As you probably know, Duane Allman died in '71 and nothing the ABB has put out since then has equaled anything from the Duane-era...until now. With a new lineup featuring Derek Trucks on slide guitar and Warren Haynes on standard guitar this is IMO their best record yet. Greg's vocals are great and IMO the Haynes/Trucks lineup beats the classic Betts/Allman.
Now, onto the music. This album sort of strikes a balance between their sprawling 'Lve at the Fillmore' and their relatively consice studio albums. The 11 song album clocks in at about 75 minutes, so the average song length is just under 7 minutes. With four songs over 7 minutes there is plenty of space for extended jams. Highlights include, well, any song, really. There are no weak tracks but if I had to pick my favs I'd go with the rockin' opener "Firing Line", their cover of Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone", the 12 minute instrumental "Instrumental Illness", and the somewhat jazzy "Desdemonda".
I put this in the slide directory because it needs more entries and because bought it 'cause I wanted some Derek Trucks. However, this is NOT just a slide record by any means. Unlike the early albums where Duane was clearly the star, Trucks and Haynes are absolutley equal.
Here's a bit about the two amazing guitarists.
Derek Trucks is the nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Truck. His slide style is somewhat similar to Duane's, who was his first influence. However, he is far from a Duane wannabe. He has also been influenced by jazz and Indian classical music and has been able to subtly channel those styles into his playing.
Warren Haynes orinally played slide in the ABB with Dickey Betts. When the kicked out Betts and took in Trucks he switched to standard. He gets thick, warm tones from his Gibson/Marshall, reminiscent of a Bluesbreakers-era Clapton (who was his first guitar hero) and early ZZ Top. He is also in the Grateful Dead and his own band, Gov't Mule.
Kudos to the ABB for making a record that really can't be made better. If you don't own this record do yourself a favour and go get it. You won't be sorry.
PS. Here's the AMG review
of this CD.