Courtesy of Devon Allman
The son of legendary Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, Devon Allman has spent the past few years traveling the world and playing about 250 shows a year in more than thirty countries. When he gets a break, Devon heads home to St. Charles to recharge and catch up with his sixteen-year-old son.
“My son is the reason I’m still a St. Louis resident,” Devon says. “I’ll always retain a residence here, though. My mother is here. My sister is here. My wonderful ex-wife is here. It’s always going to be a home to me.”
Though Devon’s solo career has taken off in recent years—his recently released third solo album, Ride or Die, debuted at number one on the Billboard and iTunes Blues charts—he got his start playing clubs in St. Louis with his early bands, The Dark Horses and Honeytribe. He continues to have a strong presence in the local music scene, serving on the board of directors for the new National Blues Museum and starting his own Blues Series at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles.
“I cut my teeth playing the Landing six nights a month and playing Main Street in St. Charles just as often,” he says. “I really came up in that scene, and I had bands I looked up to like Pale Divine. There was a ton of great musical activity at that time. Laclede’s Landing was on fire. You could go listen to music seven nights a week and bounce from one club to another.”
He has come quite a way since those days, slowly building his fan base with Honeytribe, his solo work, and supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood. With the new album, Devon admits he has broadened his scope a bit.
“The main difference with Ride or Die is the approach in the songwriting and craftsmanship of what I was going for,” he says. “Every career move I’ve ever made, there’s been this cerebral thing of, ‘Will blues lovers like this? Will bluesrock lovers like this? Will Allman Brothers fans like this?’ This was the first time I said, ‘Screw that. I’ve earned my stripes.’ ”
Recorded at Nashville’s Sound Stage Studios and Switchyard Studios, Devon partnered with strong musicians, including Grammy-winning drummer and co-producer Tom Hambridge; guitarist Tyler Stokes, who co-wrote half of the album’s songs; bassist Steve Duerst; legendary saxophonist Ron Holloway; keyboardist Kevin McKendree; and violinist Bobby Yang.
“I did grow up on B.B. King and Curtis Mayfield and Jimi Hendrix, but I also grew up on
The Cure and The Clash and R.E.M.,” he says. “I felt like it was time to let those influences see the light of day. So I really extinguished those thoughts and just wrote songs, and I think it’s a much broader spectrum of what I can do.”
Devon Allman is starting a world tour this month but will return to Missouri on June 15 at the Soda Fountain in Steelville. Find more information at DevonAllmanBand.com.