Wednesday marked the anniversary of the second day The Allman Brothers Band’s famed 1971 live album At Fillmore East was recorded at Bill Graham’s historic Fillmore East venue. Last night, guitarist Scott Sharrard led a tribute to the album about three miles away and across the East River at impresario Peter Shapiro’s Brooklyn Bowl. Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and Rob Compa were among guests that joined Sharrard in a complete recreation of a record that tops many “Best Live Albums Of All-Time” lists.
The evening started with a tribute to a much more recent album. Sharrard put together a band to play his 2018 LP Saving Grace. The guitarist and former Gregg Allman Band musical director was joined by keyboardist Peter Levin (Gregg Allman Band/Amanda Shires/The Highwomen), saxophonist Kenny Brooks (RatDog), bassist Adam Minkoff (Dweezil Zappa), drummer Eric Kalb (John Scofield/Deep Banana Blackout) and trumpeter Don Harris (Chic) for nine of the record’s 11 tracks. The Wisconsin-raised Sharrard showed off the versatility of his musicianship and impressive songwriting skills over the course of the set. Scott mentioned the thrill of writing “Everything A Good Man Needs” and how Taj Mahal called to ask if he could sing the song on Saving Grace.
The excitement built during intermission as the stage was set to honor At Fillmore East. For this part of the evening, Sharrard was joined by The Allman Brothers Band co-founding drummer Jaimoe, drummer Rich Pagano (Fab Faux), bassist John Conte (Southside Johnny & The Jukes), guitarist Tash Neal (London Souls, Amy Helm) and Peter Levin. Scott took a moment to praise Jaimoe and the crowd, which was perhaps at half-capacity, showed their appreciation for the drummer as well. The guitarist told the audience they would start with a song about a town in Georgia and away they went on “Statesboro Blues.”
Levin and Sharrard had a chemistry that was visible and audible from the first note of the show. Scott and Tash also meshed particularly well as the group made their way through At Fillmore East. Pagano sang Elmore James’ “Done Somebody Wrong” and did most of the heavy lifting when it came to drumming. Then, Sharrard stepped back into the spotlight for “Stormy Monday,” while Tash Neal fronted the group on “You Don’t Love Me” and delivered a fiery solo. “You Don’t Love Me” also featured special guests Rob Compa of Dopapod and Kenny Brooks. Compa made the most of his opportunities in both “You Don’t Love Me” and the “Hot ‘Lanta” that followed. Scott made sure to point out Jaimoe was one of the composers of the song.
The highlight of the night was an 18-minute “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” featuring Jason Isbell. Jason strung together one melodic and intense riff after another and harmonized perfectly with Sharrard. Isbell utilized a famous 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar previously owned by the late Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The set concluded the way the album did, but with a twist. Keyboardist Eric Finland joined the core band for a version of “Whipping Post” that made its way into “Les Brers In A Minor” and “Mountain Jam” and back again.
Wednesday’s concert concluded with a “One Way Out” encore that saw Isbell return. Jason’s wife, Amanda Shires also added fiddle to the action. Isbell, Neal and Sharrard went toe-to-toe and Jason provided vocals as the clock hit 11:30 p.m. and the venue started to empty out. Watch footage of the entire concert shot by Scott Gibson:
Use the back and forth buttons to toggle between videos.
Set One – Saving Grace: High Cost Of Loving You, Faith To Arise, Saving Grace Everything A Good Man Needs, Angeline, Words Can’t Say, She Can’t Wait, Sweet Compromise, Tell The Truth
Set Two – At Fillmore East+: Statesboro Blues, Done Somebody Wrong, Stormy Monday, You Don’t Love Me (w/ Rob Compa & Kenny Brooks), Hot’Lanta (w/ Rob Compa & Kenny Brooks), In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (w/ Jason Isbell), Whipping Post (w/ Eric Finland) > Les Brers In A Minor > Mountain Jam (w/ Eric Finland) > Whipping Post (w/ Eric Finland)
Encore: One Way Out (w/ Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires)