Perhaps the most heartfelt tribute so far to the late Gregg Allman came just hours after his death on Saturday (May 27).
Former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes and his group Gov't Mule was playing at the Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois that night and invited other artists on the bill to join them for an early-set rendition of the Allmans' "Dreams" and finished the show with an encore of "Whipping Post."
Haynes tells us that he felt it was the only way to grapple with Allman's death earlier in the day, at the age of 69 from liver cancer:
"I was on the road when I received the news and had a show at a festival...I guess there's two ways of looking at it. One way is, 'Let's try to let the music be part of the healing process, and the other way is, 'What the hell am I doing here?'"
Haynes played with the Allmans from 1989-1997 and 2000-2014. He last saw Allman during late April, when he and fellow Allmans guitarist Derek Trucks visited the ailing Southern rock icon at his home near Savannah, Ga., amidst reports Allman had entered hospice care:
"They (Allman's health issues) haven't been good for a long time and he could've surprised everybody and held out for a really long time, or in this case it didn't take long, didn't last long...It's devastating, y'know? It's a huge loss, and I'm still not quite over the shock...I think he's one of the greatest artists of all time and simultaneously a founding member, singer, songwriter of one of the greatest bands of all time...There are very few singers, very few artists that made that kind of impact, and I think we're gonna see all over the world examples of how much impact he had."
Memorial plans have not yet been announced for Allman, who's expected to be buried in Macon, Ga., next to his brother and Allmans co-founder Duane Allman.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.