Review: The Allman Betts Band – Bless Your Heart
BMG (August 28th 2020)
Reviewer: Grant Foster
Following on from their well received 2019 album, ‘Down To The River’, the seven piece outfit fronted by Devon Allman and Duane Betts, return with 13 new tracks recorded at Muscle Shoals Sounds Studios in Alabama. Ticking all the right boxes so far, huh?
Devon, the son of Greg Allman, Duane the son of Dickey Betts. There’s your southern rock royalty right there and recorded at a studio where it’s easier to list who hasn’t recorded there from the southern rock fraternity! It’s no secret that the Allman Betts Band (ABB) deliver good old fashioned, blues tinged, deep fried southern rock. But there is more to it than just that.
‘Pale Horse Rider’ gets things off to a strong start with a Western feel. You can almost feel the spirit of Clint Eastwood on this. ‘Carolina’ follows which has a Tom Petty vibe. ‘Ashes Of My Lovers’ features Betts on vocals and continues in that western theme. In a live environment, these boys know how to elongate a song and ‘Savannah’s Dream’, clocking in at 12 minutes, shows them stretching their wings musically and is probably closest to what the Allman brothers might have done.
‘Magnolia Road’, was the lead track off this album and sees Allman and Betts trading lead vocals with some tasty slide guitar work from Johnny Stachela. ‘The Doctor’s Daughter’ has an atmospheric piano intro courtesy of Johnny Ginty and Stachela adds some more slide through the tune, which also features some very cool flamenco guitar on the end part.
The ABB have definitely filtered their own sound, which is heavier than their illustrious parents and it’s apparent they are trying to forge their own sound, yet of course will still have that signature southern style. Some might call it a hybrid of blues, country, jazz, folk and rock. There is evolution, the batons have been passed. I still sense the more releases we see from the ABB band, the better and more intriguing their musical journey will become.