Thursday, 9 August 2018
The Allman Brothers Band - Idlewild South (1970)
Released September 1970
Recorded in Macon, Miami and New York City
The second Allman Brothers Band album, and the last before the tragic loss of Duane Allman in 1971, is an absolute corker. Like their 1969 debut, it is blues rock of the highest quality, setting the standard for many other bands to follow. The sound quality on the "deluxe edition" remaster is outstanding.
It starts, unusually, with a jaunty, lively and impossibly catchy number, "Revival", that has a superb, rhythmic Latin riff lifted, surely, from The Rascals' "Good Lovin'". It is far more light in melody to the band's usual material. "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" is more the classic, chugging, bassy blues rock we have come to expect - full of great guitar licks. The slight influences of Hendrix-esque psychedelia that were present on the debut album are no longer here, it is more of a straight blues rock album (not that the debut was't either, to be honest). "Midnight Rider" was a mid-seventies reggae hit for Paul Davidson. This is the swampy, laid-back bluesy original, and highly addictive it is too. "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed" is a masterpiece, with Santana-esque guitar jamming and definitive jazz influences. It often gets extended in concert way beyond its six minutes or so here.
"Hoochie Coochie Man" is, of course, a definitive blues number. The Allman Brothers turn it into a full on guitar jam, full of power and attack. Many bands have covered this, but this is one of the best, considerably speeded up from the usual covers, it rocks, big time. "Please Call Home" is a laid-back blues, while "Leave My Blues At Home" is vibrant, upbeat one, with a great bass line and, as always some superb guitar. Another quality album. Highly recommended.