Mike Reilly remembers his first Rock album – THE ALLMAN BAND (’69). And he remembers when, the following year, he bought an album that totally changed his life – Freddy King’s Getting Ready. Mike, now thirteen, was ready-ready to play the Blues. Mike was sitting in with the likes of JOE COCKER and The POINTER SISTERS before he was old enough to be in a club.
Sadly, Mike also remembers losing his big brother Bobby. (A talented musician who died in 1980.) Although there have been other musical influences in his life from DUANE ALLMAN to BILL CHAMPLIN, none were more important than his brother Bobby. That same year, Mike got into the Sharpshooter Band. That gig led to ELVIN BISHOP and from Elvin came gigs with Blues giants JOHN LEE HOOKER, Dr. JOHN and MUDDY WATERS, WILLIE DIXON, BB KING, STEVIE RAY VAUGHN, ALBERT COLLINS, BILLY GIBBONS and The BAND
Mike has had the rare opportunity of playing with most of the musicians who influenced him and his music. Maybe this is why he sometimes refers to himself as the Forrest Gump of Rock. He’s released four albums as The Mike Reilly Band and these days he continues to perform with an All-Star line-up.
That’s where I came in. I was asked to do an interview with his new band RIDIN SOUTH. They were going to do a tribute show and recreate the entire Allman Brothers Band “At Fillmore East” as a tribute to all the years Mike played with the Gregg Allman Band.
RIDIN SOUTH is the brain child of Mike Reilly and I was a little skeptical of another tribute band. Not only am I a huge Allman Brothers Fan, I was at the Fillmore East Show in 71 when the album was recorded. It’s still one of my all-time favorite shows.
What happened next was an epic performance by a truly gifted artist paying homage to the Allman Brothers band that was spot on. Even down to the same light show that the Allman Brothers used that memorable night at the Fillmore.
I remember how I felt that night in 71 when I heard the Allman Brothers perform Statesboro Blues and Sweet Melissa and I experienced that same feeling again when I heard RIDIN SOUTH recreate that show. I was blown away by the musicianship that Ridin South displayed at the Carlsbad Theater that night just like back in 1971 at the Fillmore.
If you’re an Allman Brothers fan, this is a must see!
Check out Mike’s website for all the bands info which includes tour dates for RIDIN SOUTH and The Mike Reilly Band
CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO ROCMANROCKS COMPLETE INTERVIEW WITH MIKE & RIDIN SOUTH