Friday, November 24, 2006

how i dig gregg allman's friends

i saw "gregg allman and friends" last night at the grand in san francisco. the band's name confused me. i mean, there's the allman brothers band, but since duane allman died, it's really been just gregg allman and friends. so...i'm confused.

so i went there expecting dickey betts and warren haynes and butch and derek trucks, among others. but i got gregg allman and friends - different friends.

one of them was named jerry jemmott, who is an amazingly accomplished bassist and who, as gregg allman said, "would take days to list everyone he's played with". i also liked the fact that he's from staten island, new york. sweet.

another one of gregg allman's friends - although he only played harmonica for one song - was taylor hicks. i dig him. i think winning "american idol" was bad for him, mainly he's gonna be pigeonholed into something he's not. he's a legitimately talented dude who is much bigger than the label. and he did a helluva job on the harmonica - and he knew better not to sing when on stage with gregg allman. he wasn't gonna win that one.

they played a bunch of blues songs, a bunch of obscure gregg allman songs, dylan's "just like a woman", the grateful dead's "turn on your love light" and a bunch of allman brothers classics - like "melissa", "midnight rider", "whipping post" and the encore, "statesboro blues" - but reworked with a heavy dose of the blues. i mean, heavier than the blues-influenced southern rock they pioneered. great great stuff.

my point? check them out if they come to your town. really great stuff.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you that it was a
good idea Taylor did not sing
with Gregg Allman, it wasn't his
place to do that. But if you mean
he couldn't sound as good, you're
wrong, I have heard him do many
of the songs you mentioned and he
was nothing short of great. You
should take a listen to some of
his nightclub stuff someday.
I really think he will be the one
AI contestant to overcome the label
if people are fair at all.
Did you hear he was allowed to
record in the Ray Charles studio?
Great song, too.

Anonymous said...

I personally think Taylor Hicks can hold a candle to any performer out there,he is multi-talented,and sincere about his music.The stint on American Idol did the one thing he had not been able to do, get the publicity he needed, he got that and then some.After struggling all those years his voice has finally been heard by the masses.He is going to be around for a very long time and Idol did him no harm,it only introduced him to a broader audience.

Check me out: said...

you're both right. but i think had he sung "statesboro blues", it would have turned into an episode of "american idol". and i think he has way too much respect for those who came his way to do that. kudos for him. chris daughtry wouldn't have had that self-control.

and i do like taylor hicks' voice. i'm a big fan. i hope his album has a heavy dose of his infulences, rather than the crap handed out by 1919 entertainment.

all that being said, he's not gregg allman. and that's not an insult. it isn't. they're different. and it wouldn't have worked. and he knew that.

him singing allman brothers songs at his own concert would be fantastic, and i'd pay to see that. but he wouldn't have compared next to gregg allman.

Anonymous said...

That was a great review, man. Thanks for that. I liked what you said about Taylor. I've had the same concerns about the American Idol title. And I respect that he doesn't hog the spotlight, especially at other people's shows. :)

Anonymous said...

When I clicked on Taylor Hicks in your article, you actually posted a photo of Joe Cocker. Assumed you knew?

Anonymous said...

First, how lucky of you to see that last night. An Allman & a Hicks.

This is one of the many reasons to respect Taylor as an artist. He doesn't want to or feel the need to try & steal the spotlight from his idol/mentor. But, at the same time to be invited on stage to stand next to an Allman playing the harp even for one song is a major perk.

I agree, I believe Taylor will be the one AI conestant to overcome the AI label & indeed become a well respected & deserving artist on his own.

Anonymous said...

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Randy said...

Love the Allmans and I have grown to really appreciate Taylor Hicks. My wife dragged me to a concert at AI , not my cup of tea, but I did like the Seger song he did. She then talked me into going to the LMBO concert after the show and WOW is all I am saying. The band was tight and Hicks was great. That man can do harp like no one I have seen and can really sing too. I have a new respect for the guy. I am liking what I have heard so far on his new album comming out. Wish I could have been there to see Allman and freinds !!!

Anonymous said...

How lucky you got to see this! I love the Allman Bros. and also the side of Taylor Hicks you see in live performance. He's got a lot of talent and charisma. Hopefully he will have as successful a career as Gregg.

Anonymous said...

So steveohville, what song did Taylor play harmonica on?

Anonymous said...

Wait, huh? What, Taylor Hicks was on American Idol? Well that wasn't fair, lemmee guess, he did well.

Taylor Hicks is very respectful of other artists. Especially at THEIR gigs I am guessing. I have never heard a negative or condescending comment from him ever. No matter who is was..

That being said, he is also the best harp player I have ever had the privledge of hearing, and I am guessing he let Gregg Allman have his show without taking over.

Taylor also has a singing voice that matches any I have ever heard. Well I like it anyway.

I am guessing he was just being respectful or they had it worked out.

Either way its all good.

Storm said...

I talked to Taylor and got my picture taken with him at the Gregg Allman show. I really just wanted to take his picture for my friend's mom, but he said I had to be in it with him. He was super nice and very cute up close--I thought he looked way better in person than he ever did on tv. I'm not an Idol watcher but I don't live under a rock so I knew who he was--he was great on the harp, too!

Anonymous said...

Taylor has always said that he also is a fan and I am sure that he felt honored to be able to back up Gregg Allman on the harmonica.

Anonymous said...

American Idol was a mixed blessing for Taylor Hicks. He is a talented, hard working, serious musician who has been trying to break into the National scene for ten years now. American Idol gave him that opportunity. Now he has a whole new fight on his hands trying to live down that title! He is a very determined, goal oriented man and I know he can do that - even if it takes him another ten years. Now he has the money and the people behind him. Once he is able to get out of his current contract, watch out! Expect great things! It is all about the music. :-)