Allman Brothers Band: Gregg Allman (vocals, guitar, organ), Richard Betts (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, dobro), Chuck Leavell (acoustic & electric piano), Berry Oakley, Lamarr Williams (bass), Butch Trucks (drums, percussion, congas), Jaimoe (drums, congas).
Additional personnel: Les Dudek, Tommy Talton (guitars).
Engineers: Johnny Sandlin, Ovie Sparks, Buddy Thornton.
Recorded at Capricorn Sound Studios, Macon, Georgia.
Three songs into these sessions, bassist Berry Oakley was killed in a motorcycle accident, eerily similar to the one that had claimed founding member Duane Allman a year earlier. Given these circumstances, it is amazing that, on balance, BROTHERS AND SISTERS is probably the Allman Brothers' strongest studio effort. Songwriter and guitarist Dickie Betts really hits his artistic stride here; his "Ramblin' Man," for example, not only has country soul to burn but also features one of the all-time great fadeouts, with the instrumentation building on itself and soaring into the stratosphere.
Founding member Gregg Allman, whose contributions lean more toward the band's blues roots, is in equally good form. In particular, "Wasted Words" and "Jelly Jelly" plumb seemingly bottomless depths of feeling, and the band, notably pianist Chuck Leavell, renders them with an effortless textural transparency and swing. Though not as essential as the Allman Brothers' first four albums, the superb writing and performances on BROTHERS AND SISTERS still place it among their finest releases.