Gregg Allman's legacy as a pivotal figure in the development of both Southern rock and the jam band movement has been long secure.
For four decades, as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, Allman's vocals and keyboards have graced ABB's finest moments.
Both the laid back and hell raising parts of his persona have surfaced during his solo turns, highlighted by 1987's hard rocking anthem, "I'm No Angel".
Allman, who turned 62 on Dec. 8, showcases all facets of his career on his solo tours, the latest which includes a stop at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Wednesday, Dec. 30.
This is the third appearance at The Peak for Allman, who previously performed there in January, 2005 and December, 2006. The venue has been a favorite of Allman Brothers members past and present. Current ABB guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Harding, the latter with Gov't Mule, and ex-Brother Dickey Betts have joined Gregg in gracing the stage there.
Gregg and his brother Duane began playing music professionally in The Allman Joys and The Hour Glass before forming The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Between Gregg's soulful singing and keyboard work and Duane's now legendary guitar playing, ABB forged an unique sound based on rock, blues, country and the improvisational quality of jazz, the latter which influenced the current generation of jam bands. That sound was the basis for what emerged as Southern rock in the 1970's.
In 1971, ABB released the seminal live album At Fillmore East, considered one of the milestones of the genre.
Gregg has also penned some of ABB's best known songs, including "Whipping Post", "Dreams", "Midnight Rider" and "Melissa".
The band weathered the deaths of Duane Allman in 1971 and original bassist Berry Oakley a year later, but ABB has endured and enjoyed a rebirth with its current line-up of Gregg Allman, founding drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, guitarists Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinones. Their last studio album was 2003's Hittin' The Note, and live recordings and DVDs of their annual Beacon Theater concerts remain popular with fans, who still pack concert venues to see them.
The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
On his own, Gregg has released six solo albums, beginning with 1973's Laid Back, released the same year as ABB's Brothers and Sisters. He followed that with Gregg Allman Tour '74, which was recorded at Carnegie Hall; Playin' Up a Storm, released in 1977; I'm No Angel from 1987; and Just Before the Bullets Fly in 1988. His most recent solo recording was 1997's Searching For Simplicity, although some anthologies of his work have also been issued.
Gregg's current touring band includes Bruce Katz (keyboards), Jerry Jemmott (bass), Steve Potts (drums), Scott Sharrard (guitar), Jay Collins (saxophone) and Floyd Miles (percussion). His show includes his takes on ABB material as well as his solo repertoire, with Collins' sax adding a touch of R&B to the mix.
Gregg Allman continues to prove that, if the road does indeed go on forever, it's still a thrill to go along for those midnight rides.
Gregg Allman will perform at Penn's Peak on Thursday, Dec. 30. Doors open at 6 p.m. with showtime at 8 p.m. Tickets are $37 for the Pit (standing room only) and $32 for regular reserved seating. Tickets are available on-line at www.ticketmaster.com , at regular Ticketmaster outlets, including Boscov's and Gallery of Sound, as well as at the Penn's Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant.
Call 1-866-605-PEAK for more information.