One Way Out is a two disc live album released by The Allman Brothers on March 23, 2004. It was recorded during a two night stand at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, March 25-26, 2003. It is the first live album to feature current guitarists Derek Truck and Warren Haynes together. It is also the last Allman Brothers album to date.
The album is a chronicle of the band’s career as both old and new material is included. The songs are both tight and loose extended jams, with five of the tracks clocking in at over tem minutes and two more falling just short of that mark.
While Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes will always be compared to Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, they need to be evaluated on their own terms. When that happens, they emerge as one of the finer guitar combinations working together today. I also like the fact that Trucks’ guitar comes out of the left speaker and Haynes’ from the right.
The four man rhythm section of drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, percussionist Marc Quinones, and bassist Oteil Burbridge are one of the best in the business. When you add in Trucks, Haynes, and keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Allman, you have a solid unit of seven excellent musicians.
The Allman Brothers, whether their classic Duane Allman lineup or their 21st century aggregation, have always been more adept live than in the studio.
I have always been attracted to their longer pieces, especially in a live setting, as it gives the band a chance to stretch out and be spontaneous. The album’s longest track is the 16 minute plus “Instrumental Illness.” While I thought the studio version was okay, this live presentation is classic Allman Brothers at their best. Haynes and Trucks trade solos and everything is connected by a five minute drum solo. Their 15 minute version of “Whipping Post” may not be the equal of its storied past, but it is a very good modernization of this classic song. Gregg Allman steps forward on 13 minute “Desdemona.”
The shorter tracks are tighter and more structured, but are also very good. “Statesboro Blues,” “Midnight Rider,” “Come and Go Blues,” “Trouble No More,” and “High Coast Of Low Living” are all given nice work-outs. They also give a gritty performance on the classic blues tune, “Good Morning Little School Girl.”
The Allman Brothers are one of the great survival stories in rock history, as they have overcome death, addictions, and personnel changes. Their current group may not have the finesse as that of their classic predecessors, but they are probably more powerful. It’s been seven years since their last release, so it’s about time for another.