The Allman Brothers Band
Brothers and Sisters


4.0
excellent

Review

by Archibald C. Burke USER (37 Reviews)
May 27th, 2009 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In an age before jam rock was marred by hippies and Jessica was a well-known song without the aid of Guitar Hero…

For fans of jam bands – I know you exist, despite the slack you may have received – The Allman Brothers Band showcased a less hippy-side of things, instead infusing their rock with tinges of country and laden with blues melodies. Their numbers also ranged from slower, more emotional pieces to borderline funk jams. Unfortunately for this highly influential unit, amid their rise to success (isn’t that always the way) they experienced the catastrophic loss of two of their core members. Two separate motorcycle accidents would claim the lives of lead guitarist and top guitarist list favourite Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley. Somehow, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of a purging fire, the band was able to carry on to a commercial peak with 1973’s Brothers and Sisters.

With a pretty big load to shoulder after the loss of his first lead guitarist, Dickey Betts, originally the bands second lead/rhythm player carried on as the Allman Brothers only guitar player. Fans still reeling from the void left by Allman didn’t initially receive him as warmly, but his work would come to speak for itself. Two of the album’s tracks that would go on to become both fan staples as well as essential classic rock songs – Ramblin’ Man and the instrumental Jessica – would be penned by Betts, along with two others of the album’s seven tracks. Though not as gifted as his predecessor, Betts does little to disappoint on Brothers and Sisters, and helps to propel the band through their next phase of development.

The disc’s tempo is a rather light-hearted one, considering all the band had gone through leading up the point of recording (though bassist Berry Oakley was around for a part of the recording sessions before his death). Wasted Words is probably one of the more funk-laden Allman grooves in their catalogue, making for an upbeat introduction to Brothers and Sisters. Ramblin’ Man is probably one of those tracks just about everyone’s heard a dozen times or more, and should be easily recognisable to classic rock fans. Though the track initially annoyed me and comes off with a somewhat hillbilly sound, it takes a technically proficient turn. Multiple listens reveal a few subtle layers to the track that the radio may not yield. The extending soloing from Betts does tend to drag on a little, but there is enough improvisation in his playing to keep the listener from nodding off mid-track. The record starts to take a slower turn after this, perhaps even a little more introspective. Still, nothing gets too serious here, leaving the moody stuff behind for an upbeat twang. Come and Go Blues falls into the above category, and though its pace causes a slight crawl in the beginning, the song is saved by some beautiful instrumental work in the latter half. Jelly Jelly follows suit, though it’s probably the most lack-lustre song on the record. Still, like a shining ray of light, the uplifting instrumental Jessica brings the tempo of the record back up to speed. Despite its recent repetitions, there’s little denying this gem, inspired by Betts’ daughter and another testament of his talents. Brothers and Sisters closer makes for a quite suitable one, heavily showcasing the band’s southern roots, while an abundance of neat little fills and a steady, slow gallop temp play off them nicely.

There’s little doubt that this album’s age has kept it under the radar with some fans, and that the jam aspect of the music has driven off potential listeners without really giving the sound a chance. For whatever reason it may have flown under your radar, check it out now. Let this one unwind over the course of several plays – it really isn’t that long a record, and it goes down pretty smooth. The Allman Brothers Band’s ability and willingness to overcome and flow with transitions is a testament to their skill and the acclaim they’ve accumulated over the last few decades.



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user ratings (133)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ScorpionStan
May 27th 2009


1834 Comments


great review...Ramblin' Man & Jessica never get old.

shindip
May 27th 2009


3536 Comments


this album and band are not discussed and argued over on this site

ScorpionStan
May 28th 2009


1834 Comments


...but they should be

CrazyFool84
May 28th 2009


1080 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Indeed they should, I was shocked these guys didn't even have a bio posted on this site

thanks for the feedback guys, glad it attracted at least a little attention

rotterdog
May 28th 2009


488 Comments


Eat a Peach is awesome. I haven't heard this album.

freeliminator
May 28th 2009


78 Comments


...but they should be


lol

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


This is why American music rules

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Nagrarok
October 4th 2011


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Fillmore East more so.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


Will check out, thanks!

Nagrarok
October 4th 2011


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You haven't heard it yet? Man, you're in for a treat. This is great but without Duane the Allmans were never really complete anymore.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


I only know the albums my dad has, so I'm excited to check it out.
Especially since I see it's a live album

Nagrarok
October 4th 2011


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I only know the albums my dad has, so I'm excited to check it out.
Especially since I see it's a live album


And one of the greatest ever recorded, no less.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


My fav live recording still is The Clash - At Shea Stadium, have you heard that one?

And of course classics like The Who at Leeds, Folsom Prison, Daft Punk...

Nagrarok
October 4th 2011


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, The Clash were fantastic but I'd never heard mention of any particularly fantastic live albums. I think my love for The Who's Live at Leeds has become clear enough by my review.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


Well, it was a bootleg until it was released officially in 2008. It's the show they played while touring with The Who in the early 80's.
It's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan, as it's a little best-of in 50min, with songs from all their different albums.

Nagrarok
October 4th 2011


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Checked the tracklisting but it's too many post-London Calling songs for me, their first three albums are far superior imo.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


4 out of 14?

Nagrarok
October 4th 2011


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well ok, too few classics then.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011


6448 Comments


Haha, well I'm not going to force you to listen ;)

Chortles
October 27th 2012


17956 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

why the fuck does no one talk about this band



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