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Published: 2009/03/24

John Bell, Jimmy Herring, Thom Doucette and King Curtis Kingpins Join the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon

The Allman Brothers Band continued to retrace its history during its residency at New Yorks Beacon Theatre last night. After a bluesy segment that included Don’t Want You No More and It’s Not My Cross To Bear, harmonica player Thom Doucette took the stage for Done Somebody Wrong. A longtime member of the Allman Brothers Band family, Doucette has regularly sat in with the group since its formation and can be heard on albums ranging from early classics like Idlewild South and At the Fillmore to the latter day An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band. He also appeared with the group at the Atlanta International Pop Festival and, according to legend, turned down a fulltime post in the band because it would be like a real job. Soon after, another longtime Allman Brothers sideman, Ron Holloway, took the stage to play saxophone on a beautiful Desdemona. Holloway, a former member of Dizzy Gillespie, first entered the Allman Brothers Band world through separate encounters with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks. He has sat in with the Allman Brothers Band and both Haynes and Trucks groups numerous times over the years and even subbed for Haynes on the road with the Brothers a few years ago. He is also a member of Trucks Soul Stew Revival.

The parade of guests continued after the groups new, untitled instrumental when Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks Band vocalist Mike Mattison and The Kingpins emerged for King Curtis signature Soul Serenade, the saxophonist’s Memphis Soul Stew and Buddy Miles Them Changes. The Kingpins are the longtime backing group for Curtis, an early Duane Allman supporter who nabbed the slide guitarist for his Instant Groove album. Allman, who like Curtis collaborated with Aretha Franklin, is one of the many celebrities present at the high-profile funeral. Soul Serenade is also the title track of one of the Derek Trucks Bands most popular albums. Doucette then returned to help the group close its first set.
Changing things up a bit, Haynes, Trucks and Oteil Burbridge opened their second set with a reworked version of Little Martha that included a jam based around Dickey Betts Blue Sky. Widespread Panics John Bell and Jimmy Herring then took the stage for three cover songs familiar to both Widespread Panic and the Allman Brothers Bands canons: Dr. Johns Walk on Gilded Splinters, Van
Morrison’s ‘And It Stoned Me’ and Blind Faiths Can’t Find My Way Home. Bell fronted the group for most of the set, while Herring positioned himself behind the groups frontline of guitarists.
After a guest-free Leave My Blues At Home, Herring returned for a set-closing take on Betts Les Brers in A Minor.
Herring and Burbridge are founding members of the classic jamband Aquarium Rescue Unit and recently collaborated on the guitarists first solo album, Lifeboat. In addition, Herring sat in for
Betts a few times in the 1990s when the guitarist faced legal problems and toured as a member of the Allman Brothers Band in 2000. A tight Statesboro Blues closed the evening. Please click here for a look at last week’s Beacon run.

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