The other day, I selected my well-worn “Allman Brothers Greatest Hits” CD for my ride into work. This disc resides permanently in my car’s player alongside rotating Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton to name a few. Even though I have probably listened to the songs on this album (yes, it’s OK to still say “album”) a thousand times; each time I fall in love all over again.
The Allman Brothers Band music is a Southern-blues/rock fest, with sweet guitar melodies, and a beat you can dance to. As Duane Allman and Dickey Betts work their guitar strings in heavenly harmony and Greg Allman sings to the pounding piano, I’m dancing in my seat. Dickey Betts is considered “one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time.” Duane Allman, a guitar deity, played with Eric Clapton and many other rhythm and blues artists before his too-soon death in a motorcycle accident. I often wonder what marvelous works of guitar art he would have continued creating had he lived.
I remember the first time I heard “Blue Sky.” I was half-asleep in my boyfriend’s bamboo surrounded house. Young and free, content in love, I absorbed and indelibly imprinted on my heart what is probably the most beautiful piece of electric guitar harmony ever. “You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day. Lord, you make me high when you turn your love my way.” “Blue Sky” is soulfully joyous; an electric guitar masterpiece; almost magical in its perfection. It gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears. And, I believe as this anonymous comment on a fan page states, “I think he (Dickey) wrote it for God.”
I’ve asked my family members to play “Blue Sky” at my funeral; hoping I have many more years to listen to it “live.” Check out the Allman Brothers if you have not before–satisfaction guaranteed.
P.S. I just downloaded “Blue Sky” for my phone’s ringtone!!!