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The Allman Brothers “whip” fans wallets

On Veterans Day I had the day off from work, so I decided to grab a cup of coffee, a newspaper, and scratch ticket from my local convenient store.  This is a guilty pleasure I do not have the luxury of having these days with a 3-year old running around the house and the chaotic life of a half-rehabbed house.

As I looked through the paper I came across the event listings for my city and one that struck me right away was that the legendary group The Allman Brothers would be playing next week; cool I thought!  As I read further (with all the anticipation and intent on getting a ticket) I noticed that ticket prices range from $50 – $150!!!!????  Granted The Allman Brothers have not stepped foot in the venue (The Palace) since 1973, I still think these ticket prices are out of control and truly not very realistic for a depressed economy.  Not to mention that the band has not released a top ten hit in years, so at this point they are a novelty band full of greatest hits at best.

The show is being marketed as a “benefit concert”, so at first it made sense why the tickets are priced what they are; as usual a portion of the proceeds will go to the specific cause that the band or performer are supporting.  I’m very cool with benefit concernts and I appreciate how artists can use their fame to support a charity, but this is where things get cheezy and lame with this particular “benefit” concert…the cause is for The Allman Brothers museum!! What? 

Their musuem is called “The Big House”, it is a grand styled tudor mansion in Georgia where the band lived all together during the 1970’s during the real height of their career.  Apparently they all lived together writing songs there and raising their kids, smoking doobies and perhaps the occasional riskier recreational drug use.  According to their website it has become a “Mecca” for The Allman Brothers fan, big deal I say.

Why should I care about supporting their museum via an inflated ticket price? These guys are millionaires (or at least they should be).  However, I’m sure that woman, drugs, and booze gobbled up much of Gregg Allman’s funds.  The poor guy is dealing with recovery for a liver transplant; but I’m sure it was not from a tragic disease, but more a life of excess that is the trademark lifestyle of the Rock and Roll star.  Regardless, I think they are asking fans to help their cause is pretty goofy.  To ask fans to support keeping their old house alive and well while millions of Americans are dealing with foreclosure seems rather ironic.  But, most people facing foreclosure would not be spending $50 to see The Allman Brothers right now either.

I would honestly pay the ticket prices if it was a benefit for perhaps, say,  juvenile diabeties, pediatric AIDS, or even random backwoods animal shelter in Georgia.  But The Allman Brothers museum?  I think not, instead I think I’ll simply hanker down in my house with a cup of coffee and put on my $9.99 Allman Brother Greatest Hits album.

The band plays tonight at The Palace at 7:00; the show is not sold out as of this morning and if you are eager to fork over your hard earned dollars you can click here to get tickets.


Mountain Jam VI – 2010 Line Up

Ah yes, as the spring birds make their voices heard and the flowers begin to peek out from their long winters nap it’s time once again for the summer festival announcements and this year seems off to a very impressive  start. 

I am a self-admitted jam band fan since high school loving any project involving Warren Haynes and/or Dickey Betts; so I’m sure that the 6th Annual Mountain Jam Festival will be well worth the trip. 
This year’s line up is very impressive and also focuses around the 70th birthday of Levon Helm has been contributing the music scene.  Helm will be joined by a who’s-who of musicians ranging from Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Ray LaMontange (If don’t know who this guy is you need to, very talented!), Steve Earle, and many others.

On other stages or at other times during the festival the line up is equally as impressive and I’m pleasantly surprised at the assortment and variety of artists appearing.

Alison Krauss & Union Station
Les Claypool (Primus, Oysterhead)
Dave Mason
Toots & The Maytals
The Drive-by Truckers
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Yonder Mountain String Band

These are just some of the bands performing that weekend, there are too many bands to list so check the line up link on the main page.  The Mountain Jam website has a nice free player that lets you listen to an assortment of the artists performing, so if you’re not familiar them initially you can get a better idea of what to expect.  The headling act is Warren Haynes’ Government Mule.  I saw Government Mule and Black Crowes about 10 years ago at The Orpheum Theater in Boston, personally I was not impressed but I would imagine that over 10 years they’ve developed their sound. 

Yes, the pricetag in this economy for the plain old one-day ticket is a costly $79.00; tough if you married with kids like me, but perhaps worth the cost for a full day of music and sunshine (if the weather cooperates, always a risk with outside festivals!).  If you are in the New York City area or from Upstate New York where HiFi Central is located, Hunter Mountain (where the Mountain Jam is held) is a very easy drive up or down I-87  and is nestled in among the sleepy Catskills Mountains. 
I am still hoping that one year a reunion of The Hatters (an Allman Brothers-esque band that faded away in the mid-90’s) might happen at Mountain Jam, but I’m not holding my breath.

If you would like more information about this fun summertime festival check it out by clicking here: Mountain Jam VI

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