Allman Brothers Band Brothers and Sisters Turns 40

Jesse Novak of the Roots and Rhythm stopped by to chat with Cindy Howes of The Morning Mix about the Allman Brothers Band. Jesse and Cindy discuss the 40th anniversary of the album Brothers and Sisters, Dickey Betts and his role on the album, and the impact of the Allman Brothers Band.

Brothers and Sisters put the Allman Brothers Band at the top of their commercial success.  The 1973 release held the number one spot for five weeks in the US and had, arguably, their biggest single - “Ramblin’ Man.”   Cindy and Jesse talked about the appeal of Brothers and Sisters to the public and how the shift towards more of a country sound drew people to the album and band.  “I think a lot of it [the album's commercial success] had to do with the fact that it was a little more country tinged.  It was a little less of the heavy blues,” adds Novak.

On Brothers and Sisters, Dickey Betts was more involved in the song writing process than in prior albums.  The passing of Duane Allman forced Betts to be more of a force musically as well become slide guitarist overnight almost.  “He [Betts] also stepped up as a songwriter on the album.  Previously he contributed maybe five songs total to the Allman Brothers and three or four of them had been instrumental.  With Duane gone he stepped up to the plate.  He came up as a guitar player as well as a song writer,” explains Novak.

The impact from the Brothers and Sisters album cannot be ignored.

“I think what separated the Allman Brothers from so many other southern rock bands was they had such a strong sense of rhythm.   They were incredible musicians who were combining so many different things to create at times a phonetic and very intense sound,” adds Novak.  Although the country can be a diluted field of music at times, current day bands like Gov’t Mule and Tedeschi Trucks Band have taken the sound of Brothers and Sisters and kept the spirit of the Allman Brothers music alive. Brothers and Sisters impact and importance is still recognized today.  

The album was recently reissued to honor its 40th anniversary.  The reissue includes studio outtakes, the audio from their landmark Winterland performance, and many other extras.