BOOTLEG SERIES #6: The Allman Brothers Band – Live at Central City Park, Macon, GA 4/5/69

One of only a few existing bootlegs from 1969, this show was the bands 4th live outing (according to official records on the bands website) after debuting as a band in Jacksonville, Florida two months earlier. The Jacksonville show will no doubt be a future BOOTLEG SERIES entry, but this set differs drastically from that show as far as the setlist is concerned.

The band open with a roaring rendition of Black Hearted Woman, a song from their self-titled debut album and a Gregg Allman original. It’s followed by one of the first known performances of I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town, a Casey Bill Weldon song made famous by Ray Charles in 1961. This version has the same kind of arrangement that Stormy Monday would go on to have later in the bands ‘Duane-era’ career. It’s a wonderful rendition in it’s own right though and probably the highlight of the show.

Mountain Jam is a song the band made famous due to it’s length and impressive improvised sections. This is the first known live recording of this song and the band hadn’t yet begun to take it to the levels that Allman Brothers fans everywhere know. This version clocks in at just over 12 minutes whereas in 1971 the band would often play Mountain Jam for 45 minutes. It’s actually based on Donavon’s song There Is A Mountain from 1967 but the Allman Brothers take it to an entirely different level, even in this relatively tame early version which is still a bench mark for improvised playing.

  1. Black Hearted Woman
  2. I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
  3. Mountain Jam
  4. Dreams
  5. Dimples
  6. Don’t Want You No More/It’s Not My Cross To Bear

Dreams and Dimples are the two next songs, the first being a Gregg Allman original from the bands debut album and the second being a incredible version of John Lee Hooker’s song originally released in 1956. Duane takes vocal duties on Dimples, as he would continue to do on this song through his brief yet fantastic career with the band.

What comes next are the first two songs from their debut album, Don’t Want You No More and It’s Not My Cross To Bear. What’s interesting here is that the band play both songs as they would appear on the album, linked together with no gap in between. This is the band in the early stages of playing these two songs because the album wouldn’t be released until the 4th November of that year and recording sessions wouldn’t begin for another three months after this show. So what you’re actually hearing on this recording is the band feeling out these songs in a live setting before even thinking about laying them down in the studio. That’s history right there as these two songs together are without a doubt one of the studio album highlights of their entire career, including the Duane era.

As far as bootleg quality goes, it’s not the best. But you are able to hear great things. As I mentioned, this bootleg is one of the first ever recordings of the band (their fourth ever gig!) and really does highlight the journey the band took from their first show in Jacksonville to their stand out performances in 1971. It’s a must hear recording.

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