Charlie Daniels Band – High Lonesome (1976)

LPFrontCover1Charles Edward Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He was best known for his number-one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Daniels was active as a singer and musician from the 1950s. He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels died on July 6, 2020, at the age of 83 of a hemorrhagic stroke at Summit Medical Center in Nashville.

High Lonesome is the eighth studio album by Charlie Daniels and the fourth as The Charlie Daniels Band, released on November 5, 1976. Many of the tracks pay homage to pulp Western fiction and, with permission, the album’s title was named after the 1962 Western novel by Louis L’Amour. (wikipedia)

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Following Saddle Tramp by a matter of months, High Lonesome finds the Charlie Daniels Band retaining their focus on jamming — meaning not just long solos and improvisations, but a loose feel that brings in elements of a number of different Southern styles, blurring the line between country, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Compared to Saddle Tramp, which felt as wide-open and sunny as the plains or desert, High Lonesome is a little darker and denser, a byproduct of the Charlie Daniels Band playing harder as they up the rock quotient while simultaneously playing up cowboy myths. There are strong elements of the Allmans throughout the record, particularly when Charlie Daniels and Tom Crain trade off electric guitar leads and double-up on harmonies, and there’s a harder backbeat. Even better, there’s more of an emphasis on songwriting and tighter arrangements, which means that the Band’s improvistory fire is distilled into tight, concise four-minute bursts, which makes the record as a whole a more infectious, invigorating listen. Also, with Crain singing on “Tennessee” and a pianist taking lead on “Roll Mississippi,” this not only feels more like a band album, it has a welcome, loose, anything-goes feel, actually sounding like the work of a bunch of Southern renegades. If there are no true CDB classics outside of the title track and arguably “Carolina,” there are no bum songs, either, and the whole thing holds together well, perhaps because, unlike its predecessor, it plays as if it has a theme, thanks to the songs about cowboys and the Southern mythology, not to mention its focused arrangements and the muscular blues-rock guitar that ties it all together. All this makes High Lonesome a highlight in Charlie Daniels’ discography. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Crain (guitar, vocals on 08., slide guitar)
Charlie Daniels (guitar, vocals banjo, fiddle, slide guitar)
Fred Edwards (drums, percussion)
Taz DiGregorio (keyboards, vocals on 06.)
Charlie Hayward (bass)
Don Murray (drums, percussion)
+
Toy Caldwell (steel guitar on 07. + 08.)
George McCorkle (guitar on 01.)

LPBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Billy the Kid” (Daniels) 5.50
02. Carolina (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.55
03. High Lonesome (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) – 5:03
04. Running With the Crowd (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 4.02
05. Right Now Tennessee Blues (Daniels) 3.37
06. Roll Mississippi (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.13
07. Slow Song (Daniels) 3.56
08. Tennessee (Crain) 4.43
09. Turned My Head Around (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.52

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CharlieDaniels02Charlie Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020)

Sea Level – Ball Room (1980)

FrontCover1Sea Level was an American jazz fusion band from Macon, Georgia that mixed jazz, blues and rock and existed between 1976 and 1981. Initially it was an offshoot of The Allman Brothers Band, but as tensions grew between the loss of two of its founding members and personal grievances between Gregg Allman and other bandmates and associates, Sea Level took on a life of its own as an independent band.

After the initial breakup of the Allman Brothers Band when Gregg Allman and Dicky Betts left, most of the remaining members who evolved into Sea Level were the trio “We Three” comprising bassist Lamar Williams, drummer Jaimoe and Chuck Leavell (piano, keyboards, vocals). The trio would occasionally open shows for the group in 1975 and 1976. With the Allmans disbanding in 1976, the trio added guitarist Jimmy Nalls and named the band based on a phonetic pun of their new bandleader Chuck Leavell’s name: “C. Leavell.” They toured relentlessly, experimenting and refining their sound, eventually signing with Capricorn Records (home of the Allman Brothers) and recording their self-titled debut album in 1977.

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After the release of their first album, the group expanded to a septet with the additions of Davis Causey (guitar), George Weaver (drums, percussion) and Randall Bramblett (saxophones, keyboards and vocals). That configuration recorded the group’s second album, Cats on the Coast, in 1978 (with the leadoff track, “That’s Your Secret”,[1] reaching #50 on the Billboard Hot 100). By the time of the third album, On the Edge, Jaimoe and Weaver had both left, replaced by Joe English. The sextet of Bramblett, Causey, English, Leavell, Nalls and Williams recorded the fourth album, Long Walk on a Short Pier (1979), unreleased in the United States for nearly twenty years, adding percussionist Matt Greeley for their fifth and final album, Ball Room, issued on Arista in 1980. Their greatest hits album (CD) wrapped up their body of work, minus a handful of appearances on various compilation albums (mostly Southern Rock). They were also featured on a 1978 live Southern Rock album which included a live version of “Grand Larceny.”

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Leavell later emerged as a much sought-after session musician and producer, touring with Eric Clapton and eventually becoming a “permanent” session player touring with the Rolling Stones.

