Song of the Day: Allman Brothers Band, “One Way Out”

We aren’t quite sure who wrote this; Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson II both recorded it in the ’60’s, but it’s probably from much earlier. Anyway, Duane Allman, who was most likely influenced by Elmore James and other slide guitar players, probably learned this and lobbied the rest of the Allman Brothers to cover it.

The Allman Brothers Band is pretty much the 800-pound gorilla of Southern rock; it’s hard to talk about the genre without talking about them. They formed in 1969 and recorded two studio albums, their eponymous debut (1969) and Idlewild South (1970), but it wasn’t until their first live album, 1971’s At The Fillmore East, that people began to take notice of them. This is from that live album.

10 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Allman Brothers Band, “One Way Out”

  1. One of my favorites songs by this great band, John. They played twice during my freshman year at Univerity of Georgia in Athens, not far from their hometown. I think they could play this song for an hour.

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    1. There were plenty of slide guitar players among the blues guys (Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf etc.) but Duane took it to a whole new level. (I used a 3/4″ socket wrench, myself….)

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      1. I never heard anyone that made a guitar literally cry and do other things like Duane did. One of the great What Ifs of rock and roll. You have to wonder how far he would have taken it.
        Derek Trucks is no slouch himself…and he built off of Duane and has taken it further.

        I agree…I really like Elmore James playing. All of them you mentioned are the greats.

        Another slide player I will add…although NOT blues. My Beatle leanings are showing but Harrison remade himself as a guitar player by learning slide. His tone was one of a kind. He really found himself on the slide. He didn’t have Clapton’s chops on guitar but he made his own style.

        A friend of mine has made me a few slides from wine bottles. I go to antique stores a lot…I’m going to start looking for one of those bottles just for the heck of it.

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        1. George was a remarkable musician to begin with. He didn’t do a lot of slide with The Beatles (John played lap steel on “For You Blue”), but it was probably in the works by then. No doubt it was something he heard Clapton doing and decided to try it himself. I read an interview where he said Indian music influenced his slide playing, and that he might not have even tried it if he hadn’t listened to it.

          George and Eric were such good friends that even Eric having an affair with George’s wife didn’t change things. Kind of like the song “My wife ran off with my best friend and I miss him.”

          When I was in college, I made myself a slide from the neck of a wine bottle, no mean feat considering I had no appropriate tools for it. All that work and I hardly used it: I preferred the sound of a steel slide…

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          1. Those English guys and their wives are amusing that is for sure.
            If the song is a smooth sounding song…like Sister Golden Hair then I like glass…if it is a rocker I do like the steel or even copper.

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