The Allman Brothers 1973 release Beginnings was a reissue of their first two albums, The Allman Brothers Band (1969) and Idlewild South (1970). The compilation serves as the band’s mission statement and presents their strikingly innovative vision; a new perspective that fused classic blues and traditional influences from the American South with rock. A new “beginning” that gave original voice to the ever shifting landscape of American music. While bands in England were also popularizing blues rock at the time and creating their own revolutionary sound, they offered a distinctly British perspective. The Allman Brothers were Americans from the swampy back roads of the South and their approach held an inherent authenticity, serving as a an authoritative bridge between blues tradition and its future. Duane Allman, through his innate feel for and intuitive understanding of the blues, his unceasing work ethic, monumental talent and infinite vision, earned the regal distinction as legitimate heir to the throne passed on by Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker and Leadbelly. In the hands of Duane, The Allman Brothers Band would revolutionize and chart a new territory for American blues.
“Black Hearted Woman,” written by Gregg Allman, illustrates the band’s uncanny ability to take a simple blues line and turn it into an infectiously mesmerizing piece of rock music. The frenetic energy created between Trucks and Johanson who roll out mesmerizing beats with freight train intensity, bassist Berry Oakley’s intuitive rhythmic sense, the dazzling guitar magic created by the contrasting styles of Dickey Betts and Duane, and Gregg’s signature smoky, down home vocal approach all made for an unparalleled listening experience that, as if driven by the winds of divine inspiration, astounded an unsuspecting public and took the world by storm.