In 1998, he issued his debut solo LP, a Christmas album called What’s in That Bag? and more recently Forever Blue that includes solo versions of two classic Sea Level compositions: “Whole Lotta Colada” and “Song for Amy.” He also released Southscape, an album of Southern anthems that hearkens back to his Southern roots. (wikipedia)

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Ball Room was the last album released by Sea Level. All previous albums were done for Capricorn records, but since they went bankrupt, this album was made for the Arista label. Sea Level was a Chuck Leavell affair. So you know you won’t have to expect the rocky side of southern rock. Instead we get the rather sophisticated side of things. And singing most songs, again, is Randall Bramblett. Where they used to rely very much on jazzy, fusion skills, this leans towards the trends set in the early 80’s. I quite like this a lot, and I hope you will too… (by Skydog)

Yes, I do … enjoy this very special band …

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Personnel:
Randall Bramblett (keyboards, saxophone, vocals)
Davis Causey (guitar)
Joe English (drums)
Matt Greeley (percussion, vocals on 07.)
Chuck Leavell (keyboards, vocals)
Jimmy Nalls (guitar, slide-guitar)
Lamar Williams (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Wild Side (Causey/Bramblett) 4.06
02. School Teacher (Pridgen/Bramblett) 3.24
03. Comfort Range (Causey/Bramblett) 4.03
04. Anxiously Awaiting (Leavell) 4.39
05. Struttin’ (Williams) 4.16
06. We Will Wait (Causey/Bramblett) 3.59
07. You Mean So Much To Me (Causey/Bramblett) 3.48
08. Don’t Want To Be Wrong (Leavell) 4.19
09. Bandstand (Causey/Bramblett) 4.34

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Lamar Williams died from lung cancer in 1983.

Jimmy Nalls, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, died on June 22, 2017

Allman Brothers Band – Academy Of Music, New York (1972)

FrontCover1The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (founder, slide guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, songwriting), as well as Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums). The band incorporated elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows featured jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.

The group’s first two studio releases, The Allman Brothers Band (1969) and Idlewild South (1970) (both released by Capricorn Records), stalled commercially, but their 1971 live release, At Fillmore East, represented an artistic and commercial breakthrough. The album features extended renderings of their songs “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post”, and is considered among the best live albums ever made.

Group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident later that year – on October 29, 1971 …  (wikipedia)

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And here´s a pretty good bootleg (a soundboard recording) of the Allman Brothers after the death of Duane Allman.

A few month later, Berry Oakley was involved in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia, just three blocks from where Duane Allman had his fatal motorcycle accident the year before. Oakley was driving around a sharp right bend of the road on Napier Avenue at Inverness when he crossed the line and collided at an angle with a city bus making the bend from the opposite direction. After striking the front and then the back of the bus, Oakley was thrown from his bike, just as Allman had been, and struck his head.

Berry Oakley

Oakley said he was okay after the accident, declined medical treatment, and caught a ride home. Three hours later, he was rushed back to the hospital, delirious and in pain, and died of cerebral swelling caused by a fractured skull. Attending doctors stated that even if Oakley had gone straight to the hospital from the scene of the accident, he could not have been saved. He was 24 years old when he died, the same age as Allman. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Gregg Allman  (keyboards, vocals)
Dickey Betts (guitar)
Jai Johanny Johanson (drums, percussion)
Berry Oakley (bass)
Butch Trucks (drums)

Alternate frontcovers:
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Tracklist:
01. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 4.26
02. Done Somebody Wrong (Lewis/Robinson/James) 4.06
03. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Allman) 5.19
04. One Way Out (Sehorn/James) 6.58
05. Stormy Monday (Walker) 8.22
06. Trouble No More (Morganfield) 3.46
07 You Don’t Love Me (Cobbs) 13.13
08. Whipping Post (Allman) 13.28

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Marshall Tucker Band – Long Hard Ride (1976)

FrontCover1Long Hard Ride is the fifth studio album by The Marshall Tucker Band, released in 1976 and produced by Paul Hornsby. Guest performers included Charlie Daniels, John McEuen and Jerome Joseph. The title track was made into a short film that was played as a sort of movie trailer. It depicts the members of the band as a gang of cowboys. The album’s cover features Frank C. McCarthy’s painting “The Last Crossing”.

On Long Hard Ride, The Marshall Tucker Band’s country influences come to the fore, resulting in a strong record that failed to gain many hits. Still, the final product is well worth listening to — it’s one of their better releases. Be sure to listen for Charlie Daniels’ guest appearance. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

The Marshall Tucker Band seems to have been largely forgotten today but in the mid-1970s this band was one of the best Southern rock, country-rock outfits around.

Marshall Tucker had a very unique sound; they combined what was essentially a country and country-rock sound with elements of blues and jazz to create one of the most distinctive musical styles among the many successful bands that, at the time, were coming out of the south eastern U.S.

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Bands that come out of the South at the same time as Marshall Tucker included Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Charlie Daniels Band.

If you’re not familiar with the Marshall Tucker Band, there are three of their albums you should check out: Searchin’ For A Rainbow, Long Hard Ride and Carolina Dreams. All three are excellent. (by Mark Anderson)

Take a Great Ride with the MTB:
The Marshall Tucker Band have recorded a lot of great albums, and this one are among the best. I think that ALL the songs are very strong. The first melody is the title-song `Long Hard Ride`. Close your eyes and you`ll believe that you`re in the wild west! And then the band continues with seven more great songs, among these I will mention `Walkìn`the Streets Alone, `Windy City Blues` and `You Say You Love Me`. Well this cd means a lot to me. I remember that it was a christmas-gift to me back in 1976 or something like that, off course on lp. And now so many years after, it is still such a great album. (ny Henrik Lorenz)

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Personnel:
Tommy Caldwell (bass, background vocals)
Toy Caldwell (guitar, steel guitar, vocals on 02.)
Jerry Eubanks (flute, saxophone, background vocals)
Doug Gray (vocals, percussion)
George McCorkle (guitar, banjo)
Paul Riddle (drums)
+
Charlie Daniels (fiddle)
Jerome Joseph (percussion)
John McEuen (banjo, mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. Long Hard Ride (Toy Caldwell) 3.40
02. Property Line (Toy Caldwell) 2.55
03. Am I The Kind Of Man (Toy Caldwell) 4.11
04. Walkin’ The Streets Alone (Toy Caldwell) 4.55
05. Windy City Blues (Eubanks/Gray/McCorkle) 4.46
06. Holding On To You (McCorkle) 3.42
07. You Say You Love Me (Toy Caldwell) 3.50
08. You Don’t Live Forever (Tommy Caldwell) 3.51

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The Last Crossing

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Almost Brothers – A Band Of Roadies (2014)

FrontCover1On one hand, the vibe of A Band Of Roadies comes as no surprise: after all, the band comprised members of the Allman Brothers Band’s road crew circa ’73-’74, along with some other players from the Macon, GA music scene at the time. This mix of covers and originals – infused with bluesy, jazzy grooves and adventurous jams – is exactly what you might expect from offshoots of the ABB family.

What is a pleasant surprise, however, is the fact that this is a great album made by some solid players. After all, just because they lugged the Allmans’ gear, it doesn’t guarantee they could play it … but A Band Of Roadies stands on its own hind legs as a cool chunk of early 70s bluesrock recently rediscovered.

If you’re familiar at all with ABB history, you’ll recognize some of the band members: the late Twiggs Lyndon – the Allmans’ original road manager – plays guitar; longtime road crew member Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell (who passed away in 2011) mans the drums, along with soundman Michael Artz; Buddy Thornton (who handled front-of-house sound for the Allmans) plays bass. Virginia Speed’s talents on piano earned her a job as a keyboard tech for the ABB; her killer Steinway work and lead vocals on the classic “Fever” demonstrate just how good she was. And Dave “Trash” Cole was actually working on the farm that the Allmans owned in Juliette, GA when Lyndon discovered he was also a wicked guitar picker. Cole was hired on as an ABB guitar tech – and he was a natural for the Almost Brothers lineup.

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The Almost Brothers were birthed from the need to do pre-gig sound checks in the absence of the actual ABB members. As Chuck Leavell writes in the liner notes, “As we began to tour behind the release [of Brothers And Sisters ] in 1973 there were times when, for various reasons, the band wouldn’t or couldn’t make sound checks.” (Ahhhh … those “various reasons” …)

The Almost Brothers progressed from warming up gear (and often the crowd when the doors opened early) for the Allmans to playing their own gigs in and around the Macon area. When the ABB took 1974 off so Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts could burrow into their respective solo projects, the Almost Brothers got serious about playing in an effort to keep some money coming in.

The 10 cuts on A Band Of Roadies were recorded over a long weekend during that time period – the band was basically helping to break in the newly-revamped Capricorn Studios. The original masters of those sessions have disappeared, but the two-track studio tapes were recently unearthed. The format allowed for no re-mixing – simply basic EQ touchup and editing; but the raw, in-the-moment feel of this music makes up for any sonic flaws.

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The addition of band buddy Joe English on congas for the piano-driven blues romp “Driving Wheel” and the instrumental “Knurled Knob” (penned by Thornton) is a happenstance crystal ball view of what the Allmans’ sound would evolve into when percussionist Marc Quiñones joined them 17 years later.

Dave Cole’s vocals throughout the album are soulful – more Bobby Whitlock-style than Gregg Allman – and he and Lyndon complement each other well on guitar. They stand shoulder to shoulder on the signature riff of Memphis Slim’s “Stepping Out” before taking turns putting their own spins on the number. (A bit of pickin’ porn for you: Twiggs Lyndon was playing the late Duane Allman’s ’59 Tobacco Burst Les Paul for these sessions … listen for that tone.)

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The Allmans had their classic one-two punch of “Don’t Want You No More” into “It’s Not My Cross to Bear”; the Almost Brothers here take off on the shape-shifter instrumental “Modular Motion” before banging down a couple gears to grind out a cover of “Drifting”. Virginia Speed’s solo on Capricorn’s big ol’ Steinway here is a classic – unhurried, lovely and just raunchy enough to be sexy.

Cole leads the band through his self-penned “Is It Wrong” – a much gentler tune than the rest of the album, but a great, spacious opportunity for the band to get loose and glide. Swooping bass lines by Thornton weave around Speed’s rippling piano; the guitars bounce in and out of harmony lines; and guest Scott Boyer (from the band Cowboy) contributes some sweet pedal steel.

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“Complicated Shoes”, “Rainbow Chase” and “Compactor” are more Buddy Thornton instrumentals that prove what kind of players the Almost Brothers really were. Don’t expect aimless noodling over standard blues progressions; these songs all feature complex grooves that challenge the rhythm section, cool melodies and themes that allow Speed to work the keyboard, and perfect launchpads for Lyndon and Cole to blast off.

All in all, A Band Of Roadies is a great listen, regardless of the Allman connection. The fact that this music was created from a mix of service to the job at hand and a passion for the music that surrounded them makes the story of the Almost Brothers one that causes you to smile and shake your head. In another time; another setting … who knows what might have become of this band?

