Released by: BMG
Release Date: Out Now!
Genre: Southern Rock , Blues Rock
Devon Allman – guitar, vocals
Duane Betts – guitar, vocals
Berry Duane Oakley – bass, vocals
Johnny Stachela – guitar, vocals
John Ginty – keyboards
R Scott Bryan – percussion, vocals
John Lum – drums
- All Night
- Down To The River
- Autumn Breeze
- Good Ol’ Days
- Melodies Are Memories
- Southern Accents
- Long Gone
Formed on the back of the critically acclaimed Devon Allman Project, The Allman Betts Band is made up of Devon Allman, Duane Betts, Berry Duane Oakley, Johnny Stachela, John Ginty, R Scott Bryan, and John Lum, with special appearances by Peter Levin (Greeg Allman’s Hammond B3 player) and Chuck Leavell (former Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and current Rolling Stones keyboardist). Seeking to create an album that would honour the legacy of the music his father helped pioneer, Devon Allman’s partnership with Duane Betts has resulted in nine superb tracks that are a joy to listen to.
Opening track ‘All Night’, with its stomp-beat and grove-laden riffs features Devon front and centre, and really shows off the band in fine form. ‘Shinin’’ has an undeniable Allman Brothers vibe to it and could easily have been transported out of the 70s. This catchy tune will be a fan favourite and sound great on the radio as you roll down the highway with the top down.
Moving on we have the funky ‘Try’ with its classic Muscle Shoals sound, and title track ‘Down to the River’ with its warm soothing Hammond organ, excellent vocals, and smooth musicianship. It’s truly one of the stand-out tracks on the album.
The psychedelic ‘Autumn Breeze’ takes us through the middle of the album evoking a real Warren Haynes / Gov’t Mule vibe as it slides into the Segerseque ‘Good Ol Days’, the quirky ‘Melodies Are Memories’, and the stunning cover of the Tom Petty classic ‘Southern Accents’. Another stand-out track, Devon’s almost isolated vocal offset by the piano makes this song absolutely shine. The band truly makes it their own. Rounding out the album is ‘Long Gone’ which reflects on this history that this band was born out of while looking forward to what the future holds for them all.
There can be no denying that The Allman Betts Band have delivered a sublime and soulful album of southern-fused blues-rock with their debut album Down To The River. Recorded live at the world famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, the album was produced by Matt Ross-Spang using two-inch analogue tape. The result is absolutely stunning, and harkens back to the plush recording values of the 70s and 80s. With hints of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seeger, The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and Gov’t Mule, fans of these bands are going to love Down To The River.
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – UK Editor
Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.