Album Review- Eat A Peach, Allman Brothers Band
Written by VIC Radio on November 12, 2020
By Arlo Catanzaro
The Allman Brothers Band was the first Jamband I started to listen to after the Grateful Dead. The Allman Brothers share a similar Americana sound as the Dead, but do lean away from psychedelic jams that shaped the early years of the Dead and, instead, focus more on a controlled, folksy style of jam.
Eat A Peach was my first Allman Brothers’ album, and for anyone who wants to take a little dip into the Jamband world I will always recommend this album. Eat A Peach was the last recordings of Duane Allman, one of the founding members of the band and half of its namesake; he unfortunately died from a motorcycle accident halfway through the album’s production. The reason I choose this album to recommend is the amount of variation between the songs. The majority of the songs are on the shorter side, making it very accessible, while others are extremely long and either jam heavy or are only jam with zero vocals. This variety allows a listener to get a full spectrum understanding of the Allman Brothers Band, and Jambands in general.
The beginning track,” Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”, is the only song on the album that was recorded after Duane’s death, and what is so wonderful about this track is that it sounds like any other Allman Brothers’ song. Dickey Betts picked up the slide guitar to fill the void left by the passing of Duane. Even though Duane’s passing left a large space to fill in the band, they were still able to create an incredible song that not only is a tribute to Duane Allman, but also demonstrates the band’s ability to reach new musical heights.
“Les Brers in A Minor “is one, if not the best, full jam tracks I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. The track has a very slow roll up with guitars and drums building energy leading to a nice release into a drum and guitar heavy jam. My favorite part about this track is how one instrument doesn’t dominate, and when listening to the song it’s easy to distinguish what each instrument is doing whether it be a cymbal crash, piano or guitar. Often, beautiful jams can be just be a giant blend of noise where the guitar comes out as the dominant sound; “Les Brers in A Minor” is able to avoid this problem and allows for each instrument to have their own space.
“Mountain Jam“, “One Way Out” and “Trouble No More” are the anomalies on the album as they are all live recordings from the Allman Brothers’ famous Filmore East 1971 concert. These songs weren’t originally released with the Filmore East Album and seemed to have been added in Eat A Peach for the long-standing fans. Filmore East is considered the best concert ever put on by the Allman Brothers Band, and some even consider to be one of the best Jamband concerts ever. It’s a real treat to hear Duane again in these tracks (though, of course, nowadays we have access to the entire concert). Fair warning, though, while “One Way Out” and “Trouble No More” are pretty accessible tracks, “Mountain Jam” is an almost 34-minute-long jam only song.
“Blue Sky” is my favorite track on the album and even if you are not planning on listening to the entire album, you should absolutely listen to this song. “Blue Sky” is the pristine example of how two guitarists should play off each other. I have found that sometimes when a Jamband has multiple guitarists it can lead to one guitarist constantly overshadowing the other and the second guitarists never adding much. What makes “Blue Sky“, and the Allman Brothers in general, so unique is their ability for dynamic counter-play between the two guitarists. “Blue Sky” has two guitar solos with the first being Duane Allman, and then Dicky Betts immediately starting his own solo. Together these two solos create a wonderous jam, full of energy and allows both guitarists to share the spotlight. This song also showcases Dickey Betts’ guitar ability and how he is able to hold his own which will come to a head after Duane’s passing and Dickey Betts becoming the only guitarist for the group.Duane Allman was known to tell the band, “We are on a mission and it’s time for this thing to happen,” and that quote, for me, perfectly encapsulates Eat A Peach. This album is a beautiful tribute to Duane, but it also demonstrates the band’s ability to continue on without him.