Even Gregg Allman seems surprised the Allman Brothers Band are facing their 45th year as a band. “Where did it all go, right?” he says with a laugh. The band will celebrate the milestone by – what else? – returning to New York’s Beacon Theatre for a ten-show residency beginning March 7th.
But Allman hasn't lost any enthusiasm for the band, or the Beacon, where they've performed more than 220 times since 1989. “Spontaneous things still happen," he says. "Going through the motions would be a real bore. I know a band that plays the same songs in the same order, they even say the same shit at the same time every night. But, no, we’re all still real into it.”
After the Beacon, the Allmans head south, where they'll play their own Wanee Festival on April 11th and 12th in Live Oak, FL and fans might see a new incarnation of the band at these shows. “Oteil’s not with us anymore,” says Allman, referring to bassist Oteil Burbridge. “I don’t know if he’ll be back to the Beacon or not. He’s gone with Zac Brown.” (Ed note: Burbridge has issued a statement noting he is still in the band).
More than just live gigs are in store for 2014. Midnight Rider, a Gregg Allman biopic based on his memoir My Cross to Bear begins shooting in January. The cast will include the All American Rejects' Tyson Ritter as Gregg and Wyatt Russell as Duane. "The two of them and the director flew out to my house for a couple of days and they’re coming on the road with me when I go on tour. [I said] 'Just watch and take notes,'" he says. Allman will also be honored with a tribute concert on January 10th at Atlanta's Fox Theatre. Guests include Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Sam Moore, Derek Trucks and Dr. John.
The group will also release two live albums and a DVD in 2014. In February, the band’s Allman Brothers Recording Company label dips back into the archives with Boston Common 8/17/71, recorded the same year as At Fillmore East, and less than three months before Duane Allman’s death. "It is one of the few Duane Allman-era shows that no fan has heard or owns," the band said in a statement. And on February 18th, Epic/Legacy will release a two-CD set Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992, and Live at Great Woods, a live DVD from the band’s Massachusetts show in 1991. “I think it’s great, man,” Gregg says. “I think there’s a call for them to release them.”
But Allman seems most excited about getting back to the Beacon. "These last few years, we do the Beacon and then we do one month on the road in the summertime and that’s about it. And then everybody goes off to their own respective solo bands. It's getting more seldom that we get together, you know? It makes you really look forward to it.”
The band will play the New York City's Beacon Theatre on March 7 - 8, March 11-12, March 14-15, March 18-19 and March 21-22. Tickets go on sale January 10th at 10 a.m. ET.