In the moment, it was set it up; get it right; tear it down; do it again. (by Brian Robbins)

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Liner notes by Chuck Leavell:
Back in “The Day”, when the Allman Brothers Band had recorded the “Brothers and Sisters” album and we were riding high with the LP reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Album Charts
and the song “Rambling Man” reaching No. 2 on the Singles chart, our road crew were riding high with us.
They were all very talented in their respective positions, and all very dedicated to us,
and to the fans that came to see us.
They were recognized by our peers and theirs as being the best road crew in the world,
and in my opinion that was certainly the case.
As we began to tour behind the release of the record in 1973, there were times when for various reasons the band wouldn’t or couldn’t make sound checks.
Our crew would sometimes do them for us, which was a great help and ensured that we would be comfortable when we hit the stage.
As time went on, they began to play more on their own, adding in some other players
that were in the Macon, Ga. area at the time.

The result of this was The Almost Brothers.
I can remember them rehearsing quite a lot, working up some cover tunes and writing some of their own. They were all having a great time, and were honing in their musical skills.
They became very popular around town, and created a reputation for themselves,
playing in some clubs and various other settings.
Fortunately, they also recorded some of their material, and after all these years,
our then house sound engineer, Buddy Thornton, has uncovered those two track tapes,
cleaned them up as much as possible with his expert skills, and herein is the result.
Listening to these recordings bring back some great memories for me, and all the musicians involved put their hearts and souls into the Almost Brothers.
They were all great folks to work with and I am so glad that we have this recording
to document this piece of history.
You can hear the fun they were having and the passion they put into their own band…so, listen and enjoy!

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Personnel:
Michael Artz (drums)
Joseph ‘Red Dog’ Campbell (drums)
Dave ‘Trash’ Cole (guitar, vocals)
Joe English (percussion)
Twiggs Lyndon (guitar)
Virginia Speed (piano, vocals on 07.)
T.T. Thornton (bass)
+
Scott Boyer (steel-guitar on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Driving Wheel (Sykes) 4.01
02. Knurled Knob (Thornton) 2.59
03. Love You (Like A Man) (Smither) 4.33
04. Stepping Out (Slim) 2.23
05. Modular Motion/Drifting 5.34
05.1 Drifting (Thornton)
05.2. Drifting (Brown/Moore/Williams)
06. Complicated Shoes (Thornton) 2.43
07. Fever (Cooley) 3.54
08. Rainbow Chase (Thornton) 5.14
09. Is It Wrong (Cole) 4.46
10. Compactor (Thornton) 4.40

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ZZ Top – Tejas (1977)

FrontCover1Tejas is the fifth studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released in late November 1976. The title is a Caddo language word meaning ‘friends’, which is the origin of the name of the band’s home state, Texas.

Frontman Billy Gibbons said about the album:

It’s fair to say that this is a transitional record, although I’m not really sure what we were transitioning from and what we were becoming. (laughs) It may be representative of how rapidly things were changing in the studio.

The equipment was becoming more modernized, and the way that music was being recorded was different – things were moving faster. It was still pre-digital, but there was better gear that was more readily available. We made use of it all.

This period was the wrinkle that kind of suggested what was to come, and change would become a necessary part of the ZZ Top fabric.

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Tejas was produced by Bill Ham and recorded and mixed by Terry Manning. In 1987, a digitally remixed version of the recording was released on CD and the original 1976 mix version was discontinued. The remix version created controversy among fans because it significantly changed the instrument balance and the sound of the instruments, especially the drums. (by wikipedia)

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1977s Tejas is a transition album for Texas rockers ZZ Top. It is the beginning of their step away from the Blues Rock that had brought them fame and a lot of record sales and towards the 1980s Electronic Blues that would eventually make them a worldwide phenomenon. There is more of the former Blues Rock than the latter Electronica here though. Tejas is almost as good a ZZ Top’s masterpiece Deguello, but is held back by some weaker tracks, something Deguello didn’t suffer from. Still there are some amazing songs here, notable the blazing, yet tongue in cheek Arrested for Driving While Blind, the countrified and rollicking She’s a Heartbreaker, and the achingly beautiful Asleep in the Desert. Overall Tejas is an important part of ZZ Top’s discography, and a very good album.(by Karl)

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On Tejas, ZZ Top countrified the bluesy posture of their previous albums, resulting in a slight detour between the madcap spirit of Fandango and the psychedelic strut of Deguello. While the album lacks any singles as strong as “Tush” or “La Grange,” “Arrested for Driving While Blind” is one of ZZ’s classic anthems, capturing the group’s wacky humor and jaunty good-time boogie. Other highlights include the driving “Enjoy and Get It On,” “Avalon Hideaway,” and the fine instrumental “Asleep in the Desert.” (by Jim Smith)

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Personnel:
Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals, harmonica, fiddle)
Dusty Hill (bass guitar, keyboards, vocals on 01., 06., 07., 08., background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s Only Love 4.24
02. Arrested For Driving While Blind 3.09
03. El Diablo 4.22
04. Snappy Kakkie 2.59
05. Enjoy And Get It On 3.26
06. Ten Dollar Man 3.41
07. Pan Am Highway Blues 3.15
08. Avalon Hideaway 3.08
09. She’s A Heartbreaker 3.02
10. Asleep In The Desert 3.25

All songs are written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard,
except 10 (written by Billy Gibbons)

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Allman Brothers Band – Peakin’ At The Beacon (2000)

FrontCover1Peakin’ at the Beacon is a live album by the rock group the Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded at the Beacon Theatre in New York City in March, 2000, and released later that year.

