Though we can’t travel back in time and see one of the greatest Southern rock groups ever at what was arguably their peak, The Allman Brothers Band has put forth this new release as a spectacular aural account of their heyday.

Featuring all six original band members, the first of two discs starts out with “Statesboro Blues.” It contains extraordinarily smooth guitars from both Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, and it sounds unlike anything before or since. The same could be said for the following track, “Trouble No More,” in which Berry Oakley impresses on the bass and Gregg Allman complements with his great singing.

When I listen to the 25-minute instrumental “You Don’t Love Me,” I get the feeling that I’m tripping on acid at Woodstock. It’s a fantastic number that will leave you in awe throughout the duration. The second disc contains only two tracks, “Dreams” and “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed,” and both are just under 20 minutes long. They’re mellower than the songs on the first CD, but the blues hits are still incredible.

If you want to hear some classic Southern rock, be sure to pick up this album. It’s a grand performance that was recorded only six weeks prior to Duane’s fatal motorcycle crash, and a year before Oakley’s. It’s definitely worth shelling out a few bucks to enjoy this masterpiece.

In A Word: Epic

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