The Allman Betts Band’s debut album “Down To The River” was released on Friday 28th June via BMG records, and if you like your music “southern flavoured” then this is an album to add to your collection as there are some serious musical credentials here.
The Allman Betts Band line-up are 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). Peter Levin (Gregg Allman's Hammond B3 player) and Chuck Leavell (former Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and current Rolling Stones keyboardist) make special appearances on the record.
From the first few moments of the opening song “All Night” there is from its classic sound no doubt as to where The Allman Betts Band have made their musical stand, and this is swiftly followed on by the love story of “Shinin’”. This ability of the band to so easily, and successfully, switch the style and feeling of their music is a consistent mark of the quality of the songwriting throughout this album.
“Down To The River” is a work of many different emotions and the haunting organ playing of “Down To The River” will mean something different to anyone who has at some point in their life wondered how they got on that particular path. The emotion of this track is counter-balanced perfectly with a slice of classic “southern Rock” in “Good Ol' Days”.
The band and their music may be taking their musical roots from the American South, but in truth that sense of belonging somewhere a little bit special to your heart is a universal feeling and “Southern Accents” captures that feeling perfectly in words and music.
Classic musicianship and skilful songwriting mark this debut album out from the seas of indifference of many other releases this year.
The Allman Betts Band
Down To The River
1. All Night
4 Down To The River
5 Autumn Breeze
6 Good Ol' Days
7 Melodies Are Memories
8 Southern Accents
9 Long Gone
Review by Tom King