The Allman Brothers Band

Bottleneck Meltdown

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In August 1971, the Allman Brothers recorded a live radio concert for WPLJ at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. The medley of "You Don't Love Me" and "Soul Serenade" from this broadcast was issued on the Dreams box set, but on this bootleg we have a full 72 minutes of music. It could be argued that there's already enough, or more than enough, live Allmans from the early '70s in their official catalog, particularly with the appearance of numerous archival albums of concert material that were issued after 1990. Judged on its own merits, however, this is a very worthy set, in excellent sound -- good enough to qualify for an official release, in fact. It might not have as much of a supercharged edge as Live at Fillmore East or some other live recordings from the era, perhaps because of the absence of a large audience, though it can be plainly heard that there are at least a few dozen or so vocally appreciative, clapping listeners in the studio. It might also be said, as the mildest of criticisms, that the songs are perhaps geared toward the purest blues segment of their repertoire, "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Hot 'Lanta" being notable exceptions. Still, a lot of their standbys are here, performed well, like "Trouble No More," "Stormy Monday," "One Way Out," "Statesboro Blues," and "Done Somebody Wrong."