Recording information: American University, Washington, DC (12/13/1970).
While there's no certainly no shortage of live Allman Brothers Band albums, each with something to recommend it, this one finds the group at its jaw-dropping peak. Recorded in Washington, D.C. just a few months before the performance captured on the band's seminal LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST album, this disc concentrates on the bluesiest aspects of the Allmans' sound. While the country and jazz elements of the band's style are hinted at here, and there's no shortage of extended jams on such epics as "You Don't Love Me" and "Whippin' Post," (which were new to the Allmans repertoire at the time), the Chicago blues influence predominates. The fury and forward motion the band lends to Muddy Waters's "Trouble No More" and their pumped-up, house-rocking take on Bilind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" (just imagine a time when the latter was not tainted by classic-rock ubiquity) mark the Allmans as true blues ambassadors. The burning, youthful energy that courses throughout LIVE AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY makes it a must for fans of the Allmans' vintage era.
Uncut (p.128) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Duane Allman is in rampaging form....Today's jam band should listen, learn, and probably weep."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.130) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]he Allman Brothers' individual skills frequently masked their excellent grasp of group dynamics; six minds audibly thinking as one, as a band they wove entire tapestries from the barest threads of melody."