Peakin’ at the Beacon was the first Allman Brothers Band album to include Derek Trucks on guitar and Oteil Burbridge on bass, and the last to include founding member Dickey Betts. (by wikipedia)

When Gregg Allman was asked why Dickey Betts was kicked out of the Allman Brothers Band in the spring of 2000, he is reported to have suggested the answer lay in the tapes from the group’s two-week stand at the Beacon Theatre in New York. That makes it surprising that the Allmans would turn to those tapes to assemble their first new album release in five and a half years, Peakin’ at the Beacon. Happily, however, there is no evidence of Betts’ alleged shortcomings on the disc, though it must be admitted that, since he is one of two lead guitarists (the other being Derek Trucks, making his recorded debut with the band), it isn’t always easy to tell who is playing. There is plenty of guitar work, and it is up to the Allmans’ usual standard.

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Following the instrumental opener, Gregg Allman sings lead on seven straight songs, all of which come from the band’s first three studio albums. Betts finally appears as a vocalist on the ninth track, the 1990 folk-country tune “Seven Turns.” Finally, there is a 27-and-a-half-minute version of the 1975 Betts instrumental “High Falls,” a typical extended workout complete with jazzy interludes and a lengthy percussion section. The Allmans may not have been due for another live album (two of their last three releases being concert recordings), but the series of Beacon shows has become an annual event, and the disc serves as a souvenir from the March 2000 shows. Fans who attended those shows, or who just want to be reassured that the Allmans sound much the same as ever, may enjoy the album; less devoted listeners probably shouldn’t bother. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Gregg Allman (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals)
Oteil Burbridge (bass)
Jaimoe (drums, percussion)
Marc Quiñones (percussion, vocals)
Butch Trucks (drums, percussion)
Derek Trucks (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Want You No More (Davis/Hardin) 3.06
02. It’s Not My Cross To Bear (Allman) 5.13
03. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Allman) 5.46
04. Every Hungry Woman (Allman) 5.57
05. Please Call Home (Allman) 4.31
06. Stand Back (Allman/Oakley) 5.45
07. Black Hearted Woman (Allman) 6.30
08. Leave My Blues At Home (Allman) 5.07
09. Seven Turns (Betts) 4.49
10. High Falls (Betts) 27.28

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38 Special – Special Delivery (1978)

FrontCover1Special Delivery is the second studio album by southern rock band 38 Special, released in 1978. Neon Park was responsible for the album’s artwork. (by wikipedia)

The second album from .38 Special and it stays in the pure southen rock style the band debuet with the first album but just a bit better and with a couple hints of what was to come. This album also has the bands first Ronnie Van Zant tribute song on it TAKE ME BACK was written as a tribute to Ronnie and how much Donnie has been missing his as a brother and as a mentor.

as mentioned above, you also get a glimps of what the bands sound would start to move to but not a large glimps

I Been A Mover has that catchy, upbeat feel to it and the guitars come alive in this one. Donnie Van Zant in his trademark hat and energy just smoked on this one. Don and Jeff make on heck of a guitar team and the 2 drummers and LJ on bass made for a solid rythm section.

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Like I said above you can see a small shift in the music, just a small hint of what was to come. with this one you can just imagine them pumping it up a bit and Don bringing his vocals to this

This is the last pure southern rock album the band would put out but not the last time they carry the flag for the genre. as the 80’s were to wear on they would be THE last of the southern rock bands standing, thanks to the way the band would meld AOR and Southern Rock. The best was yet to come for the band and the fans, although many times they had to answer the question on if they sold out. I say NO. you listen to the albums to follow and the band just got better. they found what they did well and ran with it. why be a 2nd rate Skynyrd when you can be a first rate .38 Special? (by 66 mustang)

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Personnel:
Don Barnes (guitar, vocals)
Steve Brookins (drums)
Jeff Carlisi (guitar, pedal-steel guitar, slide guitar)
Terry Emery (percussion, piano)
Jack Grondin (drums)
Larry Junstrom (bass)
Donnie van Zant (vocals)
+
Billy Powell (piano on 01. + 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. I’m A Fool For You (Cascella) 3.02
02. Turnin’ To You (Barnes/Carlisi) 4.06
03. Travelin’ Man (Barnes/Carlisi/van Zant)
04. I Been a Mover (Carlisi/van Zant) 4.19
05. What Can I Do? (Barnes/van Zant) 4.32
06. Who’s Been Messin’ (Barnes/Carlisi/van Zant/Hartman) 4.19
07. Can’t Keep A Good Man Down (Barnes(van Zant/Junstrom) 3.23
08. Take Me Back (Barnes/van Zant) 5.17

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38Special02

The Allman Brothers Band – The Final Show (2014)

FrontCover1The only note of sentiment during the Allman Brothers Band’s October 28th concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre – their last at that venue and anywhere else, at least for the foreseeable future – came after more than four hours of music: three sets and an inevitable encore, “Whipping Post.” The seven members of the group – the surviving trio of founders, singer-organist Gregg Allman and drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe; the long-serving guitar team of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks; and often overlooked veterans Oteil Burbridge on bass and percussionist Marc Quinones – lined up onstage and took a bow: a first at any Allmans-Beacon show I’d ever attended.
Then Gregg, pressed forward by the others, gave a short speech, another first, recalling the day 45 years ago that he first sang with the original Allmans lineup – led by his late brother, guitarist Duane Allman, and including guitarist Dickey Betts and the late bassist Berry Oakley – at a jam session in Jacksonville, Florida. Gregg cited the precise date, March, 26th, 1969, then said, in a low, worn voice, “Never did I have any idea it could come to this.” He gazed gratefully at the crowd, still on its feet, clapping and cheering, at nearly 1:30 a.m. “Now,” Gregg added, “We’re gonna do the first song we ever played.”
The Allmans got back in position and tore into “Trouble No More,” the Muddy Waters rumble from Side One of the group’s 1969 debut album, The Allman Brothers Band. It sounded nothing like goodbye: tight and gnarly, Derek and Haynes riding the triple-drum-kit surf with avenging poise. But it was.

