March 26, 2021 The Allman Brothers Band – Down In Texas ’71 (Live Album Review)
Collectively one of the greatest Southern Rock bands in history, The Allman Brothers Band built a legacy that defined the genre over the course of five decades. Even in retirement and death, the music of The Allman Brothers Band lives on with the release of their newest live album, Down In Texas ’71, which was released on Friday, March 26, 2021 via their label Allman Brothers Band Recording Company.
A multi-platinum selling, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame act who played on for generations, The Allman Brothers Band officially retired in 2014 after one final show at The Beacon Theater in New York City. Sadly, two key members of The Allman Brothers Band left us too soon when Vocalist/Guitarist/Organist Gregg Allman and Drummer Butch Trucks both passed away in 2017. Though it seems like yesterday, the last four years have flown by, but not without a number of releases capturing the great Allman Brothers band in their best form, live in concert. The concept of releasing live albums became the standard for The Allman Brothers Band beginning with 1971’s At Fillmore East. Through the years, releases like 1990’s Live at Ludlow Garage and 2000’s Peakin’ At The Beacon continued this journey. In more recent years, live albums such as 2018’s Bear’s Sonic Journals: Fillmore East February 1970, 2019’s Fillmore West ’71, and 2020’s The Final Note (Live at Painters Mill Music Fair) all joined what might be the largest collection of officially released live material in Rock history.
Next on the docket, The Allman Brothers Band roll into town with Down In Texas ’71. Recorded in Austin, Texas on September 28, 1971 at the Austin Municipal Auditorium, Down In Texas ’71 showcases the aforementioned Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks alongside Duane Allman (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), Dickey Betts (bass), and Jaimoe (drums/percussion) with nine musically spirited performances. Even more special, Down In Texas ’71 was recorded just one month before Duane Allman’s tragic motorcycle accident which resulted in the iconic guitarists death in October of 1971.
Lighting up the Lone Star State, Down In Texas ’71 kicks off via “Statesboro Blues” seeing The Allman Brothers Band get into a smokey groove to begin the night. In short, this performance is Southern Blues Rock the way it was meant to sound. An early stand out, smooth slide guitar is the highlight of “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin.” The fun thing about live albums is the little bits of speech in between songs and here is no exception as, possibly Gregg Allman, makes an announcement to the crowd that if they do not move back the fire marshal would stop the show. After a twangy intro, “One Way Out” gives the feeling of what life must have been like on a tour bus in the early 1970s. An Allman Brothers Band staple, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” stands the test of time before an amazing performance of the slow Blues tune “Stormy Monday” rains down on Austin, Texas.
For all the years of great music and countless live albums, you would think ‘another’ live album would be too much. Well, for The Allman Brothers Band Down In Texas ’71 is simply a gift to adding to a plethora of live performances captured on tape for fans to enjoy. One more thing, Down In Texas ’71 will benefit the Allman Brothers Band Museum known as The Big House in Macon, GA. The three-story house has been part of The Allman Brothers Band for generations and it is now home to the largest collection of Allman Brothers band memorabilia in the world. A stellar performance, Cryptic Rock gives Down In Texas ’71 5 out of 5 stars.