Last night, longtime Allman Brothers Band guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks announced they'll be departing the band at the end of 2014.
"For 25 years and 15 years respectively, we've had the honor and pleasure of playing, living, learning and traveling with the Allman Brothers Band, one of the truly legendary rock and roll bands," wrote Haynes and Trucks in a joint statement released last night.
"We will be forever grateful for the opportunity and the experience, and for the love, enthusiasm and support of the incredible fans. We are both preparing to dig even deeper into our various creative and musical endeavors and, as a result, 2014 will be our final year as part of the band."
The news is something of a surprise — at least to everyone besides Haynes and Trucks. Just last week, the band announced their 45th-anniversary plans for 2014, which include a string of shows in March (See dates below) and several archival releases (Read more here).
"Spontaneous things still happen. Going through the motions would be a real bore," Gregg Allman told Rolling Stone last month. "I know a band that plays the same songs in the same order, they even say the same s--- at the same time every night. But, no, we're all still real into it."
Haynes joined the Allmans in 1989 at age 28.
"Based on the success of the tour and the uncanny chemistry between the original members and the new members, we decided to continue and see where it all led," Haynes wrote. "Now, here we are, 25 years later, and it has been an amazing experience. I've always said that if I were to join a band that I grew up listening to the ABB would be at the top of that list.
"The original version of the band was a huge influence on me and I'm sure that the countless hours I spent listening to and studying that music helped shape me as a musician. As proud as I am of being a member of such a legendary band, I'm even more proud of the music that we've made together and of being a part of carrying their original vision into the future."
Trucks, who joined the band at age 19, added:
"When I started with ABB, I didn't know how long it would last, only that I would let the music lead me and teach me. Amazingly that led me past the band's 40th anniversary, to the band's 45th, and now my 15th year as a member of this incredible band. Five years ago the 45th seemed like a lofty goal, but I thought if we could make it to that milestone it would be a logical time to move on.
"While I've shared many magical moments on stage with the Allman Brothers Band in the last decade plus, I feel that my solo project and the Tedeschi Trucks Band is where my future and creative energy lies. The Tedeschi Trucks Band tour schedule keeps growing, and I feel the time has finally come to focus on a single project, which will allow me to spend that rare time off the road with my family and children. It’s a difficult decision to make, and I don’t make it lightly."
We could have more information as early as Friday, when Allman will be honored with a tribute concert at Atlanta's Fox Theater; the show will feature Haynes and Trucks (Check out the details below). The Allman Brothers Band are also set to kick off their annual run at New York City's Beacon Theater on March 7.
Allman Brothers Band Live Dates
January 10: Atlanta, Georgia, Fox Theater, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman
March (various dates): Beacon Theater, New York City, March 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22