Contemporaries Lynyrd Skynyrd have gotten much more attention lately, but their rote replays of redneck rock come off like a tribute band's set compared to the still-evolving and compelling musical journey of the Allman Brothers Band. After years of so-so studio efforts, 2003's Hittin' the Note proved a surprisingly powerful effort, right on par with Eat a Peach or Idlewild South. It also marked a rejuvenation of the group and the true gelling of the Warren Haynes/Derek Trucks guitar combo, easily the best configuration since the original Duane Allman/Dickey Betts team nearly four decades ago. Today, the ABB is an acknowledged originator of the jam band scene (not surprising, considering their jazz-inflected love for improvisation), and the grizzled face of singer-keyboardist Gregg Allman is securely placed on that genre's Mt. Rushmore along with those of Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana and Lowell George. On previous visits to Houston, the ABB has gigged at the Woodlands Pavilion, but this stop is at the much more intimate Verizon. And the "Evening With" format (i.e., no opening act, long-ass set time) primes the pump for a memorable concert experience. Just don't scream out for "Whippin' Post" -- they'll get to it.
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