Allman brings Southern rock to the Hole | Music

Blues-rock is coming to the Mangy Moose.

But it’s not just any blues-rock musicians coming to grace the Teton Village stage. Devon Allman and Duane Betts are coming at 9:30 p.m. Friday with Allman’s latest group, the Devon Allman Project.

“We’re a throwback band,” Allman said. “We can throw in some jams, some fun covers from rock history. It’s really high energy.”

If their names ring a bell, congratulations, you haven’t been living in a cave for the past 50 years. The sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, founding members of the seminal Southern rock group the Allman Brothers, could have just by being born been anointed music royalty.

But that’s not Devon Allman’s style.

“I think my work ethic and staying out there touring and that I kept putting records out is a testament to the fact that I do this for the right reasons,” he said.

When Allman talked to the News&Guide he was in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, working on some tracks. If Muscle Shoals rings a bell, another congratulations. The studio is hallowed ground in the music industry.

Though the studio has been empty for much of the recent past, huge names frequented it during its heyday, from the Rolling Stones recording “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar” to Bob Seger putting down “Old-Time Rock and Roll.” Add to the list Simon and Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, the Staples Singers and Bob Dylan, and the nondescript Alabama building carries a lot of musical history.

The last group to record at Muscle Shoals, Allman said, was The Black Keys, who made much of their 2010 album, “Brothers,” there.

“You don’t think about it when you get down to work,” Allman said. “But when you’re on a break you think, ‘S–t , ‘Wild Horses’ was done here.’”

Though Allman has many records to his name, from his time with the groups Honeytribe and the Royal Southern Brotherhood as well as his solo career, he is happiest on the road, where he spends much of the year, playing around 200 shows annually.

“I’m in that sweet spot as a musician,” he said. “I’m not a young man, but I’m also not an old man. I can take it, and it’s what I love to do.”

The 46-year-old is excited to be touring with Betts, with whom he has an album coming out next year. The shows on this tour are essentially three-act gigs. Betts and his band play the opening set, Devon Allman plays the main one, then the bands combine for an extended encore with an eight-piece band.

The shows are a chance for the musicians to check a lot of boxes. They are able to play their solo work, collaborate with other talented players and, for at least a few songs, connect with their rich music heritage.

“It’s been a lot of fun to balance those things,” Allman said. “You can’t play too many Allman Brothers songs, but it’s weird to not play any.”

For megafans Betts and Allman will host a meet-and-greet session at 7 p.m. before the show. For $85, which does not include a ticket, fans can receive a T-shirt, CD, poster and other goodies, as well as bask in the glory of being a degree of separation from the Allman Brothers. To see the show as well, you have to cough up $30.

The fan sessions that Betts and Allman are doing at each stop serve two purposes. One, they help pay the bills. Toting eight people, a crew, a tour bus and a bunch of instruments around the country becomes expensive quickly.

But, more importantly, it continues their fathers’ legacy, maintaining their connection to the beginnings of Southern rock.

“Now that Dad’s gone people are looking to me to make music,” Allman said. “And that has to happen, so I’m going to pay homage to that.” 



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