Iconic Southern rockers The Allman Brothers Band have announced their final shows, capping off a whirlwind year for fans. Yet as Rolling Stone reports, confusing statements from singer and bandleader Gregg Allman have some fans wondering just how permanent the band’s retirement will be.
The Allman Brothers Band’s summer itinerary sees them playing a handful of festivals, including Mountain Jam in Hunter Mountain, New York. Following appearances at the band’s own Peach Festival and Virginia’s Lockn’ Festival, the Allman Brothers will take to the stage at New York’s famed Beacon Theater for a six-night stand in October. Though the band has always had an affinity for the Beacon, recording live albums and performing a mind-blowing 232 concerts there since 1989, some of the dates this year are make-up nights. Singer Gregg Allman was fighting bronchitis the last time the band played the Beacon, forcing them to cut their traditional stand short.
The announcement caps an unexpected and confusing year for Allman Brothers fans. While Gregg Allman was honored at a tribute concert in January, as The Inquisitr reported at the time, the show came hot on the heels of the revelation that incendiary guitar duo Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes would be leaving the band at the end of 2014. At the time, Rolling Stone called the loss of the pair “one of the more devastating blows” of the Allman Brothers’ long career. Trucks and Haynes are widely noted for their musical prowess, and are staple draws for the Allman Brothers, who lost original slide guitarist Duane Allman in a 1971 motorcycle accident. Trucks, a slide guitar phenom who is also the nephew of former drummer Butch Trucks, joined the band in 1999. Haynes joined ten years earlier in 1989, leaving the Allmans for a short period between 1997 and 2000 to focus on his own band, Gov’t Mule.
In March, Gregg Allman announced the end of the Allman Brothers Band in a Relix article, saying “This is it — this is the end of it. Forty-five years is enough and I want to do something else anyway.” The singer left open the idea that the current lineup could reunite “every five years and do just one play at a time.” In a May interview with Radio.com, however, Allman backtracked on that statement, saying instead that the band would carry onward:
“As for the rumor of the Allman Brothers breaking up after forty-five years, in other words, after this year, that is a rumor. We are not breaking up. We are replacing Derek Trucks.”
Whether 2014 proves to be their last year or not, Allman Brothers fans will no doubt be looking forward with growing excitement to the band’s summer trek.
[Images via The New York Times and Classic Rock 101.1]