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The Allman Brothers 

With Cosmic Rose. Sunday, July 23, at Blossom.

The history of the Allman Brothers Band reads like the script from a soap opera. Early success was soon followed by the deaths of two of its founding members in eerily similar motorcycle accidents. Drug and alcohol abuse infiltrated their ranks, which caused subpar performances and friction among its members, and led to periods of inactivity. Then, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, what was left of the band reunited in 1989. Since then, its members have attracted a combination of new and old fans, released six albums, toured regularly, and received critical acclaim for their mixture of rock, blues, country, jazz, and powerhouse jamming abilities. Even Gregg Allman gave up booze and cigarettes. But two months ago, this smooth sailing ship hit stormy waters once again. Guitarist Dickey Betts was given his walking papers "temporarily," in what was originally described as "creative differences" (a euphemism for Betts's reputed drinking problem). Betts's reaction? He got drunk, ran around in the woods with a knife, and spent an evening in a sanitarium. Later, he claimed that his actions after his firing were overblown by the media. For now, the Allmans' twin guitar attack will be provided by Derek Trucks (nephew of drummer Butch Trucks, who joined them last year) and Jimmy Herring, who has worked with both Truckses in a side project called Frogwings. Concert reviews from this summer's tour dates have been positive, with particular praise relegated to the inclusion of "Mountain Jam" into the set. Betts may want to make amends soon, before the rest of the band gets used to life without him.

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