Devon Allman, “Can’t Lose ‘Em All” (2014): Something Else! exclusive stream

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Say what you will with being born with a name and bloodline that’s Southern blues-rock royalty, Devon Allman has spent his life apart from his famous father Gregg Allman developing his own way of making that kind of music. Raised by his mother, Devon first met his Dad at age sixteen after already been on his way toward becoming a musician. His Honeytribe band of the 00’s put him on the map leading his own take on the Allman Brothers’ blues/rock/jam template.

Devon’s voice has been often compared to his father’s but I hear a voice that in some ways is much different and just as good. More forceful and rangy, his is a vocal that’s closer to his Royal Southern Brotherhood bandmate Mike Zito, another solid guitarist who’s underrated as a blue-eyed soul singer. And the soul comes pouring out for Devon Allman’s forthcoming solo album Ragged & Dirty (October 14, 2014, Ruf Records).

Less explicitly “southern” and more diverse partly thanks to Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (George Thorogood, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy) serving as producer, the younger Allman at the same time embraces his heritage more than before. That’s most obvious on his appealing cover of a tune Hambridge wrote with Lee Roy Parnell, “Can’t Lose ‘Em All,” offered up as a limited-time exclusive stream above. Allman explains to SER what’s so attractive about this track:

Hambridge brought me the Lee Roy Parnell song “Can’t Lose ‘Em All” and I instantly loved it. It had a real Allman Brothers feel to it. The groove of it, the dual guitar lines…all very steeped in that tradition. It was a natural fit for this record and allowed me a really comfortable palette to put a Santana style lead guitar solo on the track that emphasizes vibe and phrasing. I’m really pleased he brought the song to my attention.

If he had attempted something like this at the beginning of his career, it might have gotten dismissed as capitalizing on his good name. But we now know who Devon Allman is as his own man, and he’s confident enough in his own skin to deliver something that’s straight-up Allman Brothers and straight-up Devon Allman, too.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at [email protected] .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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