“Without Duane” really had its peaks and valleys. It started pretty strong despite the loss of original bassist, Berry Oakley with “Brothers and Sisters“. Lamar Williams stepped in and the now Dickey Betts driven ABB became more laid back and easygoing and not as driving as the previous category. “Wasted Words”, “Ramblin’ Man”, “Southbound” and “Jessica” are just classic. But that’s pretty much where things slow to a crawl for 17 years. What was to follow didn’t really create too much of a stir. 1975’s “Win, Lose or Draw” was just bad. Other than a decent cover of a Muddy Waters tune, it just completely misses the mark. According to Butch Trucks, this was the beginning of the “we’re rock stars” timeframe. He stated in an interview in 2009 that the music at that time just became second fiddle to the partying and lifestyle. 1976’s “Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas” returned ABB back to what they did well still and that was perform live. This album has a great representation of the cuts off of “Brothers and Sisters“ and “Win, Lose or Draw“ but it’s the 17+minute version of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” that is the crux of the album. No longer being able to do the fire and brimstone of the Fillmore days, this version is brooding and open making room for Greg Allman and Chuck Leavell to vamp.
Back together for their final album for Capricorn, 1979’s “Enlightened Rogues” wasn’t so much a bad album as it was an uneventful album. “Crazy Love” was the hottest track on this on and it still holds up today. Running a close second was “Just Ain’t Easy“. Dan Toler brought some fire back to Betts playing and David Goldflies took over the bass duties from the recently departed Lamar Williams (he and Jaimoe went to form Sea Level in 1976). The last two albums of this category “Reach for the Sky” and “Brothers of the Road” were for Razor & Tie records and were seeing the ABB come into the ’80s and that wasn’t good for any of us.
An amazing tesatament to
the fortitude of ABB after the
loss of Duane and Berry OakleyA fairly uneventful release despite
a two year span since “Brothers and Sisters”Back to a live album and still the best
way to experience ABBBetter than most but not great,
“Crazy Love” is the best track by far.Just not very good,
very gospel but “Angeline” shines.Jaimoe fired, pop-sheen,
does this make sense to anyone?