12 July 2019 (released)
10 July 2019
Last year I caught the tail end of the Devon Allman Project tour with support from Duane Betts.
After Betts' slot as support he joined Allman for the rest of the show and I had an inkling that this was destined to become a project all its own.
This album is the result of that year long familiarisation and I have to say, it’s exceeded anything I thought they would manage.
Clearly, the sons of Greg Allman and Dickie Betts – both of whom have been parts of the Allman Brothers Band since their conception as well as playing with other members of the ABB – along with Berry Oakley JR on bass are going to have elements of the Allman Brothers sound but they take that strong basis on a few steps and this is an album of smoking Southern American Blues/Rock.
The twin guitar lead of Allman and Betts is hugely melodic and creates a real sense of a jamming band and the rest of the band are capable of really driving the music along. Allman and Betts share the vocals with Betts throaty and soulful singing really touching the highpoints. Johnny Stachela adds some divine slide guitar and the percussion and drums supplied by R Scott Bryan & John Lum produce a great sense of funk and brio in the back. John Ginty’s keyboards are a wonderful texture to their sound. A lot of the organ on the album was supplied by Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers Band) adding yet another link to that classic sound.
9 tracks and all of them have a sense of honesty and great playing. The title track has the feel of summer in the South, whispery breezes but the lyrics contain a hint of darkness and failure. ‘Autumn Breeze’ which follows allows the band to stretch out and really develop a groove that has the feel of the ABB and opening track ‘All Night’ gets a punchy Free-style riff and rocks like a beast.
The whole thing was recorded live in the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, all analogue and tape, no computers and with the band playing together – and it shows. There is a great sense of a band working together, no audible egos and no sense of a bunch of musicians coming in to play dots – you really get the feel of a band in full flight and having a good time too.