Home Read The Allman Betts Band | Down to The River

The Allman Betts Band | Down to The River

The sons of the brothers of the road follow in their fathers' footsteps.


WHO ARE THEY? Probably not who you think. This isn’t an unearthed collaboration between Allman Brothers Band co-founders Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts; it’s a new band featuring their sons Devon Allman and Duane Betts — with bassist and fellow ABB scion Berry Oakley Jr. in the lineup (and longtime keyboardist Chuck Leavell guesting) for a few extra credibility points.

WHAT IS THIS? Their debut album, which naturally picks up right where their daddies left off and follows faithfully in their influential footprints.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Pretty much as you’d expect — nine tracks of jammy southern-rock laced with soulfully gruff vocals, swampy grooves, loping guitar melodies and synchronized solos. But give these guys credit for learning from the best and taking their lessons to heart: They bring no shame to their names with these expertly executed tracks.

WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Sons of the Brothers of the Road.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? With your friendly neighbourhood ABB megafan, just to see their reaction.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Soulful, jammy, rollicking, freewheeling, rousing, nostalgic, confident, authentic, earthy, bluesy.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? All Night opens the show with some solid crunch; Shinin’ mines a decent groove; shuffling centrepiece Autumn Breeze stretches out into an epic jam. On the flip side, Good Ol’ Days is a little too Mellencampy for its own good.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘At least they come by it honestly.’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? There are enough good cuts to bring you back — and hey, it’s not like there are going to be any new ABB studio albums coming along.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE CLOTHES, WHAT KIND OF CLOTHES WOULD IT BE? Your father’s old bellbottoms, biker boots and fringed leather vest.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Unless you were a regular at their daddies’ annual Beacon runs, start with the stream and see how it sits.