequence.
Boz leads this amazing conglomeration of musicians through another 50 minutes of jamming, based loosely on the classic "Hideaway" and then "Bo Diddley" but venturing in and out of many themes within. Garcia in particular is loving every minute, and his playing is thoughtful and quite a delicious compliment to Betts' more aggressive style.
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