The band performed nearly 90 shows in the following year, touring as a five-piece. During recording sessions for their upcoming album, vocalist Gregg Allman was also working on his solo album, Laid Back , and the sessions occasionally overlapped.
He was taken to the hospital shortly thereafter and died of cerebral swelling caused by a fractured skull. The band unanimously decided to carry on and arrange auditions for new bassists, with a renewed fervor and determination.
Several bassists auditioned, but the band picked Lamar Williams , an old friend of drummer Jai Johanny Johanson 's from Gulfport, Mississippi. Allman brought a song he had worked on for a year, titled "Queen of Hearts", but he was drunk and none of the members of the band would listen to him.
Betts became the group's de facto leader during the recording process. I'm the boss. Do this and that. The band were adamant about not replacing Duane's position in the band. Les Dudek , the guitarist who would eventually record "Jessica" and "Ramblin' Man," had entered the sessions when he was asked to jam with Betts through mutual friends.
Nobody was going to replace Duane and the very thought of it was infuriating to us," said Trucks. An embryonic version, referring to a "ramblin' country man," can be heard on the bootleg The Gatlinburg Tapes , featuring the band jamming on an off-day in April in Gatlinburg , Tennessee. Betts first created the song as an experiment, to test whether or not he could write a song that could be played with just two fingers, in honor of Gypsy jazz guitar virtuoso Django Reinhardt , who played with two left fingers due to severe burns.
Dudek was disappointed when he was told he would only be recording the acoustic guitar opening, as Betts felt Dudek performing the harmonies to both "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica" would lead critics to assume he was a member of the band. The song actually contained lyrics from Bobby Bland 's song of the same name, albeit with a very different melody and arrangement.
The album's artwork was taken at "the Farm" in Juliette, Georgia. The cover art features Trucks' son Vaylor, while the back cover featured Oakley's daughter Brittany. To promote a concert, they printed covers of the Brothers and Sisters album cover with the caption "Have you seen me lately?
Brothers and Sisters was immediately successful. The record went gold in retail sales within 48 hours after shipping began. Capricorn estimated that these early sales were due to hardcore fans of the group. Capricorn executives were split between issuing "Wasted Words" or "Ramblin' Man" as the lead single.
National promotion director Dick Wooley sent advance tapes of "Ramblin' Man" to Atlanta and Boston radio stations and "listener phone-in reaction was near-phenomenal. Brothers and Sisters has since sold over seven million copies worldwide. Reviews of Brothers and Sisters in were mostly positive. Bud Scoppa of Rolling Stone deemed the album "no masterpiece, but the new band has shown that it can carry on the work of the old, and add the appropriate new twists when necessary.
They've finally discovered a form that feels as natural in the studio as it does in front of their people. It's heartening to see a group of this commercial and critical stature still working so hard at getting even better. This is another in the continuing line of quality products from The Allman Brothers Band. Subsequent reviews have remained positive. Bruce Eder of Allmusic called Brothers and Sisters "not quite a classic album, especially in the wake of the four that had appeared previously, but it served as a template for some killer stage performances, and it proved that the band could survive the deaths of two key members.
A four-disc reissue of the album received very positive reviews as well. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites. Company Credits. Technical Specs. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide.
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