The Allman Brothers demonstrate with immediate potency the fallacy of the "Lynard Skynard" myth: that Southern rock culture is comprised of musically-limited, politically reactionary bands whose basic stylistic attribute is the structurally irrelevant guitar solo coupled with inane, shit-kicker lyrics.

Formed in 1969, the Allman Brothers, led by Gregg and Duane Allman, achieved fairly rapid success with their impressively complex, emotionally resonant music. In sharp contrast to Lynard Skynard, they construct songs possessing extremely varied emotional tones, unafraid even to utilize their many instrumentalists to present melodic, beautiful compositions like "Jessica."

On the other hand, few bands have rejuvenated old blues songs as successfully as they have, updating archetypal progressions with innovative instrumentation while retaining the psychological effect of classic blues tunes. And their music is, of course, an excellent sonic backdrop to a night of hard drinking.

An amazing live band, the Allman Brothers, despite a perpetually shifting roster, exemplify the creative vitality of Southern rock, so often presumed a derivative and hollow genre. Given their origins, both geographically and historically, they are an impressive oddity: a talented, creative, mature Southern rock group.

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