The Allman Brothers Band – (You Don’t Like) Ramblin’ Jam Part 1 (Vague Records 048/049/050)


(You Don’t Like) Ramblin’ Jam Part 1 (Vague Records 048/049/050)

RFK Stadium, Washington, DC – June 9th, 1973

Disc 1 (59:52):  Wasted Words, Done Somebody Wrong, One Way Out, Stormy Monday, Midnight Rider, Ramblin’ Man, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed

Disc 2 (48:48):  Statesboro Blues, Trouble No More, Jessica, You Don’t Love Me, Soul Serenade, Southbound

Disc 3 (71:23):  Les Brers In A Minor, Whipping Post, Mountain Jam

Six weeks before The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead set legendary endurance records in Watkins Glen, New York they shared the bill for a massive weekend in Washington DC.  Over a sweltering weekend, June 9th and June 10th, they played before an estimated 200,000 people.  The soundboard recordings for The Allman Brothers Band sets exist on soundboard recordings and were both released on Vague Records in 2002.  

Vague Records is the only silver pressed edition of this recording.  It is very clear and detailed with very good balance of the instruments in the mix.  The audience noise is pushed to the point of almost being inaudible. 

There are several small cuts including 6:58 in “One Way Out,” after “Stormy Monday” omitting the opening notes to “Midnight Rider,” 5:16 in “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” and a small cut omitting the opening notes to “Les Brers In A Minor.”  None are as intrusive as on the second night, however, and this release contains virtually the complete three hour performance. 

Doug Sahm was the opening act.  He had just released his Atlantic debut Doug Sahm And Band(an LP featuring Bob Dylan helping, among others).  The Grateful Dead played second and The Allman Brothers Band closed the show.

“Wasted Words” opens the show from the yet unreleased LP Brothers And Sisters.  Several more new songs including “Rambling Man,” “Southbound” and “Jessica” are also played in the set and already are stretched past their studio recordings.  Most notable is “Jessica” which is almost twice its original length.  

In the first set, which is documented on disc one, Dickey Betts pays a humorous homage to The Grateful Dead by playing the somber “Midnight Rider” in the style of Jerry Garcia.  The first half ends with a long and haunting version of “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.”  Like with much of the older tunes, new pianist Chuck Leavell adds accompaniment with Dickey Betts’ guitar lines.

At the start of the second set they experience a delay with the equipment.  “We’d like to thank Methuselah’s grandmother for supplying us with the monitors” Gregg Allman quips.  “Well, there’s no curfew or anything.  We’ve got plenty of time” before they start with “Statesboro Blues.”

The second hour ends with the long and surreal “Les Brers In A Minor” with drum and bass solos and fireworks to punctuate a long day.  A twenty minute “Whipping Post,” which seems to lose much energy by the end, is the first encore. 

Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead and Ronnie Montrose of Montrose join in for the second encore, another very long version of “Mountain Jam.”  All the guitarists take their turns in playing a solo. 

(You Don’t Like) Ramblin’ Jam Part 1 is packaged in a fatboy jewel case to house the three discs with generic live photographs on the artwork.  The inserts are average thickness.  The setlist is erroneous too with “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” missing, “Statesboro Blues” listed as the final track on disc one and “Les Bres In A Minor” and “Whipping Post” listed on disc two instead of disc three.

This, along with Part 2 with the following day, are both excellent documents of the Allman Brothers Band at their commercial peak.  Most titles the past couple years focus upon the Duane Allman years (and rightly so), but few from the post-Duane years.  These are an excellent set from a very long weekend for the band when they were at the top of their game. 

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