“I ain’t wasting time no more – because time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things” – it’s damn near time I saw the Allman Brothers. I’ve passed up probably 20+ opportunities in my 32 years to see the Allman Brothers, but, unbelievably, I never actually have seen them live. My friends in high school all went to a number of Allman concerts, but at the time I was too busy listening to Dr. Dre and the Beatles and couldn’t be bothered with “jam” bands. I never got into Gov’t Mule shows (sorry John), or any other Allman spinoffs – except of course for the amazing Derek and The Dominoes collaboration between Duane Allman and Eric Clapton – one of my favorite blues-rock records of all time.
Since then I have obviously realized what I had been passing up all these years, and I admit the error of my ways. I’m finally going to see them this coming Saturday at the Orpheum in Boston, the finale of their four night shows that starts tonight, where they will be playing the entire At Fillmore East set (pretty damn epic). Wed night they will be playing all of Eat A Peach, and I’m not sure what we’ll get on Saturday, but if the pattern repeats itself, I’ll be hearing Eat A Peach in its entirety, which happens to be a damn classic album, and by far my favorite from the Allmans.
I’ve owned the Eat A Peach vinyl since I first bought a record player, and I’m surprised I haven’t worn the grooves off it yet. Every track on this album is classic, every track on here except for the epic jams “Les Brers In A Minor” and “Mountain Jam” (a staggering 33 minute jam) are greatest hits material. Eat A Peach is a perfect mix of easily accessible or “radio friendly” studio songs, and classic live material that helps give you a flavor for their live jam experience, and classic blues covers (I can speak more to this after Saturday, but I feel qualified to comment as I’ve listened to At Fillmore East 100 times).
Eat A Peach was released in late 1971, and featured some of the last recorded studio material with Duane Allman before his tragic motorcycle accident. It also includes some live tracks and one of my favorite instrumental tracks the beautiful acoustic guitar instrumental “Little Martha”. I always loved how they recorded Little Martha – it’s so intimate that you can actually hear Duane breathing on the track. The album includes my favorite Dickey Betts contribution “Blue Sky”, and is just an all around great album front to back. I always loved how when I first dropped the needle on this record it started with “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” – what an incredible first track to an album, Gregg’s piano riff and the incredible slide guitar. The main theme of the song isa sentiment that I’m sure everyone at one time or another can relate to – uplifting, call to action, and at the same time reflective and melancholy in the way it’s laid out.
There’s a famous myth that the album cover of the peach truck was in reference to the fact that Duane Allman’s fatal car accident involved a peach truck, but according to Wikipedia, that is false, the truck was a lumber truck, and the album title and artwork actually had to do with a quote Duane once said in an interview not far from when he was killed about what he was doing to help the revolution where he said “There ain’t no revolution, it’s evolution, but every time I’m in Georgia I eat a peach for peace.”
If you’re in the Boston area this weekend – I hope you can make it to one of these shows. If you have lived on another planet and never listened to an Allman Brothers record before, I highly recommend you start with Eat A Peach.
Listen: Allman Brothers: Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
Download: Eat A Peach here