Fresh from Peach Fest, Devon Allman Project and Duane Betts rock Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Sept. 28
From a press release:
Tickets, which are $25, $29, and $39, plus fees, go on sale this Friday, July 27 at 10 a.m. and will be available at the Sundance Vacations Box Office at the Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at kirbycenter.org, and by phone at 570-826-1100. An exclusive Kirby Member pre-sale begins on Wednesday, July 25 at 10 a.m.
Formerly touring with Royal Southern Brotherhood and Honeytribe, Devon Allman – singer, songwriter, guitarist, and son of the late Gregg Allman – recently assembled a six-piece ensemble featuring two percussionists, John Lum and R. Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow), bassist Justin Corgan, guitarist Jackson Stokes, and Hammond B3 organist Nicholas David.
As with the Peach Fest, Allman will be joined by Duane Betts – son of Dickey Betts, guitarist, and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.
The evening will feature a 30-minute opening set featuring Betts guitarist Johnny Stachela, backed by Devon’s rhythm section. Following a short break, the Devon Allman Project will play a one-hour set that will include songs from Honeytribe, Royal Southern Brotherhood, The Devon Allman Band, and a few covers. The night will culminate with all eight musicians playing a set of Allman Brothers Band tunes and other classics.
When you’re part of a musical dynasty, it’s only natural that the personal and professional aspects of your life should intersect. It was no different for Devon Allman, whose late father helped helm one of the most important and influential American bands of the past 50 years and later co-founded the Peach Music Festival at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton. It’s also little wonder that the younger Allman, an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist in his own right, should feel the tug of family responsibility and the desire to honor his father’s fabled legacy.
It was also only natural that, following his father’s passing on May 27, 2017, Devon would take time to grieve his loss, be with his family, and consider his own plans going forward. After all, he had been on the road continuously for 12 years, playing an average of 250 dates a year. Consequently, he took six months off to rally around his loved ones and “rack up more time with my kid,” as he put it. That included monthly visits to see relatives on the West Coast and taking the time to heal and rearm himself with the impetus and inspiration needed to embark upon the next phase of his career.
“It felt good to take that time off,” Allman says in retrospect. “I needed to step back and make up for lost time with the people that are close to me.”
Even so, he didn’t neglect music entirely. On Dec. 8, 2017, on what would have been Gregg Allman’s 70th birthday, Devon and a group of special friends celebrated the elder Allman’s life and music with a special concert at the iconic Fillmore in San Francisco. An incredible array of artists took part – Robert Randolph, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, G Love, members of Phish, Samantha Fish, and Jimmy Hall, among them.
“It was a magical evening,” Allman recalls. “It was like a family gathering. There was so much great music, so many musicians who had such respect for my father, all of whom felt such a personal connection to both the man and his music. And when my manager told me that we could do the concert at the Fillmore, a place that obviously had such profound ties to my dad’s career, I couldn’t have been happier.”
The show also rekindled his enthusiasm for projects he launched this year. In March, his new six-piece band, the Devon Allman Project, began a world tour with Duane Betts. The two men have known each other since 1989, when Devon was 17 and Duane was 12.
“We’ve had this enduring friendship ever since we were kids,” Allman muses. “We’ve always talked about going out on tour together, and now the time seems right. He’ll start the show, then I’ll do my portion and, finally, the two of us will share the stage for the encore.”
It will, he says, be about comfort, remembrance, and a special bond between musical brothers, sentiments that are especially meaningful at this particular time.
Devon Allman is a staunch proponent of authentic Southern blues. It’s a legacy that’s always weighed heavy on his musical mantra. He’s chalked up a lengthy list of accomplishments that have entitled him to take his own place in the Southern rock pantheon. His remarkable resume spans two decades, from his post-millennial breakout with Devon Allman’s Honeytribe through to chart-topping collaborations with Jack Bruce, Javier Vargas, and the widely revered supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood.
Nevertheless, the stature he’s achieved on his own via his three highly regarded solo albums – 2013’s “Turquoise,” 2014’s “Ragged & Dirty” (praised by the United Kingdom’s Blues Magazine as “reminding you why the blues can be, quite simply, the best thing in the world”), and his most recent effort, the critically acclaimed “Ride or Die” – have proven his prowess as a singer, guitarist, and provocateur worthy of being reckoned with based on his talent and tenacity alone.
See NEPA Scene’s photos of the Devon Allman Project and Duane Betts performing at the 2018 Peach Fest here.