Album Review: Allman Betts Band Debut Album 'Down To The River'

Allman Betts Band comprises of:

Devon Allman - guitar, vocals , Duane Betts - guitar, vocals , Berry Duane Oakley - bass, vocals , Johnny Stachela - guitar, vocals , John Ginty - keyboards , R Scott Bryan - percussion, vocals and John Lum - drums.


Allman Betts, two names which older readers may be familiar with, but not in this context. No Gregg, No Dickey. This is their offspring, Devon Allman and Duane Betts carrying the Allman Brothers torch onwards and taking the first steps towards a new rock ‘n’ roll dynasty. Yet, they aren’t scared to give a clear nod to their forebears. After all, the name Allman is a pretty impressive badge to wear on your sleeve. But this isn’t a rehash of the Allman Brothers. This is a modern dynamic band in their own right, though at times there remain clear hints to the past contained within. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised with the inclusion of two Allman stalwarts, Peter Levin and Chuck Leavell contributing.

This is an album which slips comfortably between soft ballads through to harder country rock numbers. The opener, All Night sets out their stall as a solid heads down rock and roll tune. Next up, the opening chords of Shinin' carries the spirit of Jessica, before the song ripping into a solid rocker, with the guitars taking on lives of their own.

But this isn’t an album that is primarily driven by hard rock tunes. This is an album of variations, of different textures and feelings. At time there are some soulful touches such as on the album closer Long Gone. In Down to the river a serious level of the blues kicks in.

This is an album that has been drawn from many nights on the road, many nights in dead end hotel rooms, an album that is at times tender, at others heart wrenching, the lyrics wringing out the last drop of emotion. It’s thoughtful and well written by musicians who know their craft and know how to make a statement. 

Whatever your take on country rock and blues  this is one album that cannot be ignored, an album that is going a long way to waving the southern flag and making it clear that in the 21st century there  is a place for well-crafted thoughtful emotional rock and roll music.

Track listing:

1: All Night

2: Shinin'

3: Try

4: Down To The River

5: Autumn Breeze

6: Good Ol' Days

7: Melodies are Memories

8: Southern Accents

9: Long Gone



Words by : Adrian Stonley

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