The Allman Betts band – Down to the river

The Allman Betts band

Reviewed by:
On 17 July 2019
Last modified:17 July 2019


A fantastic album.

Devon Allman’s father, Allman brothers legend Gregg Allman died in 2017, and later that year Devon Allman arranged a tribute concert to him at the Fillmore in San Francisco. That concert featured Devon’s new band – The Devon Allman project. Alongside him in the band was Duane Betts, son of founding Allman Brothers guitarist/singer Dickey Betts. They toured as the Devon Allman project through most of 2018 including an appearance at HRH Crows festival in the UK. It was clear from that tour that this was no Devon Allman solo act as Duane Betts played an equally vital role in the band. In recognitin of that the band evolved into this new band – The Allman Betts band. Alongside them is Berry Duane Oakley – another son of an Allman brothers band member (Berry Oakley), as well as Johnny Stachela (slide guitar), John Lum (Drums), R Scott Bryan (percussion). and John Ginty (keyboards).

At the end of November 2018 they entered the Muscle shoals sound studios in Alabama and recorded the album old-school, recording it live onto analog tape and no digital editing involved. As a result what you hear is exactly how it was recorded – the band playing these great songs together, rather than the way many albums are done these days with each instrument recorded separately, which might give you a more perfect result but it can sometimes lose that special quality that comes from a slightly imperfect rendition that has feeling rather than technical perfection.

Check out opening track “All night”..

“Southern accents” is a Tom Petty cover. They’ve stuck faithfully to the original but it’s nicely done.

At nearly 9 minutes duration, “Autumn breeze” is the longest song on the album and has long instrumental sections. It’s a great song.

Having famous parents doesn’t necessarily mean the offspring will have the same talent their parents do, but there are plenty of cases where the talent does seem to run in the family (e.g John and Jason Bonham), and that certainly seems to be the case here too – this is an album that any member of the Allman Brothers would be proud of.

The songwriting is excellent and the guitar playing is absolutely beautiful. There’s a real 70s Allman brothers band feel to this release which is perfectly understandable but it’s not a copy of what was done in the past – they’ve taken their fathers legacies and added their own input to it to make an absolutely superb album.

A fantastic album.

“Down to the river” is out now.

Track listing:

1. All night
2. Shinin’
3. Try
4. Down to the river
5. Autumn breeze
6. Good ol’ days
7. Melodies are memories
8. Southern accents
9. Long gone

A fantastic album.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.