This two-CD set won't cause you to throw out your copy of Fillmore East, but it is at very least a worthy companion to that 1971 classic. Recorded the previous year at the famed Cincinnati venue (but not released until 199... more »1), Ludlow catches the band in the moments just before their peak. Some of the material will be familiar to fans, but this collection adds gems such as John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" and the blues classic "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town" to their recorded repertoire. And if you thought the 33-minute "Mountain Jam" on Eat a Peach was extensive, you need to hear Ludlow's 44-minute version, which comprises the entire second CD. --Marc Greilsamer« less
This two-CD set won't cause you to throw out your copy of Fillmore East, but it is at very least a worthy companion to that 1971 classic. Recorded the previous year at the famed Cincinnati venue (but not released until 1991), Ludlow catches the band in the moments just before their peak. Some of the material will be familiar to fans, but this collection adds gems such as John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" and the blues classic "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town" to their recorded repertoire. And if you thought the 33-minute "Mountain Jam" on Eat a Peach was extensive, you need to hear Ludlow's 44-minute version, which comprises the entire second CD. --Marc Greilsamer
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 07/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I often think that recordings of artist serve two purposes if they are live. Firstly as a memento of the show we experienced if we were fortunate enough to be there. Second as a means of communicating to those who were not able to be in attendance to get some idea of what the show was like.Other than a band like the Grateful dead who cared so much about the quality of their live shows, most performers strive to achieve a comparable sound to that of their studio recordings. Indeed I am sure that the fans of people like B. Spears expect nothing less than to hear their idol perform the songs in exactly the same way as they were meant to be heard on the record. Then there are bands like the Allmans for whom the live performance is the crucial part of their musicianship, jamming, improvising trying to play their very souls and in doing so bringing the audience on board and carrying them to ecstasy.Having said that there are recording glitches aplenty with live recordings and the sound may be less than perfect but what shines through, loud and clear is the sheer quality and finess of the performance. This is captured here in the equivalent of a home movie of an awesome band. The tracks may have been heard in different versions before but what is important is what happened on that night and how it came across to the audience.The quality of the recording is not as good as the Filmore but you know what, this is exquisite testimony to a band that shows that they could go out, night after night and continually deliver such high quality, high soulfullnes music.WOW"
Any Duane Is Good Duane.....
Richard B. Luhrs | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 02/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded nearly a year before AT FILLMORE EAST, LUDLOW GARAGE captures the original Allman Brothers Band in its early days - if a career of just over two years could be considered thus divisible - exploring a relatively straightforward rock and blues mode which frequently hints at the transcendent heights they would soon achieve onstage. Fans will recognize most or all of the tunes here, of course; but as always the songs themselves are simply launch pads for the Brothers' boundless flights, which even at this stage were quite possibly the greatest jams rock music had to offer. The signature "Statesboro Blues" here gains a lengthy slide guitar coda by Duane Allman which I've never heard elsewhere; and "Mountain Jam," while not nearly as astounding as the version on EAT A PEACH, nevertheless impresses with its sheer mass, clocking in at a remarkable forty-four non-stop minutes. Other treats are the rather rare "Dreams" and "Every Hungry Woman," two songs from the band's eponymous debut album, the former featuring eerily beautiful slide work from Duane and the latter a tight, rocking ensemble performance. A churning "Hoochie Coochie Man" lets the drum team of Butch Trucks and J. Johanny Johannson cook up some thunder, while "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," another seldom-heard blues cover, spotlights Brother Gregg's fine vocals. While the sound quality on LUDLOW isn't equal to that of most official live releases, it's strongly recommended for anyone who's gotten into the music of this phenomenal and sadly underrecorded group of musicians. The Fillmore shows (and the recordings made from them) were undoubtedly superior, but there's plenty here you can't get there."
Probably exactly how it sounded if you were there
wristshot | Boston | 07/05/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so the sound quality is gruesome by today's standards (and I've subtracted a star for it). But the "feel" of this record is as authentic as it gets. I was always a big fan of the band and lamented that I never saw them while Duane and Berry were alive (I think I saw the Chuck Leavell piano-rich version in the mid 70s). Anyhow, this album takes you there. "Dreams" hits a fantastic groove, and the rest of the cuts on the first disc are reminiscent of the material on "Fillmore East."But, believe it or not, it's the "Mountain Jam" that keeps bringing me back to this record. I was not a big fan of the jam on "Eat a Peach." Maybe it was because you had to flip the record to play the whole thing (shows you how old I am). Maybe it was because the rest of that album was so unbelievably great. But on "Ludlow" the Jam flows effortlessly through several phases with surprisingly different feels. It never lags, even during the drum solo. The official reviewer on this page claims that this jam can be found elsewhere in the Allmans catalogue. Now I'm not dead-certain about this, but I'm pretty sure this is a different version than the one on "Peach."Anyhow, if you're an Allmans fan, and if, like me, you love "Fillmore East," get this album. It's like you were really in the Ludlow Garage."
Another nice addition to the Allman Brothers catalogue
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 06/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The liner notes go on for quite a while about these recordings being "primitive by today's standarts", and apologizes for the "sonic flaws" which exist in spite of the remastering. Having read that, and a handful of reviews as well, I was prepared for some really mediocre sound, but this is not bad at all, actually. Sure, "Live At Ludlow Garage 1970" doesn't reach the sonic heights of the Atlanta Pop album, or the superb deluxe edition of the Fillmore tapes, but the sound is actually quite good. Surprisingly good, considering that this concert was recorded direct to two-track at a running speed of a mere 7½ inches per second...the absolute minimum for professional recordings. Okay, so the rhythm section may sound a little bit distant and/or muddled at times, but only hardcore audiophiles should find anything seriously amiss with this fine album.
Opening with a good-but-not-great "Dreams", the first disc also contains an unusually long (but very good) rendition of "Statesboro Blues", a song which the Allmans usually played as a tight, four-or-five minute blues-rock number. But this one is stretched to a full eight minutes, featuring some fiery slide solos and an unusually subdued interlude. A great, tough "Trouble No More" is next, "an old song written by McKinley Morganfield", says Gregg Allman in his introduction (the song was barely fifteen years old at the time, and Muddy didn't actually write it). And then comes a delightful rarity, a fine take on John Lee Hooker's all-time classic, "Dimples", followed by one of the best and roughest versions of "Every Hungry Woman" I have heard, and a s-l-o-w, nine-minute "I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town" which features a great lead vocal by Gregg Allman and a cornucopia of passionate and (usually) excellent slide guitar playing.
The disc ends with a rough-and-tumble rendition of "Hoochie Coochie Man", sung (incoherently at times) in a gruff, guttural voice by bassist Berry Oakly...Dickey Betts had yet to emerge as a singer and a songwriter for the band.
The second disc is entirely devoted to the longest (and possibly most disjointed) version of "Mountain Jam" you're ever likely to hear...lots of searing guitar playing, sure, but I must admit to playing disc 1 somewhat more often than disc 2. Okay, a lot more often.
This is not the place to start, perhaps, but it is definitely worth picking up for Allman fans, whether hardcore or somewhat more casual like myself."
Smoking live set
Scott Waisman | New York, NY United States | 08/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What I find most interesting about this live set from Cincinnati, recorded in April 1970, is that the Allmans had only their debut album released at the time and were a mostly unknown band. Keeping that in mind, the sparkling jams on Dreams and Statesboro Blues, not to mention Mountain Jam, mixed with the tighter blues rock of the shorter tunes (Trouble No More, Hoochie Coochie Man) show the unbelivable talent of this band. A must for Duane freaks, his solos are clearly captured on the left speaker, while Betts plays on the right. 22-year old Greg's voice is also in top form, sounding both rough and full-bodied.Sound isn't bad, a little muddy, and not nearly up to the remasted Fillmore cds, but the less than stellar sound only further serves to capture the low key feel of the night, as an unknown Macon band gigs at a soon to be legendary club in Cincinnati."