Monday, December 23, 2019

The F Word: A night for the blues

Posted By on Mon, Dec 23, 2019 at 3:30 PM

After a rousing pinball escapade with Miss Em and Mrs. D at Skylark late Saturday afternoon, I snuck down the Valley alley where the Cadillac Coupe de Villes used to roll and found myself in the midst of about 200 Allman Brothers’ fans at Anthology. We were there to see Live at the Fillmore,  “The Definitive Allman Brothers Tribute.” The instrumentation was all there — from the old, faded, sunburst Les Paul, a la Dickie Betts, to the Butch Trucks + 1 drum set, to the Greg Allman, battered B-3 that looked like it had been driven through a carwash.

This tribute band was mostly from the East Coast and note-for-noted the Allman Brothers’ sound, kicking off with “Statesboro Blues,” “Done Somebody Wrong,” and a nice version of T-Bone’s “Stormy Monday.” There was no theatrical interpretation, and despite the material’s overwhelming familiarity, the band played a little stiff. I seemed to be the only one who felt this way, as the audience roared its approval.

Back at Skylark for some more blues, this time with Steve Grills and a completely new group of Roadmasters, which rocked steady like a Swiss watch. Grills worked the room like a pro from a stage so cluttered it looked like a pawn shop holding a garage sale. The dance floor ebbed and flowed, as alcohol kicked in and cooperated, and a pretty girl even asked me to dance. I’ve still got it.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at

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