Allmans take the stage at Wanee for final time, possibly


The Allman Brothers Band with, from left, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Butch Trucks, Gregg Allman, Jaimoe, Marc Quinones and Oteil Burbridge, headlines this weekend’s Wanee Festival with performances Friday and Saturday.

Courtesy of the Allman Brothers Band
Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 11:38 a.m.

As the figurative sun rises on the 10th-anniversary year of the Wanee Music Festival, the Allman Brothers Band are as eager as ever to take the stage of their trademark Southeastern festival — even if it marks the band’s official sunset there.

Facts

Wanee Festival

What: Annual music festival headlined by the Allman Brothers Band and featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Trey Anastasio Band and others
When: 12:30 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.waneefestival.com

This year’s Wanee, which opens today and continues through Saturday with the Allmans performing their customary headlining sets on Friday and Saturday, is special both for hitting the 10-year mark as one of the South’s premier music festivals, and also for the possibility that the band’s appearance there could be its last given the band’s announcement that it plans to stop touring after 2014.

“Right now what we’re doing ... is we finished the Beacon [Theatre] part of the final year of the Allman Brothers Band,” says Butch Trucks, who along with Gregg Allman and fellow drummer Jaimoe are the band’s three remaining original members.

“That, I can probably say, is a true statement: I doubt if there will be an Allman Brothers Band after the end of this year.”

In January, guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes announced they would leave the group at the end of 2014 to concentrate on their solo projects, the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Gov’t Mule, respectively. Then Gregg Allman announced that the band would no longer tour after this year.

The announcements appeared to add an extra element to the seminal group’s recently completed annual run at New York’s Beacon Theatre, Trucks says.

“I think some of the shows we did at this year’s Beacon run are some of the best shows we ever played — ever,” he says.

If so, such an element may, in turn, amp up the venerable Southern group’s appearances at this year’s Wanee, where some 40 other bands including Lynryrd Skynyrd, the Trey Anastasio Band as well as the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band are also on the bill.

“I mean, the bottom line is that’s probably the best festival in the country every year; everyone that comes there says the same thing,” Trucks says. “It’s just such a great spot, and we always have a great lineup.

“It’s like going back to the ’60s but the age range is from 70 to 13, you know, and everybody just has a ball. Everybody is interacting, having a great time and enjoying the music and enjoying the vibes, and it’s just a great weekend. So I expect this weekend will be the same.

“Bottom line is I’m having more fun playing, and I’m playing with more power and intensity now than I think I ever have in my life.”

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

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