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Until that late acknowledgement of the occasion, the show was most remarkable for what didnt’t happen. There were no special guests – a signature feature of the Alllmans’ Beacon shows over the last decade – and the group did not throw in any of the extended-family covers (the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Dr.John, Derek and the Dominos) that came, often in medleys without warning, during the Allmans’ annual spring runs at the Beacon. The closest they got to the latter: an elegaic swerve, at the end of the first set, through King Curtis’s “Soul Serenade” in “You Don’t Love Me,” quoting a segue I’ve got on an August, 1971 live-radio bootleg; and the chase-scene extension of “Black Hearted Woman” in the second set, when the rhythm section switched accents and Derek and Haynes hit the chattering riff of the Grateful Dead’s “The Other One.”

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Otherwise, the Allmans – who announced their retirement from touring after Derek and Haynes issued a statement earlier this year that they were leaving to concentrate on their own careers – made sure they performed as much of their classic catalog, from the five albums made between that ’69 bow and 1973’s Brothers and Sisters, as could be fit in one night. The end of the road actually began with a poetic rewind of Duane-time flashbacks: An introductory flourish of the guitarist’s last composition, the acoustic “Little Martha” played by Derek and Haynes in electric harmony, quickly broke into “Mountain Jam,” the guitarists citing Donovan’s source melody, “There Is a Mountain,” in languid, treble sighs. It was a literal replication of the closing sequence, on Sides Three and Four, of 1972’s Eat a Peach, the album the Allmans were making when Duane died the previous October. That coupling erupted into another: the one-two punch of the Spencer Davis Group’s “Don’t Want You No More” and Gregg’s eerily prophetic blues “It’s Not My Cross to Bear” at the beginning of The Allman Brothers Band.

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The Allmans’ recurring cycles of ascension, tragedy, crash, recovery and determined performing triumph, in every era, were directly addressed in a first-set reading of “The High Cost of Low Living,” from 2003’s Hittin’ the Note, the only Allmans studio album to feature Derek and Haynes. The third set was a loosely narrative charge through pilgrimage and celebration – “Revival,” “Southbound” and more “Mountain Jam.” The last gently dissolved into the Carter Family hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” sung by Gregg as ragged pleading with Haynes riding shotgun, in decisively sunny harmony. But the finish extended the circle, taking everyone back to psychedelic church with another flash of “Mountain Jam” at “The Other One” velocity.

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The talk in the balcony, before the show and during the breaks, was of Betts, who was fired in 2000: Was there a chance he would come out and play, completing one more circle on the last possible night? He didn’t but was present in the songs – “Blue Sky,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” – and in Derek and Haynes’ ties, through their harmonies and soloing, to the standards of fraternal lock and empathic dialogue set by Duane, with Betts, right out of the gate, in 1969. As he did on other nights in this October run, Derek played Duane’s own gold-top Les Paul – in the first set during Elmore James’ “One Way Out” and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.”
But there was a lot of blues-power Dickey cutting through the Duane in both Derek’s raga-panic breaks and Haynes’ modal skids during “Elizabeth Reed” and in that “Whipping Post.” The younger men both played with Betts at different times in the Allmans, then together in the band for nearly fifteen years, five times longer than Betts and Duane did. There was never a suggestion – when Derek joined in 1999 and Haynes came back after Betts’ dismissal – that either player had replaced the elders. The lightning, frenzy and swan dives in “Hot ‘Lanta,” “Statesboro Blues” And “Dreams,” tonight as at every other Beacon show I saw, were acts of acknowledgement and summation, charged with pursuit of the unfinished.

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That work, it seems, will stay undone. During the intermissions, a curious message appeared on the large video screen behind the band: “The road indeed goes on forever. So stay calm, eat a peach and carry on . . .” The individual members of the Allmans will certainly continue to play in some form and combinations. There may even be reunions. As for the guitarists, Derek’s R&B juggernaut with his wife Susan Tedeschi, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, recently played a transcendant Beacon run in September, and Haynes’ group Gov’t Mule will make their traditional holiday stop at that stage on December 30th and 31st. I went to the former; I don’t want to miss the latter.
But it will take more than a peach to get me through next March. It was never spring, I always said, until I saw the Allmans peakin’ at the Beacon. Tonight was a generous, continually thrilling farewell. It will make the leaving that much harder to bear. (Rolling Stone on Facebook, 2014)

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The Allman Brothers Band could have wrapped up their farewell concert with any number of songs. They could have gone with an epic, jammed-out “Whipping Post,” which they did for the second last song at New York’s Beacon Theater on October 28th, 2014. They could have gone with a classic like “Mountain Jam,” “Midnight Rider” or “Melissa,” but they did those earlier in the night during the four hour blowout. Instead, they went with Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More,” from their first side of their 1969 debut LP. An emotional Gregg Allman told the crowd that night it was the first song played at the group’s first rehearsal. “This was at about 3:30 in the afternoon, on March 26th, 1969,” he said. “Never did I have any idea it would come to this.”

It came to this after 45 amazing years that saw more tragedy and heartbreak than just about any group in rock history. They endured the deaths of guitarist Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley in separate motorcycle accidents just a few years after the group began, two breakups, a bitter split with founding guitarist Dickey Betts after years of acrimony and numerous health problems for Gregg Allman that threatened their existence time and time again. Throughout it all they kept gigging, helped in no small part by the addition of guitarists Warren Haynes in 1989 and guitarist Derek Trucks (nephew of drummer Butch Trucks) a decade later.

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When the time came to call it quits in 2014 there was no other place to end it than the Beacon Theater. They first played a residency at the Upper West Side theater in 1989 and three years later they turned it into an annual tradition. Fans from around the country descended on New York City every March for a chance to catch the shows, which featured a steady stream of surprise guest stars, amazing covers and unforgettable nights.

Demand for tickets was never higher than the October 28th, 2014 show. Days after it ended, Derek Trucks told Rolling Stone they ended at the right time. “If we’d gone on much longer, we wouldn’t have been able to summon that [last] show,” he said. “Almost any other time there’s a huge send-off, it’s a star-studded thing. This was just the band showing up and playing, the way they always did. There’s something honest and proud, dignified and beautiful about the way it ended.”

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From nearly the minute it ended rumors began spreading that the band was going to reform. “I would never rule anything out,” Haynes told Rolling Stone in 2015. “There’s no talk of that, but you know, I think the door’s always open.” That door began closing in January when Butch Trucks committed suicide, and it permanently closed on May 27th when Gregg Allman died after a long battle with liver cancer. Thankfully, the group had the opportunity to meticulously plan their final show and go out on an incredibly high note. (by Rolling Stone, May 30, 2017)

And the last song of this fanstastic show, was the first song, The Allman Brothers Band ever played  back in summer of 69 in Jacksonville, Forida.

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Personnel:
Gregg Allman (keyboards, vocals, guitar)
Oteil Burbridge (bass, vocals)
Warren Haynes (guitar, slide guitar)
Jaimoe (drums, percussion)
Marc Quinones (percussion, vocals)
Butch Trucks (drums, percussion)
Derek Trucks (guitar, slide guitar)

Allman Brothers Band In Concert - New York, NY

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Little Martha (D.Allman) 0.51
02. Mountain Jam (Leitch/D.Allman/Betts/Oakley/Johansen/Trucks/G.Allman) 4.01
03. Don’t Want You No More (Davis/Hardin) 2.35
04. It’s Not My Cross To Bear (G.Allman) 5.04
05. One Way Out (Sehorn/James) 6.25
06. Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl (Williamson) 10.54
07. Midnight Rider (G.Allman) 3.35
08. The High Cost Of Low Living (Allman/Haynes/Anders/Burgin) 8.39
09. Hot ‘Lanta (D.Allman/Betts/Oakley/Johansen/Trucks/G.Allman) 5.38
10. Blue Sky (Betts) 9.55
11. You Don’t Love Me (Cobbs) 13.30

CD 2:
01. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 4.52
02. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (G.Allman) 7.43
03. Black Hearted Woman (G.Allman) 13.08
04. The Sky Is Crying (James) 9.10
05. Dreams (G.Allman) 11.41
06. Don’t Keep Me Wondering (G.Allman) 4.16
07. Stage banter 1 0.18
08. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Betts) 15.28
09. JaMaBuBu (Trucks/Jaimoe) 10.27
10. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Betts) 2.34

CD 3:
01. Melissa (G.Allman) 5.39
02. Revival (Betts) 4.18
03. Stage banter 2 0.13
04. Southbound (Betts) 5.20
05. Mountain Jam (Leitch/D.Allman/Betts/Oakley/Johansen/Trucks/G.Allman) 8.06
06. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Gabriel/Habershon) 10.51
07. Mountain Jam (reprise) (Leitch/D.Allman/Betts/Oakley/Johansen/Trucks/G.Allman) 3.07
08. Crowd noise 1 4.10
09. Whipping Post (G.Allman) 14.30
10. Crowd noise 2 1.48
11. Farewell
12. Trouble No More (Morganfield/Estes) 4.29

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Toy Caldwell – Can´t You See (live 1992) (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgToy Talmadge Caldwell Jr. (November 13, 1947 – February 25, 1993) was the lead guitarist, main songwriter and a founding member of the 1970s Southern Rock group The Marshall Tucker Band. He was a member of the band from its formation up until 1983. In addition to his guitarist role, he occasionally performed lead vocals for Marshall Tucker Band, including on one of the band’s best-known hits, “Can’t You See.”

Caldwell was born November 13, 1947, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Mr. and Mrs. Toy Talmadge Caldwell Sr. He began playing guitar before his teen years with his younger brother Tommy Caldwell. He developed a unique style of playing, playing the electric guitar using his thumb rather than a pick. Toy played basketball and football in high school with friends George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks, and Doug Gray. While very involved in sports, the boys eventually became interested in music including jazz and blues. By the age of sixteen, Caldwell was passionate about music, sports, and his other obsession, motorcycles. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

ToyCaldwell03Caldwell decided to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1966, he reported for recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After being wounded in Vietnam in September 1968, he was evacuated for two weeks, then returned for duty. Caldwell was discharged in 1969 and once again began playing music with his high school buddies. The Spartanburg chapter of the Marine Corps League is named the Hutchings-Caldwells Detachment in honor of Toy, his brother Tommy and another Marine.

He later formed the Toy Caldwell Band and released an eponymous CD in 1992; the record was later renamed Son of the South by Southern country rocker and Caldwell’s personal friend, Charlie Daniels. The album was digitally re-released in 2009 through Hopesong Digital / GMV Nashville.

Caldwell died on February 25, 1993, at his home in Moore, South Carolina. The cause of death was reported as cardio-respiratory failure due to cocaine ingestion by Spartanburg County Coroner Jim Burnett.

Caldwell married his wife Abbie on September 12, 1969. The song “AB’s Song” from The Marshall Tucker Band’s debut album was written for her. He was also the father of two girls Cassady and Geneal Caldwell.

He was the older brother of co-founder and bass guitarist Tommy Caldwell, who was killed at age 30 in an automobile accident on April 28, 1980, and to Tim Caldwell, who on March 28, 1980, one month prior to Tommy’s death, was killed at age 25 in a collision with a Spartanburg County garbage truck on S.C. Highway 215. (by wikipedia)

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Toy Caldwell was best known as the lead guitarist and main songwriter in the Marshall Tucker Band. A unique personality as well as a formidable musician, he was a peer of both Dickey Betts and Charlie Daniels, and his best work crossed effortlessly between country, blues, and rock & roll. A few years after the breakup of the Marshall Tucker Band in the late ’80s, he re-emerged as leader of the Toy Caldwell Band, which played small-scale shows of the kind that the Marshall Tucker Band couldn’t do. He also recorded one solo album before his death in early 1993. Although most of his fame inevitably rests with the Marshall Tucker Band, Caldwell left behind a small but glorious body of solo material. (by Bruce Eder)

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First let me say I respect Abbie Caldwell and her belief that Toy would not have wanted this released. That said, me being a true blue TC fan I want anything and everything I can get a hold of from Toy. This album and his 1984 unreleased album with the song Cry Cry Cry are “must haves” to the real fan. This album may be some of the last we get from Toy and that’s a shame.
Yea the picture on the cover and sound quality aren’t the best but it’s Toy and his guitar, I could care less about the cover pic. I want to hear him play and man does he play!
It was Toy’s songwriting and the bands performances that first took a hold of me and many others back in early 70s and still today we thirst for anything from Toy. Adding this to your MTB, Toy Caldwell collection can’t be a bad thing. Buy it, sit back, crank it up and listen to some good ol boy chicken pickin. You wont be disappointed.
Toy was a US Marine / V Nam veteran and a gifted songwriter, awesome guitarist who is deeply missed.
Ride in Peace Tommy, Toy & George….. we miss you brothers. (by ‘J’ Willys)

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The Marshall Tucker Band was one of the more successful acts under the Allman Brother’s umbrella on Capricorn Records. I confess until the MTB band album “Where We All Belong” I didn’t know just how much the main reason I liked MTB was Toy Caldwell. That album was a eye-opener to the prowess of Toy’s “red-hot pickin'”! And boy could the man tear up the fretboard.

MTB, like the Allman Brothers had some hard-knocks and here we find Toy after MTB’s breakup doing what he does best without any cares. It’s a crack band (by all indications) supporting him, but here we really have the total “Toy Caldwell Show” and it is raw and rocking with infectious power! The focus is on the great songcraft melded to some of the absolutely tastiest guitar rips and the rawness only drives it home better.

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This is a highly recommended album if you, like me, found Toy’s guitar playing and song-writing to be the cornerstone of what made MTB memorable. Recently I saw MTB live of which Doug Gray is the only remaining original member. Maybe I saw them on an “off-night”, but it fell flat to these ears…This, on the other hand, brings excitement and joy as it underscores just what a fantastic picker Toy was. He was an amazing guitarist and quite a fine song-writer which this CD easily reveals in an electric way. For those who appreciate the man it is a must buy. One other thing I always knew is that the rhythm section of MTB was tight and in-sync totally with Toy (like Toy, brother Tommy’s bass-playing was also underated and Paul Riddle is a fantastic drummer), the rhythm section here is up to the task. Enough said! (John Werner)

Recorded live at Shooters, Spartanburg, SC, May 8 & 9, 1992

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Personnel:
Mark Burrell (drums)
Toy Caldwell (guitar, vocals)
Tony “Ray” Heatherly (bass, background vocals)
J. “Pic” Pickens (guitar, slide-guitar)
Kenny Smith (keyboards)

on 12.:
Tommy Cathey (bass)
Paul Hornsby (strings, tipani)
Robert Johnson (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Pete Pedersen (harmonica on 12.)

on 13.:

Tommy Cathey (bass)
Charlie Daniels (fiddle)
Paul Hornsby (keyboards)
Robert Johnson (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. I Hear The South Calling Me (Bettis/Bannon) 4.21
02. Searchin’ For A Rainbow (Caldwell) 4.20
03. Heard It In A Love Song (Caldwell) 4.46
04. Long Hard Ride (Caldwell) 4.23
05. Mexico (Caldwell) 5.04
06. 24 Hours At A Time (Caldwell) 14.00
07. Milk Cow Blues (Kokomo) 9.39
08. Fly Eagle Fly (Caldwell) 5.40
09. Can’t You See (Caldwell) 6.23
10. Night Life (Bettis/Buskirk/Nelson) 3.58
11. Ab’s Song (Caldwell) 1.24
12. High Noon (Bonus Studio Track) (Tiomkin/Washington) 3.50
13. Trouble In Dixie (Bonus Studio Track) (Caldwell) 4.01

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Toy Talmadge Caldwell Jr. (November 13, 1947 – February 25, 1993)