The Allman Betts Band – Down To The River

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

About one year ago I experienced the namesake of the band with their own band projects live. Devon Allman and Duane Betts rocked the Downtown Bluesclub in Hamburger Stadtpark. In addition to own songs, there were also the big hits of the Allman Brothers Band to hear. In the meantime, the two singers and guitarists have formed a band together – The Allman Betts Band. In November 2018, Allman and Betts officially announced the band’s formation. Immediately, they started songwriting and recordings for the debut album. To bring the classic Southern Rock feeling befitting for the album, the musicians decided to record the songs live on 2 “analog tapes. As their idols have already done. The result can be heard since the end of June. Of course, the band goes on a world tour with this album, which leads them to Europe in July.

Already “All Night” meets all expectations. Classic southern sound. Already the three guitars provide wanderlust, sometimes powerful and distorted, then again beautiful solos and the slide guitar must not be missing. Subtle in the background the keyboards. A melodic gospel song as opener. You hear, here are world-class musicians at work. One would like to drink a glass of Southern Comfort. And in this style, it goes on. Thanks to the vocals, “Shining” sounds more like Country / Folk. The two-part guitar playing is a bit reminiscent of Thin Lizzy. Rhythmic drumming and song conducive percussion used round out the song. “Try” is then a brilliant blues rock song with country feeling. The keys sound wonderfully like a Hammond organ. I do not need to say a word about the genre-typical, quiet guitar solos. Even the title song “Down To The River” sounds bluesy. Here, also shows how good it is, just to have several singers with vocal harmonies-vocalise. In contrast, “Autumn Breeze” is a psychedelic epic song lasting almost 9 minutes. The guitars really seem to sigh. And what could be better than blues rock ballads (“Good Ol ‘Days”). Yes, who does not want the good old days back. Of course, the “Melodies Are Memories” fit in the following like a fist on the eye. And this song sounds much more optimistic, less lamenting. “Southern Accents” is a minimalist piano ballad. There are memories of the works of Elton John in the 1970s. With “Long Gone” the album then ends contemplative, with a congenial duet of Messrs. Allmen and Betts. And once again the masters show their skills on the guitars.

In “Down To The River” clearly dominate the calm, quiet tones. The album is not a mood grenade. Devon Allman and Duane Betts did not intend to do that either. On the contrary, it means closing your eyes, listening to the fantastic music and dreaming away. The album is extremely varied and shows the wide range of music from the southeastern states of the United States. Gospel, blues, country and soul, all style elements are represented. As I said, the album was recorded by world-class musicians.

The Allman Betts Band – All Night:


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
John Lum – Drums

Label: BMG Rights Management

Out: June 28th, 2019

Playing time: 44:23


  • All Night
  • Shining
  • Try
  • Down To The River
  • Autumn Breeze
  • Good Ol’ Days
  • Melodies Are Memories
  • Southern Accents
  • Long Gone

Rating : 9/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber


Disturbingly Good


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