Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Allman Brothers: Jessica

It’s TV Thursday and every evening when I get home from work, the TV show “Top Gear” is on at my home. This feature broadcast on this side of the Atlantic on BBC-America follows “Dr. Who,” which my daughter watches religiously every afternoon at 5:00 PM. I like Dr. Who as well, but it is usually off by the time I hit the door – but there is plenty of “Top Gear” to go around.

“Top Gear” runs every evening for two hours straight and follows the exploits of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May as they do some off the wall things with motor vehicles. These include making an auto amphibious and attempting to navigate the English Channel, navigating across fields while being chased by the tanks of the Royal Army’s 1st Armoured Division, racing double decker cars against top German drivers, and trying to make it across the Southern United States alive while having all manner of anti-redneck slogans painted on their respective vehicles.

The show is great fun and the primary individuals are plain nuts. That’s why we like it so much. One of the things I noticed early in our watching the show is that they use an instrumental by the Allman Brothers as their theme song. Release in 1973 on the album “Brothers and Sisters,” the Dickey Betts composition “Jessica” charted only at #65 – but it is one of their better known tunes.

“Brothers and Sisters” was the first album recorded by the Allman Brothers after Duane Allman’s death. During the recording of the album, bassist Berry Oakley also died in a similar manner to Duane Allman just three blocks from where his bandmate met his untimely fate.

Guest guitarist Les Dudek plays acoustic guitar on “Jessica” while Dickey Betts handles the lead guitar parts. The song features a dual keyboard harmony that fuses Chuck Leavell’s Rhodes electric piano on the high harmony while Greg Allman adds the low harmony parts courtesy of his Hammond organ. Dudek, by the way, also plays lead guitar on the album’s other single “Ramblin’ Man.”

If you get a chance, tune into “Top Gear”; I think you’ll like it as much as I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment