Let’s Take A Moment Day 479

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Tom Petty music quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

One of the many things that made The Allman Brothers Band such a unique group was the fact that they had two drummers. One of them is celebrating a birthday today. Jai “Jaimoe” Johanny Johanson was born Johnny Lee Johnson 77 years ago on July 8, 1944 in Mississippi.

Before his role as a founding member of The ABB, he was part of soul superstars Otis Redding and Sam & Dave’s touring bands. Once Johanson became Duane Allman’s first recruit for his new group in February 1969, Johanson’s fate in one of the most innovative talented blues inspired bands in rock history was sealed. He & guitarist Dickey Betts-are the last surviving members of that fabulous group.

He and Allman shared lead guitar duties in the band, another facet that differentiated the ABB from other bands. Betts wrote today’s song which is from their 1972 album, “Eat A Peach”. It is one of the last to feature Allman before his death in 1971. In a 2017 article listing the 20 greatest ABB’s songs, Billboard magazine wrote the following about today’s track:

One of the last songs recorded by Duane Allman before his death, the Betts-delivered vocals are saccharine-sweet without being overly-sappy, while the twin guitar solos by Allman and Betts showcase just how effortlessly in tune and precise the two could be. There may not have ever been a better pairing of two lead guitarists in their prime in rock history than Allman and Betts, and “Blue Sky” is among their greatest showpieces. That Duane died before their Eat a Peach album was released is still one of rock’s saddest tales“. So true. Sigh.

Happy birthday, Jai “Jaimoe” Johanny Johanson May you continue to make great music for 100 more years.

Walk along the river, sweet lullaby, it just keeps on flowing
They don’t worry ’bout where it’s goin’, no, no
Don’t fly, mister blue bird, I’m just walking down the road
Early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know
“.

the-allman-brothers-1969-a-billboard-1548-compressed

(L-R) Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Gregg Allman, Jai Johanny Johanson, Berry Oakley and Butch Trucks sit on some railroad tracks on May 5, 1969 outside of Macon, Ga. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Allman Brothers Band: “Blue Sky” (1972, written by Dickey Betts).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 193

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

On this day 47 years ago-September 25, 1973-The Allman Brothers Band released today’s song from their “Brothers and Sisters” album. It was recorded during the last three months of 1972 while the band was still reeling from the death of guitarist Duane Allman from a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. Bassist Berry Oakley took the loss especially hard and was using drugs and alcohol to dull his pain. In what can only be classified as an unimaginable ironic coincidence, Oakley died November 11, 1972 in an accident similar to Allman’s not far from his crash site. But unlike Allman, Oakley walked away from the crash despite hitting his head after being thrown off his bike. He succumbed to his injuries three hours later and died from cerebral swelling due to a fractured skull. He was 24 years old, just like Allman, and was buried right next to him.

Because Oakley died during the making of this album, he only appears on two of the seven tracks: “Wasted Words” and today’s song, which was the band’s only top ten hit. So despite the upbeat tempo of this incredible song and Betts’ soaring guitar ending, it is a haunting reminder that many bands know heartache and loss, but The Allman Brothers Band lived through it twice in 13 months. They broke up & reformed several times between 1976 & 1989 and retired for good in 2014.

Two more original band members died within months of each other in 2017. First, drummer Butch Trucks committed suicide in January, allegedly from depression related to financial problems. Then vocalist, keyboard player & songwriter Gregg Allman died in May from liver cancer. Both men were 69 years old. The two surviving original members continue to make music. Dickey Betts (vocalist, guitarist & songwriter) has been a solo artist since he left the band in 2000 and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drummer) leads his own group, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band. Fifty-one years after the six founding members formed their group, The Allman Brothers Band remains a legendary part of the classic rock music world. And one of my all time favorite bands.

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man
“.

allman-brothers

The Allman Brothers Band circa 1971 (L-R): Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, Berry Oakley & Butch Trucks. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Allman Brothers Band: “Ramblin’ Man” (1973, written by Dickey Betts).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 82

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Kerouac

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

There is no shortage of great southern country rock bands in music history.  But when you find one that combines that sound with jazz, the blues, live improvisational jams, killer slide guitar and lyrics that tell great stories in an astonishing agonized soulful vocal, then you have the best of the best.  At least for me, which is why I think The Allman Brothers Band is the greatest of the greats.  My first listen to “Ramblin’ Man” made me a fan, but when I heard “Whipping Post” I felt introduced to a new religion only few had the privilege to know.  Gregg Allman sounded like his wounds were bleeding as he sang each note, and just when I thought I couldn’t stand the pain another second, the mesmerizing guitar riffs playing off the keyboards catapulted me into the middle of a completely different storm.  But instead of a deafening noise, it was an emotional baptism into the new divinity I discovered.  I never really recovered from the experience.  And I am thankful for that every day.

Unfortunately both Allman brothers are gone now, but I can’t think of two siblings who gave the classic rock world more than Duane & Gregg.

Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers Band (L_R):  Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Duane Allman (lead & slide guitar), Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriter),  Jaimoe Johanson (drums), Butch Trucks (drums), , & Berry Oakley (bass) in 1971 as photographed for the cover of their second album, Idlewild South.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.) 

The Allman Brothers Band:  “Midnight Rider” (1970, written by Gregg Allman and Robert Kim Payne).  

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.