Jaimoe performs with Allmans and Jasssz Band at Wanee Festival

Jaimoe, a co-founding original drummer with the Allman Brothers Band, will perform with Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band at 1:30 p.m. Friday and with the Allman Brothers at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Wanee Festival in Live Oak. (Courtesy of Jaimoe)

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.

Doing double duty is nothing new for the Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe.


Wanee Festival

What: Annual music festival headlined by the Allman Brothers Band
When: 12:45 p.m.-1:30 a.m. today, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, 3076 95th Drive, Live Oak
Tickets: $215 for the weekend, includes primitive camping
Info: www.wanee

With the Allmans, he’s played with another drummer, fellow percussionist Butch Trucks, for nearly 45 years. And he’s recorded and performed with his own group, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, for the past five years.

This weekend, as the Allman Brother’s Wanee Festival returns for its eighth year at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, the 68-year-old drummer takes advantage of another chance to show that double-duty dexterity.

On Friday, Jaimoe will take the Mushroom Stage with Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band for an hour-long set at 1:30 p.m. And eight hours later, he’ll switch to the aptly-named Peach Stage for the first of two headlining shows by the Allmans this weekend.

It’s a rare match made in percussion heaven, the co-founding, original member of the Allman Brothers Band suggests in a phone call from his home in Bloomfield, Conn.

“Over 45 years, it’s been very few times,” Jaimoe says about playing with the Allmans and another group on the same day.

On March 8, he followed a New York concert with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater by hopping over to B.B. King’s Blues Club for a midnight show with his Jasssz Band that easily went to 2:30 a.m.

“That just got me warmed up,” Jaimoe says. “I always wanted to do that: Get off an Allman Brothers gig and go somewhere and play jazz all night.”

And what is it about following a concert by the Allmans, the South’s seminal, blues-rock standard-bearers for more than four decades, with a “nightcap” gig by your own band as you’re well into your seventh decade?

“I get to play music, can’t nobody fire me, and I have horns and one drummer,” Jaimoe says, blending humor and seriousness in one sentence as easily as he fluctuates from the blues-rock, jazz-tinged style of the Allmans to the bebop-meets-soul-and-R&B sound of his own band.

Jaimoe’s seven-member jazz band recorded its first album in 2008, a live recording that featured such tunes as John Coltrane’s “Impressions” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” The band followed that, and another live album from 2008, with its first studio album, “Renaissance Man” in 2011.

The latter features covers of such tunes as Brook Benton’s 1970 hit, “Rainy Night in Georgia,” as well as tracks like a bossa nova-tinged version of “Melissa,” the Allman Brothers’ silky smooth classic.

Jokes aside, the drummer relishes playing with the Allmans and his fellow percussive compadre in that group, Butch Trucks, all these years later.

“Playing with another drummer gives you a lot of freedom,” Jaimoe says. “The difference between Butch and I, well, there is no difference but at the same time, it’s as different as day and night.”

It all goes back to the time in the late 1960s when Duane Allman, who had cut his musical teeth and earned a stellar reputation as a studio gutiarist, began assembling band the beared his name and own musical stamp.

“When I met Duane Allman, he told me he wanted two drummers,” Jaimoe says. “And it took me a while, like maybe three or four weeks, and i finally asked him one day, ‘Man, why do you want two drummers?’ He said, ‘Because James Brown had two drummers, Otis Redding had two drummers and I want to have two drummers.’ And I said ‘OK.’ That was the end of that.

“Duane picked the right combination. I used to live with him in this cabin when he was working at Fame Studios, and he said ‘Man, there ain’t but one [expletive] who can sing in this band, and that’s my brother Gregg. he was right.

“And he wanted two drummers. He was right.”

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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