Published on December 20th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Devon Allman On The Allman Betts Band’s Dec. 28th Show At The Beacon Theater & More
In December 2017, Devon Allman was ready. After a year of mourning the losses of his mother and father, Allman was ready to make music again. He deeply appreciated all of the condolences and well-wishes, but respectfully, it was time for the singer and songwriter to forge ahead.
Allman organized a concert at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco to honor the music and memory of his father — founding Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and singer Gregg Allman — and also to debut his new band, The Devon Allman Project. A proverbial star-studded affair, including guests G. Love and Robert Randolph, the marathon performance also marked the beginning of Allman’s partnership with Duane Betts, son of founding Allman Brothers Band guitarist and singer Dickey Betts. It was time, in that historic venue, to pass the spirit to this next generation. It was time to take all the lessons of the past, all their collective experiences, and make something new.
Betts recently had turned solo after a touring stint with folk-rockers Dawes, and would serve as an opening artist on the Devon Allman Project’s 2018 world tour, as well as joining Allman each night for a musical tip of the hat to their respective fathers. This year-long trek was the first to pair Allman and Betts, and saw the two play nearly 100 dates at theaters and festivals around the world, including notable appearances at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, The Peach Festival, Gov’t Mule’s Island Exodus in Jamaica, and a return to The Fillmore for the second annual Allman Family Revival.
Following that world tour, Allman and Betts circled back to their roots for this ambitious next step. They called up their old friend Berry Duane Oakley, son of the Allman Brothers Band’s founding late bassist Berry Oakley, and floated the idea of joining them. The trio’s musical friendship traces back to The Allman Brothers Band’s 20th anniversary summer tour in 1989 when the three first met.
In November 2018, the formation of The Allman Betts Band was announced. The band’s first performance was on March 26, 2019 — 50 years, to the date, after The Allman Brothers Band first jammed in Jacksonville, Florida. Currently, The Allman Betts Band is in the midst of a run of dates which includes the third annual Allman Family Revival, which takes place at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on December 28th. Also taking part in the Revival are Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, JD Simo, Alex Orbison, Eric McFadden, Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, Charlie Starr, the North Mississippi All-Stars’ Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, G Love, Ally Venable, Lamar Williams, and Lily Hiatt.
Beyond this year’s Allman Family Revival high-profile event in New York City, The Allman Betts Band already has 2020 tour dates announced in support of its debut album Down To The River, as released earlier this year via BMG. Beyond playing the famed Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia, The Allman Betts Band will be seen at Greensboro, NC’s Carolina Theatre on February 20th, at Colorado Springs, CO’s Pikes Peak Center on March 4th and Clearwater, FL’s Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 9th.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Devon Allman by phone last month about the upcoming Allman Family Revival show in New York, recording Down To The River, future band plans and even his heavy metal influences. More on The Allman Betts Band can be found at www.allmanbettsband.com.