Gregg Allman's tour in support of his debut solo LP, Laid Back, led to the recording of this album (originally two LPs) at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. It's a match for Laid Back in musical value and then some, with a good, wide range of repertory and great performances throughout by all concerned, plunging head-first and deep into blues, R&B, honky tonk, and gospel. Strangely enough, the album contains only three of Laid Back's songs -- "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing" opens the show in a properly spirited, earthy manner, but it's the second song, "Queen of Hearts," in a soaring rendition, with gorgeous backing by Annie Sutton, Erin Dickins, and Lynn Rubin, and superb sax work by Randall Bramblett and David Brown, that shows Allman in his glory as a singer and bandleader. Allman gives a lively, raucous, honky tonk-style rendition of the Elvis Presley hit "I Feel So Bad," complete with a killer guitar solo by Tommy Talton, and "Turn on Your Lovelight" gets an extended treatment worthy of the Allman Brothers Band. One would expect that, with Chuck Leavell and Jaimoe present in the band, there were be more similarity to the Allmans' sound, and that they'd be prominently featured, but Tommy Talton and bassist Kenny Tibbetts get more of a spotlight. Several Allman Brothers songs are present here, in more laid-back and lyrical versions, and the Capricorn Records band Cowboy -- essentially serving as the core of Allman's touring band -- gets a featured spot with two songs, "Time Will Take Us" and "Where Can You Go," that leave one wanting to hear a lot more concert material from them, and from Talton as a singer.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder