Gregg Allman shares a big, diverse bite from his career with happy Taste of Syracuse crowd
Published: Saturday, June 04, 2011, 11:27 PM Updated: Sunday, June 05, 2011, 12:04 PM
By Mark Bialczak/The Post-Standard The Post-Standard
With a satisfied smile and a sweeping wave, Gregg Allman led his six musicians to the Taste of Syracuse main stage Saturday night.
The veteran singer and musician climbed behind his Hammond B-3 organ and the cheek-to-cheek capacity crowd in the downtown parking lot cheered.
He led the quite-able band into a bluesy Allman Brothers Band classic, “Keep Me Wonderin’.”
It was a steamy start to a perfect, light-jacket June night that saw music lovers of all ages sharing the moment with food and beverage fanatics who decided to catch the big star on stage.
Allman looked healthy coming to the one-year anniversary of his liver transplant.
His voice was strong, full of vigor with the deep blues-rock timbre that sounds better with age and experience.
The 63-year-old delivered to the diverse crowd a set list that ranged from ABB favorites to blues standards off his latest solo record, “Low Country Blues.”
They ate it up like so many dollar food samples from the stands that filled the blocks around Clinton Square.
Song No. 2, “I’m No Angel,” drew a quick ripple of recognition from the fans.
When a techie handed him his guitar for the fourth song, a happy cry came from the audience. And the honey sound of the ABB classic “One Way Out” had fans dancing and singing along to the familiar lyric, “There’s a man down there, might be your man, I don’t know.”
The band of Jay Collins on saxophone and flute, Bruce Katz on keyboards, Scott Sharrard on guitar, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Steve Potts on drums and Allman’s lifelong friend, Floyd Miles on percussion on vocals, added punch and panache to Allman’s repertoire.
With Collins’ sax and Katz’s keys soulfully and joyfully echoing the familiar ABB melody lines, this was Allman and friends’ own unique sound.
From the new record, named for Allman’s home region in Georgia, “Just Another Rider” rang with honesty.
From the old days, “Melissa” soared sweetly.
Miles sang a pleasing blues lead on “Daytona,” a song he wrote about his days growing up in Daytona Beach with Gregg and his late, guitar-great brother, Duane Allman.
The Allman Brothers Band staple “Whipping Post” pulsed with intensity, with Katz moving over the whirl on the B-3 while Allman shared guitar work with Sharrard.
And a first encore song, “Dreams,” gave the fans — by now, casual listeners who stuck around surely counted themselves among the devoted — one more chance to sing with familiar lines: “Just one more morning, I had to wake up with the blues. Pulled myself out of bed, put on my walking shoes.”
Mark Bialczak can be reached at 470-2175 or email@example.com. He posts frequently at www.syracuse.com/entertainment.
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