Gregg Allman’s Son Wants ‘Bloodlines’ Bands, Not Tribute Groups
Devon Allman, son of late Allman Brothers Band co-founder Gregg Allman, argued that “bloodlines” groups, formed of artists’ children, was a better way of keeping music alive than tribute bands.
He’s recently been touring with Duane Betts, son of Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts, performing sets that include their own songs plus an encore of the older musicians’ tracks.
Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, has toured for years with shows that celebrate his father's musical achievements. In a similar vein, the sons of Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce have teamed up with the nephew of Eric Clapton to tour the U.S. in September with a "Music of Cream" show.
“There’s tribute bands out the ass,” Allman told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “It’s a big, money-making deal. But wouldn’t you rather see a Bonham beat the shit out of the drums? And wouldn’t you rather hear an Allman and a Betts do ‘Blue Sky’ and ‘Midnight Rider’ instead of a tribute band? Hell, yes, you would!”
He noted that as "time marches on, it does become important for the next generation to carry the music on, or else it’s just gonna die. Nobody is gonna play that anymore, and if they do, it’s gonna be a sloppy tribute band. I think the people deserve more than that. I think the people deserve to hear it from the bloodlines of the musicians that tuned them on in the first place.”
Asked about the counter-argument that many children of successful musicians resent being “seen through the lens of their parent,” Allman said he "tempered that outcome by really being hardheaded, and being into alternative music and punk rock and putting out my own records. It was important for me to not fall into that trap and that when I go to play a show that people know my songs.
“I’ve got a great fan base. And that's before my dad's name was ever even thrown into the mix. So being able to do this for my fans and then to be able to also do something for his fans is the best of both worlds. … You're not gonna see me come out and do three hours of Allman Brothers' songs, because me and Duane aren't the Allman Brothers. But we'll do a little bit and that means a lot to us.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Allman recalled that the acrimonious split between his dad and Dickey Betts in 2000 didn’t impact the sons’ relationship. “It never even made it awkward,” he said. “We laughed about. While the world was gasping at the big split, we were like, ‘Whatever, it happens. It’s families, and families become estranged.’ … I do know that my dad always loved Duane, and Dickey has always been down for me and loved me … At the end of the day, we’re all dudes playing music, and there’s nothing but love at the core of that.”