Devon Allman and Duane Betts are southern rock legacies, as the sons of Allman Brothers co-founders Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts. They are currently on tour with The Devon Allman Project, coming to the Emma Kelly Theater in Statesboro Oct. 9, forging their own musical path in the shadow of their famous fathers.
“We kind of look over sometimes and it’s like, wow, it’s our turn. What a trip,” said Allman.
Allman is a guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, songwriter and record producer. He founded Honeytribe, and the band has released two albums. He was also one of the original members of Royal Southern Brotherhood.
Although he carries the famous last name, Allman didn’t meet his father until his teens. His parents divorced when he was an infant, and he was raised by his mother. He began playing music in his teens and says he bonded instantly with his father.
In the 1990s, Allman performed in the St. Louis blues and rock scene, and in his 20s he tried to distance himself from his father’s sound. But by the time he hit his 30s, Allman had fully embraced the blues and rock genres.
Betts grew up on the road with his father, Dickey Betts, and the Allman Brothers, and he has toured with Dawes and been of a member of Backbone 69.
The duo has known each other since the Allman Brothers 20th anniversary tour in 1989, and Allman says this tour was years in the making.
“I think, you know, the passing of my father and Dickey Betts going into retirement, it’s kind of like, wow, I know the fans still want to hear this music. It’s important to them. Not that we’re going out there and doing a whole set of their music, but we’re certainly tipping the hat,” Allman said.
The Devon Allman Project is a six-piece band with John Lum and R. Scott Bryan as percussionists, bassist Justin Corgan, guitarist Jackson Stokes, and a Hammond B3 player, Nicholas David. The show kicks off with Betts, followed by a set including songs from Honeytribe, Royal Southern Brotherhood and the Devon Allman Band.
But fans of the Allman Brothers can relax. The band will also include songs from the Allman Brothers and other classics of the era in a special encore at the end of the show.
Both Allman and Betts feel a certain responsibility to carry on their families’ musical legacy.
“You want to pay tribute. You want to be proud of the musical legacy that you come from, because it’s a damn good one,” said Betts.
Tickets for The Devon Allman Project are $32 and are available at www.averittcenterforthearts.org or by calling (912) 212-2787. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.