The Devon Allman Project
London Assembly Hall
Brilliant celebration of a heritage and the present.
He looks like a cross between Neil Young and Wurzel Gummidge, he’s the son of Gregg Allman and part of this performance is given over to his father’s legacy, and there’s no doubt that Devon Allman is a provocative talent.
He has a larger-than-life personality that brings to mind Rickey Medlocke in his Blackfoot heyday, and has put together a tight, amiable band, the members of which wear appropriate southern rock-style hats.
Joined for part of the tonight’s set by Duane Betts, son of Dickey Betts (another Allman Brothers legend), Devon pays due deference to his family’s influence through Multi-Colored Lady, Blue Sky, Dreams and Midnight Rider.
There are also brilliant – and surprising – covers of Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer and The Spinners’ I’ll Be Around and original song Alone, all of which display a welcome melodic hard-rock freshness. The main man even leaves the stage so the rest of the musicians can delight with a soulful rendering of Marvin Gaye’s classic What’s Going On.
Allman is at his best when complemented by Betts, and it’s to be hoped the pair take this alliance further. Tonight is about respecting the past, but there’s also an impassioned commitment to the present. This is no tribute band.
Devon Allman: at his best when complementedby Dickey Betts.