One Way Out is a NY Times Instant Best Seller

by AlanPaul on March 6, 2014

Thank you everyone who helped One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band become a New York Times Instant Best Seller. I am humbled and honored to announce that the book debuted in its first week tied for ninth on the Hardcover Non-Fiction List.

I thought all along that I was tapping into something bigger than most others realized, but I was not certain that I was not delusional.

My goal was nothing less than the ultimate word on the greatest band in rock history and I am deeply appreciative of the feedback that indicates I may just have pulled it off, via  reader emails and the reviews – in newspapers, magazines, blogs and by regular readers like you on Amazon and Barnes and

I wanted to share one email I received from a svery pseical reader: john Cowan, the great bassist and singer for New Grass Revival and the doobie Brothers, among many other great outfits.

I have never met John and had no previous contact with him. His manager reccomended he read One Way Out. He did so, then wrote me the following email. Hard to describe how meaningful this is to me.

John Cowan here. Well I finished it. What a triumph for you and all of us dedicated “Brother” fans. I literally read it every spare moment I had since starting it. This book is so revelatory and constructed in such a fashion that I really can’t thank you enough.

It’s just so nice to have such insight and access to the band with no bullshit axe grinding or tattle-tailing. I hope the guys in the band are pleased, they should be. Anyone of us that has made a life in the music business would be lucky to have a smart, well-”spoken”, thoughtful advocate like yourself. 

The truth is about New Grass Revival that Sam & I, especially in the ’70′s version of the band were using the Allmans as our template. We absolutely consciously were trying to do with Bluegrass what the Allmans were doing to the blues, which is put our own honest, personal, contemporary spin on the whole deal. Though it pissed a lot of people off and we never scaled the heights the Allmans did, I know I take a lot of personal satisfaction in the effort we made.

One of the things the book reminded of time and again is that we are supposed to create for the sole (soul) experience of creativity. Anything else is sometimes icing on the cake and sometimes just shit on our shoes.

Thank you again,
John C

And just so you know who John is… check this out:



Johnny Winter, Park West, Chicago, 1978. FOTO BY KIRK WEST

Six Strings Down. RIP Johnny
John Dawson Winter III, February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014

A couple of years ago, my good friend and Guitar World colleague Andy Aledort wrote this great, harrowing piece for GW that includes some details about the albino guitarist’s 1994 brush with death. Andy knew Johnny really well, musically and personally and really goes deep in this story, which is highly recommended.

Guitar World also posted this fine obituary.

But I think that one aspect of Winter’s career that was actually a bit underplayed in all the obituaries I read and heard was his fabulous work resurrecting Muddy Waters’ career. Johnny played on and produced Muddy’s last four albums, starting with the great Hard Again. The title came about because during the sessions, Muddy apparently said something like, “This is so much fun it’s making my pee pee hard again.”

Muddy earned three Grammies for those four albums and they were the financial and commeercial highlights of his career. Johnny Winter allowed an American icon to go out on top, a feat that should not be forgotten or underestimated. ”I wanted to get him to sound the way he did in Mississippi,” Winter told the Wall Street Journal writer Marc Myers in a recent story.

The photos here are by my pal Kirk West (who was also the photo editor and chief photographer for One Way Out.)

Johnny Winter, Bob Margolin, Muddy Waters, Park West, Chicago, 1978. FOTO BY KIRK WEST



From the archives: Derek Trucks, Family Man

July 15, 2014

I moved back from Beijing just before New Year’s 2009 and was a bit adrift after a tremendous 3.5 year run there. I had left an award-winning column, an award-winning band and an exciting life I loved. I was sitting in an empty, drafty house in frigid New Jersey and wondering what was next. Though […]

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Allman Brothers announce sale dates for final concerts

July 7, 2014

Finally, some news we’ve been waiting for… tickets for the final Allman Brothers concerts go on sale next week… Please note that the information below is a press release from the band without any editorial input or commentary from me… and also note that there is a presale for members of the band’s Peach Corps […]

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Horace Silver’s surprising Allman Brothers connection

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RIP Horace Silver, a jazz giant whose music could be catchy without being simple, whose musical depth is often overlooked and who was a co-founder of the Jazz Messenger with Art Blakey… and who has a surprising Allman Brothers connection. This is a very cool remembrance by a WSJ reporter who is also a fine […]

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Special gig this Friday June 20 in Maplewood

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Saxophonist Dave Loevinger, one of my partners from Beijing’s Woodie Alan band will be in town and joining the Big in China band for a very special show. THIS FRIDAY, June 20 at Highland Place Bar and Grill. 8:30 PM 5 Highland Pl, Maplewood. More info and RSVP here. Dave is a great, great player […]

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Chocolate Thunder – the Slam interview

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Posting the picture of me and Darryl Dawkins in the Shanghai Ritz Carlton lobby in 2007 on Facebook generated a lot of feedback and prompted me to dig this Slam feature out of the archives. I think it’s a classic of my oeuvre. It ran in approx. 2000 and I reran it here on Halloween, 2007. […]

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Letters from Oteil and readers – feedback is always welcome

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So I saw Oteil behind the Mushroom Stage at Wanee and he gave me a big hug and said, “Thank you for this wonderful book. What a gift to receive it at the end of this chapter of my career. You helped me put the last 17 years of my life in perspective.” Well, heck Oteil […]

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Expanded Fillmore East concerts to be released

June 12, 2014

So the full Fillmore concerts, long rumored, are finally on their way. A new 6-CD set, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings, will be released on July 29. It includes at least 14 previously unreleased songs. This is the one we’ve been waiting for and I’m anxious to get my hands upon one. The collection is available […]

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An interview with Triangle mastermind Tex Winter

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In honor of Derek Fisher’s hiring as the New York Knicks new head coach by Phil Jackson, I present this interview with Tex Winter, the mastermind behind the Triangle Offense, so beautifully executed by Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. It was conducted for Slam circa 1998. Some of the questions that have […]

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Col. Bruce Hampton and the ARU: An Appreciation

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This story originally ran in Relix’ 40th Anniversary Issue. In February 1992, the reunited Dixie Dregs were coming to New York’s Ritz and I was excited to check them out. Though I had always considered their music sterile if brilliantly constructed, I recognized Steve Morse as a brilliant guitarist. As a young Guitar World Managing […]

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