Devon Allman

WHAT: Tab Benoit with the Devon Allman Band
WHERE: Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
WHEN: Nov 12 at 8pm
Tickets: $24.50-$34.50
INFO: pvconcerthall.com or 209-0399

It’s hard to deny the power of DNA, especially with an enviable rock ‘n roll pedigree, but Devon Allman is his own man. Growing up in Texas, Allman lived the typical suburban life, playing soccer, working at Burger King, and hocking guitars at a music store. He has long since made peace with the man that once was just a framed 5×7 on his childhood dresser and what it means to chart a course all on his own. “I was just a normal kid.

I didn’t meet my father until I was 27, so it’s not that I grew up a rock star kid. My path to music was totally organic. I was into Hendrix, Iron Maiden and the Smiths and the Cure,” he says. “I found my way to the blues through Jimi Hendrix. When I heard ‘Red House’ that just blew my mind. That kind of made me go out and find all the stuff that turned him on like B.B. King, Curtis Mayfield and Buddy Guy.”

Allman often takes to social media to share his life on the road, navigating through airports and hotels and the eternal search for good coffee. “I’m an idiot on social media. I probably reveal too much but I don’t really give a shit,” he says. “It’s my life, too.” A glimpse at Allman’s Twitter page reveals that he is a father, guitarist, singer, songwriter, pescatarian, hotsauce pimp, and NBA fan. He is also a truth-seeker, a road warrior and an ambitious, ball-busting perfectionist who holds his own feet to the fire.

The Devon Allman Band joins Tab Benoit Nov 12 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (pvconcerthall.com). Allman’s newest release Ragged and Dirty dropped in September and continues to earn rave reviews across the board, especially from the elder Allman who took to his own social media to declare his boy’s new album as a killer record. The show will focus on Ragged and Dirty and the Devon Allman Band, as well as material from his earlier band, Honeytribe, and his other current project, Royal Southern Brotherhood. “The show is really cool because I do a little bit of everything throughout my career. I play a little Honeytribe, a little Royal Southern Brotherhood, a song or two of my Dad’s,” he says.

Allman is acutely aware of the mythology surrounding his famous name, but he is lightning quick to dispel notions of a hand out. “Anyone who has the misconception that ‘oh, he’s an Allman’–you don’t know shit. And that’s okay. People, especially newcomers to my work, are going to think that,” he says. “But I just hit one million miles touring last year. I’m not saying that to pound my chest at all. I’m saying that my father didn’t ride one of those of miles. I did.”

In 2000, Allman walked away from music altogether to spend time with his young son. Once his boy went to school, his mindset shifted to, “holy shit, all my bros like Derek Trucks and Joe Bonamassa had like five records out and had been touring for 10 years. The only way I am going to catch up is to really bust some balls.” Coming out of self-imposed exile, Allman called his agent and said he wanted to play 300 shows that year. “He laughed at me,” he says. “I called him back 10 minutes later and said, ‘bro, I just wanted to know why you laughed at me,’ and he goes ‘because I knew you were serious.’”

Whether he’s playing for 40 people in a club or 40,000 people in an arena, Allman always plays with the same conviction. That’s the honey. The money, he says, is his compensation for the bullshit that comes with being a touring musician. “Playing the music, I’d do that for free, all year long. I get paid for all the plane delays, the taxi rides, and the hotels with the shitty food and the shitty beds,” he says.

Alllman is enjoying the life now, but knows there will come a point that he will start saying ‘no’ to certain things. “When you are building, that’s when it’s time to say yes to everything,” Allman says. “The only real pressure that exists in the world is self-applied. Every time I take the stage, I feel like the luckiest man on earth. The long and short of it is that this has come with a lot of work. But I love the work.” Check out Allman November 12 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.

About Liza Mitchell