On November 3, a unique and special offering from the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, in tandem with the Owsley Stanley Foundation, will be released as an exclusive 2-LP limited run of electric “orange sunshine” vinyl. Bear’s Sonic Journals: Allman Brothers Band Fillmore East February 1970 presents restored and mastered recordings of the Allman Brothers Band’s performances at New York City’s Fillmore East on February 11, 13 & 14, 1970, captured by legendary Grateful Dead soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley, who is known for the purity of his “Sonic Journal” recordings and their uncanny ability to place the listener in the venue.
The Allman Brothers Band in 1970 was on the brink of superstardom. They had only been together for 11 months when promoter Bill Graham, who had booked them in San Francisco and New York, invited them back to the Fillmore East on a triple bill with Grateful Dead and Love. And fortunately for us, the Dead’s soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley had his tapes rolling.
Transferred and mastered from the original tapes in Owsley Stanley’s archives, this is essential listening for Allman Brothers Band fans, showcasing the original line up of the legendary group with Duane Allman in top form. The seven-song set features blues covers that the band would long employ in their sets (“Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Statesboro Blues”), the morphable spin-off of Donovan’s “Mountain Jam,” the ominous Gregg Allman composition “Whipping Post,” plus the earliest known live recordings of their show opener, Dickey Betts’ monstrous instrumental “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed,” which had just been penned shortly before these shows.
“I had no prior experience with mixing their music, so I hope you don’t mind the rough edges in my mixes here,” wrote Bear in the original liner notes for this collection. “There was a wonderful feeling at these concerts that made the shows a lot of fun for us all...I had a good time working at these shows, and I hope you will have a good time listening to this historic early Allman Brothers Band.”
Although the Allman Brothers Band in early 1970 had but one studio album under their belt, word of mouth about their incendiary and improvisational marathon live shows had begun to spread. In his liner notes, John Lynskey, ABB authority and Chief Archivist of the Big House Museum, aptly describes the Allman Brothers Band’s music as a “wicked blend of rock, jazz and R&B that created a dynamic, groundbreaking sound.”
Presented by the Owsley Stanley Foundation and the band--DUANE ALLMAN, GREGG ALLMAN, DICKEY BETTS, BERRY OAKLEY, JAIMOE aka J. JOHANNY JOHNSON and BUTCH TRUCKS--Bear’s Sonic Journals captures the nascent group on the rise; they would return to the Fillmore just a year later to record At Fillmore East, which continues to be included in conversations about the best live rock albums ever.
Bear’s Sonic Journals: Allman Brothers Band Fillmore East February 1970 track list:
LP Side 1:
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed 9:22
Hoochie Coochie Man 6:04
Statesboro Blues 4:16
LP Side 2:
Trouble No More 4:11
Outskirts Of Town 8:29
Whipping Post 8:11
LP Side 3:
Mountain Jam 15:20
LP Side 4:
Mountain Jam (continued) 15:46