On January 10, 2014, a multi-generational, all-star lineup of musicians from the worlds of rock, blues and country joined together at Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event to pay tribute to the life and music of the legendary singer, songwriter, and musician Gregg Allman. Tickets to the concert sold out in minutes, and to date, it remains one of the highest-grossing one-night events in the venue’s history.
That evening, Allman was joined by a remarkable array of performers delivering legendary performances of classic material drawn from his four and a half decades as a recording artist, encompassing his landmark work with the legendary Allman Brothers Band as well as his parallel solo career.
The concert recording was released later that year on CD and video. Now, for the first time, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman will be available on vinyl. The four-LP box set will be released on September 30, and a number of limited-edition color variants will be offered for purchase.
The event was the brainchild of Allman’s longtime manager Michael Lehman and Blackbird Presents founder and CEO Keith Wortman. “Not a day goes by where I don’t hear from one of our artists or the fans about how this was the greatest single concert event they ever experienced in their lives,” says Wortman. “I know it was a profound, life-changing experience for me, and so I am humbled to work with Michael and Rounder to make this experience available on vinyl for fans all over the world.”
Devon Allman vividly recalls that evening. “The All My Friends tribute show was such a classy event. I remember Dad saying ‘Son, aren’t they supposed to have shows like this after you die?’ I laughed and said ‘Well…maybe so …but you get to jam at this one with your friends!’ He was so deeply touched that night by the outpouring of love and music in his honor. A highlight of his career, for sure.’
Rounder and Blackbird Presents are teaming up with Mandolin to exclusively stream the concert in its entirety on August 18. Fans who pre-order the vinyl box will receive a complimentary viewing code. Fans who wish to purchase a ticket to the stream can do so at the here.
All of the participating musicians gathered for the finale, a rousing performance of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
The variety of the artists paying tribute to Allman, and the diversity of their interpretations of his songs, attests to the broad appeal of Allman’s music, which transcended stylistic and generational boundaries. With musical direction by noted producer/musician Don Was, several of the guest performers were drawn from the Allman Brothers Band’s extended musical family, including Devon Allman, Warren Haynes, Jaimoe, Chuck Leavell, Jack Pearson, Susan Tedeschi, and Derek Trucks.
The prestigious slate of performers also included Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Dr. John, Brantley Gilbert, Vince Gill, Jimmy Hall, John Hiatt, Martina McBride, Taj Mahal, Pat Monahan, Keb’ Mo’, Sam Moore, Robert Randolph, and Widespread Panic.
The house band, led by musical director Don Was on bass, included former Allman Brothers Band members Leavell (keyboards) and Pearson (guitar), guitarist Audley Freed (Sheryl Crow Band), keyboardist Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters), and renowned drummer Kenny Aronoff.
As Allman later remarked, “That show was one of the highlights of my life. It was great to see old friends, and everyone was so gracious and really poured their souls into my songs. It was a very special night.”
During his lifetime, Allman received numerous honors including his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 as a member of the Allman Brothers Band. In 2006, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and in 2012, The Allman Brothers Band received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Gregg Allman, who died in 2017, would have celebrated his 75th birthday this December. A number of events to commemorate the anniversary of his birth will be announced in the coming months.
On May 27, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp observed the fifth anniversary of Allman’s passing with an official commendation and ordered the state flag to be at half-mast over the Georgia State Capitol. The commendation and flag are now part of the permanent display at the Allman Brothers Band Big House Museum in Macon, GA.