CHRONICLE: GABBAFest to celebrate Allman Brothers Band with concerts, events this weekend



In addition to the big gigs at the Grand Opera House and plenty of after-party events and jams, there’s the GABBA members-only Sunday jam on stage at The Big House. Here, the members and their audience enjoy a 2019 jam.

Special for the telegraph

GABBA – the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association – has carried the flag for the legendary Macon-based band for 30 years now, taking on the task of preserving the band’s memory and music before it became fashionable.

It’s GABBAFest weekend and there’s plenty to do, including several concerts at the Grand Opera House, a host of after-party jams and a number of side events, including a members-only stage jam GABBA on Sundays at The Big House.

Laraine Potter, president of GABBA, said all events and concerts are open to the public with times and ticketing at and through the Grand’s box office at 651 Mulberry St., (478) 301-5470 or

For local fans and those around the world, this is the place to be.

“People have been coming from all over the world for years and years to be at GABBAFest,” Potter said. “People come to listen to music, see the Allman Brothers sites and especially to find friends who share their love for the music and the band. It’s a tradition with people from places like England and Finland and newcomers arriving here every year. I think this may be the first time that fans have come from Sweden.

Potter said that in the 1990s there weren’t many places marked, advertised and open to the public for people to enjoy, although die-hard fans knew to have a meal at the H&H restaurant. where the brothers were supported from the start. their career, walk and try to peek into the then dilapidated Capricorn Studio building downtown, past the band’s former haunt on Vineville Avenue, the Big House which was then just a house , listen to music at Grant’s Lounge or visit Rose Hill Cemetery where Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were buried.

Now many of these places and others have been rejuvenated and filled with memorabilia and souvenirs to pass on the memory of the group through public on-site tours.

The festival kicked off Thursday with a reception at Gallery West downtown and a jam at Grant’s.

Today there is a meeting at Fresh Produce Records, 567 Cherry St., at 1 p.m. with the band Restless Natives and then at 3 p.m. with former Wet Willie backing vocalist Donna Hall, yes, related to singer Jimmy Hall.

Also at 3 p.m., Kirk West’s usual rock photographs are on display at Gallery West, along with a book signing featuring Willie Perkins, Kathy Hurley and West for their Allman Brothers classics and rock and blues-oriented books.

Tonight, however, things kick into high gear with a concert at The Grand at 7 p.m. featuring the Danielle Nicole Band with the opening act of the EG Kight Trio.

Saturday at The Grand at 7 p.m. it’s Brother and Sister featuring Vaylor and Melody Trucks with the opening of Parts & Labor and special guests Donna Hall and Shaun Oakley. Yes, there are a lot of children of Allman Brothers members tucked in there.

There are more things to do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so check out the very long list on the GABBA site.

A notable feature Friday at the Grand and Sunday at the Big House involves this year’s GABBY Award winner Paul Hornsby. Past GABBY recipients have included H&H’s ‘Mama Louise’, Kirk and Kirsten West of The Big House and Gallery West, Greg Allman’s good friend Chank Middleton, who died this year, and Galadrielle Allman, to name a few. some.

“Paul will receive the award on Friday night after our first matches, The EG Kight Trio, have played,” Potter said. “He deserves this recognition and more for his role in the early days of Capricorn and before that in Muscle Shoals when Duane Allman was around.”

Hornsby, a keyboardist, came from Alabama and soon became part of Capricorn Studio as a house band member and studio manager. He was instrumental in bringing others to Capricorn, including Chuck Leavell who became a member of the Allman Brothers Band after Duane Allman and now plays keyboards with the Rolling Stones.

Hornsby has produced and toured with many Capricorn-related artists and has remained in Macon over the years operating Muscadine Studios.

As well as releasing his own solo albums and producing hit records for Charlie Daniels, The Marshal Tucker Band and others, Hornsby is featured on a number of cuts performing with Duane Allman on Allman’s anthology releases. . Hornsby will play keyboards on a number of these tracks over the weekend.

“I’m honored to receive the GABBY,” said Hornsby. “I’m always happy to go to GABBYFest because so many of my musician friends play there or just show up for the music. It’s a very natural place for us. The songs I’m going to sit on are three demos that I recorded with Duane at the time at Muscle Shoals. I’m also looking forward to seeing Melody Trucks and Vaylor Trucks who now have their own bands. They’re the kids of Butch Trucks. We’re also joining forces in December for do a show together in Jacksonville.

Also to come in the coming days and week:

Throughout next week, Macon Pride will be offering special activities and events like a Monday beer outing at 6 p.m. at Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen and karaoke at Third Street Park on Thursdays starting at 6 p.m. Highlights of the week include:

  • The Macon Pride Mini-Film Festival, Tuesday at the Douglass Theater
  • Broadway Pride Wednesday at the Grand Opera House
  • A performance of “Friend of the Groom: A One Man Show featuring Mark Mobley” Thursday at the Macon Theater
  • Macon Pride Drag Show, Friday at the Hargray Capitol Theater
  • Macon Pride Festival Pride in the Park Saturday at Third Street Park.

Information on activities, times, dates and ticketing are available at and

Want an international atmosphere this weekend? Hop in Perry on Saturday for their International Festival from noon to 8 p.m., when cultures come together in historic downtown Perry through dance, song, food, shopping and art representing more than 20 countries. See for more details.

Looking for a simple hike outdoors in a beautiful and meaningful setting? Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park is the place to be on Saturday at 9 a.m. for a hike in the park organized by Cub Scout Pack 419. Search Facebook events for “Ocmulgee Indian Mounds Hike” for any additional information.

Contact writer Michael W. Pannell at [email protected]

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