Devon Allman and Duane Betts play MIM
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
As the son of Gregg Allman, Devon Allman understands the fans’ desire to hear his father’s music.
But when he and longtime friend Duane Betts play two shows at the Musical Instrument Museum on Sunday, May 27, don’t expect an evening full of hits.
“There’s a fine line between preserving something and capitalizing on something,” Allman says. “It would be in bad taste to come out and do two hours of Allman Brothers. We’re the sons. I think it’s appropriate to continue to do our thing and thrive and grow our careers.”
The set will mostly include their own material. Allman formed a six-piece ensemble, The Devon Allman Project, while guitarist Betts, the son of Allman Brothers Band’s cofounding guitarist Dickey Betts, is pursuing his own career.
Betts will play a 35-minute set, and Allman will hit the stage for 80 to 90 minutes. The two will unite for a 40-minute encore.
Betts and Allman have wanted to tour together for many years, but the two found this was the right time. “We’ve been friends for years,” says Allman, who played the MIM in 2016. “We wanted to join forces for a while, but it just never seemed to be the right time. Now was the right time.
“I’ve been out there touring for 15-plus years, and he’s been a sideman for 10 years. He’s been wanting to do his own record and front his own band. It seemed like a good time to put the two together. The world has not seen an Allman and a Betts on stage together for a long time.”
The two will tour for most of the year. At the end of the summer, Allman is going to work on a new record and launch a record label in the fall. “I just always want to work,” Allman says. “I want to bring music to the people, make people feel good, and continue to make records. The more you do it, and the more you stay out there, the more people pick up on it.”
Allman signed his first artist, his guitarist Jackson Stokes, who will release his album in the fall. Allman has his eye on a few other acts. His goal is to do something that major labels don’t have the time to do: nurture young artists.
“It’s a shame,” he says. “They used to. Major labels used to give artists until their third or fourth record. They would stick with you. It’s not the case anymore. I want a place where people can start a career and I can leave this planet knowing I launched 10 careers or so. That would make me happy.”
The Devon Allman Project with Duane Betts performs at 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix. Tickets cost $43.50 to $53.50. Call 480-478-6000 or visit mim.org for more information.