See Live At The Fillmore Recreate The Magic of the Allman Brothers

To Lou Maresca, founder of the incomparable Allman Brothers Band tribute Live At The Fillmore, the ABB were in a league of their own in rock music. “They more or less invited the style… of a double guitar lead, the harmonies, Duane Allman’s slide guitar style,” he says in a phone interview with Rock On Philly. “They are considered the innovators of southern rock, but their music wasn’t just that. The thing that was unique about the Allman Brothers is that they incorporated rock and roll, blues, jazz and country together.”

Maresca, who takes on the vocals and guitar parts of Duane Allman in Live At The Fillmore (LATF), has a long standing history with the ABB. “I saw the band perform many times in New York City at the Fillmore East during ’70, ’71. I met all of the original members and maintained contact with them throughout the years,” he says. Maresca even attended the shows that were eventually released for the ABB’s seminal 1971 live album At Fillmore East, from which LATF gets its name.

Maresca formed LATF about ten years ago in order to recreate the magic of the ABB during their early years with Duane Allman and Dicky Betts for fans. “I treat their music like a Beethoven score – our job is not to innovate, but to imitate,” Maresca says about his approach to playing the ABB. 

And according to Maresca, don’t call the ABB a “jam band.” “The [Allman Brothers] were not as improvisational as fans think. The parts that seem like jams were not really that – they had that worked out in great detail. We do the same thing; we follow the classic performances of the band,” he says.

In LATF’s near decade journey, the group has achieved success in a way so few tribute bands have done. The band has received rave accolades from the remaining members of the ABB themselves, and last year they appeared on the AXS-TV network show The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands, being the only Allman Brothers tribute ever to be on the show.

They also just returned from the sold out Southern Rock Cruise appearing alongside such southern rock royalty acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band, and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, the jazz-rock collective from ABB drummer Jaimoe“It was the best, I could go on for days what a good time we had,” reminisces Maresca. “Everybody that I met was the nicest person I ever met. Everyone was of one mind and spirit.”

Just like the ABB, LATF needs to be experienced live. “If you’re not at a live show, you can’t pick up the energy, the passion that goes into it, and the interaction between the members, ” explains Maresca. This week, LATF returns to the Philly area with two shows: Friday at the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (which is sold out) and Saturday at the World Cafe Live (tickets still available here).

For Maresca, the reaction they receive from ABB fans makes all the effort more than worth it. “The best part of having done this is the people that we meet and the friends that we’ve made all over the country. People tell us about their connection and personal stories with ABB. There are times where you can’t help but have your eyes fill up. when you see the truth in their eyes, and all I can do is give them a big hug.”

Don’t miss your chance to see ABB favorites such as “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post” live this Saturday at the World Cafe Live!

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