Sea Level — Live in Chicago 1977
(Live Wire Productions LW2012, 1977/2015, )
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-01-29
While the Allman Brothers Band was taking a long break following Wipe The Windows… in 1976, three members of that band (keyboardist Chuck Leavell, drummer Jaimoe, and bassist Lamar Williams) split off to carry the instrumental fusion torch along with guitarist Jimmy Nalls. The show at hand on July 2nd 1977 captures the band at the peak of their powers on the day of the release of their first eponymous studio LP on the Capricorn label. Much of that first album is presented here in smoking live versions – “Grand Larceny,” “Rain In Spain,” “Tidal Wave,” and an amazing jazz-rock cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” as well as “Midnight Pass” from their yet to be released second album. Add to that a couple classic Allman tunes “Hot ‘Lanta” and “Statesboro Blues” (the latter is one of only two numbers here featuring vocals), an interesting nine-minute medley of patriotic quotes mixed in with Chuck Leavell’s original material written for the their performance at one of President Carter’s inaugural balls called “Patriotic Flag Waver.” Rounding out the set is Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready,” Freddie King’s “Hideaway” and Neil Larsen’s “Midnight Pass,” all given the funky fusion treatment. While the band would later incorporate more vocals (though not to the exclusion of instrumentals) and more funk and soul to their sound with additional players, at this early stage they are a lean and mean instrumental unit, and these live versions from the same period show the band is truly a powerhouse to be reckoned with.
Related artist(s): Sea Level
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more