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Gregg Allman talks ‘Laid Back Festival’ show at Jones Beach, NY (Includes interview)

His latest studio album, Gregg Allman Live: Back To Macon, GA, has garnered favorable reviews from fans and critics alike. On the album’s song selection process, he said, “Well, there was a lot of technical preparation for that show, with all the cameras and mics around the stage, but as for the set list, I just worked off of our basic set of songs. I actually forgot we were recording until there were only a couple of songs left, but we smoked it, man!”

When asked if he has a personal favorite song on that collection, the living rock legend said, “That’s like asking someone to pick between their children, so I’ll tell you that we played a number of my favorites that night. ‘Queen of Hearts,’ ‘Melissa,’ ‘Midnight Rider’ ‘and Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.’ Hard for me to choose between those tunes.”

Speaking of “Midnight Rider,” he dubbed it as the song that he is most proud of in his musical career. “I even did two versions of it. The first version was with the Brothers, and then I re-arranged and slowed it down it for Laid Back, my first solo album. I’ll never get tired of playing that one, man,” he said.

On August 29, Allman will be performing at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York, as part of the “Laid Back Festival,” where he will be sharing the stage with Doobie Brothers, City of the Sun, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, among others. “The Laid Back Festival is my festival, and I’m very proud of that. When we were putting it together we decided to reach out to some old friends, and that’s how we ended up with the Doobie Brothers, who are great folks I go way, way back with. I’ve always loved Bruce Hornsby’s music, so it’s a treat to have him, and Jaimoe is a dear, dear friend of mine who has put together a band that is really something else. Jones Beach on Long Island is a beautiful venue, and it’s going to be day filled with great food and music; the Laid Back Festival will have something for everyone. I’m really jazzed about it, man,” Allman elaborated.

On sharing the stage with the Doobie Brothers, he said, “I have known those guys since the early ’70s; they are good people, man, and they have written some truly great songs over the years. Mr. Tom Johnston is an old friend of mine, and they’re a great bunch to be on the road with.”

Regarding the key to longevity in the music industry, Allman concluded, “You have to stick to what you truly believe in, man, and never let anybody take it away from you. Just keep on keepin’ on, and never back down when people try to change you. I learned that from my brother; he knew what he wanted us to become, and he never, ever gave an inch on that. Play anywhere you can, anytime you can, for anyone who will listen. That’s the only way I know how to do it.”

For more information on Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman, his music and tour dates, check out his official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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