Allman Brothers Cover Neil Young’s ‘Southern Man’ in Concert
After 18 studio albums and more than 40 years together, the Allman Brothers Band doesn’t need to reach far for songs to put in their set list — but they’ve proven more than willing (and thoroughly adept) when it comes to covering other artists’ material. The latest example: their stinging live take on Neil Young‘s ‘Southern Man,’ performed last Saturday (March 17) at New York’s Beacon Theatre.
Though the Allmans have only released a pair of studio albums (1994’s ‘Where It All Begins’ and 2003’s ‘Hittin’ the Note’) over the last 20 years, they’ve remained a steady live draw, and their annual visits to the Beacon are always an event. This show proved no exception, as evidenced by this clip, which finds the band burning through nearly 12 minutes of ‘Southern Man’ with help from Grace Potter, James van der Bogert and Randall Bramblett.
‘Southern Man’ has a long, conflicted history with the Southern rock community, most notably expressed in the mini-feud it sparked with Lynyrd Skynyrd, who recorded ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ as a response to the poverty and institutionalized racism Young depicted in his song. Young didn’t take it personally, however, saying “They play it like they mean it…I’m proud to have my name in a song like theirs.” The Allmans played it like they meant it here. Watch the clip below: