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Devon Allman and Duane Betts at Robin 2, Bilston

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Sons of music legends joins forces for tour
The sons of two of the founders of The Allman Brothers Band are touring the UK during September 2018, including a show at Bilston's Robin 2 on September 3. Devon Allman, son of keyboardist and singer Gregg, and Duane Betts, son of guitarist and vocalist Dickey, will appear together to perform their own songs alongside Allman Brothers hits.

The Devon Allman Project, Duane Betts, The Allman Brothers Band, Robin 2 Bilston
Touring together: Duane Betts (left) and Devon Allman

''It's a great show, we have tweaked it and it's got great flow,'' says 46-year-old Devon. ''It's a trip down my career and we play at least a song off of every record of mine, and then Duane Betts comes out and we tip our hat to our dads' catalogue and pay tribute to some of the heroes we have lost recently, like Tom Petty and Prince.''

Devon and Duane have known each since 1989, when Devon was 17 and Duane was 12. "We've had this enduring friendship," Devon muses. "We've always talked about going out on tour together, and now the time seems right. He'll start the show, then I'll do my portion with my band, The Devon Allman Project, and finally the two of us will share the stage for the encore."

The Devon Allman Project, Duane Betts, The Allman Brothers Band, Robin 2 Bilston
Friendship: Duane Betts and Devon Allman

The Allman Brothers Band, which formed in 1969, was hugely influential with its mix of blues, jazz and country. The group also inspired bands that would become pioneers of 'Southern Rock'.

When Gregg Allman died in May, 2017, Devon took six months off from his own musical career which had seen him touring for 12 years, playing an annual average of 250 dates.

"It felt good to take that time off," Devon says in retrospect. "I needed to step back and make up for lost time with the people that are close to me."

Even so, he didn't neglect music entirely. On December 8, 2017, on what would have been his father's 70th birthday, he and a group of special friends celebrated his life and music with a concert at the iconic Fillmore in San Francisco.

"It was a magical evening," Devon recalls. "It was like a family gathering. There was so much great music, so many musicians who had such respect for my father, all of whom felt such a personal connection to both the man and his music. And when my manager told me that we could do the concert at the Fillmore, a place that obviously had such profound ties to my dad's career, I couldn't have been happier."

The Devon Allman Project, Duane Betts, The Allman Brothers Band, Robin 2 Bilston
Time off: Devon Allman

The show also rekindled his enthusiasm for several projects he'd been planning, including teaming up with Duane for the forthcoming tour.

Another upcoming project that he's especially proud of is the launch of his new record label, Create Records. The first release, slated for November 2018, will be by a new band dubbed The Slays, a project featuring Devon and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. In addition, the company will actively seek out new talent that can be nurtured and ultimately offered the opportunity to develop their craft and creativity. Devon himself will sit in the producer's chair, with new releases scheduled approximately every 18 months.

"It's always been my dream to start a label," he insists. "As the name implies, this will be an artist-run, artist-friendly company which will foster an environment where musicians will be free to create, develop productive careers and make the best records they're capable of making."

The Devon Allman Project, Duane Betts, The Allman Brothers Band, Robin 2 Bilston

The Devon Allman Project with Duane Betts 2018 UK tour dates:

September 2: The Fleece, Bristol;
September 3: Robin 2, Bilston;
September 4: Islington Assembly, London;
September 6: Riverside, Newcastle;
September 7: Brudenel Social Club, Leeds;
September 8: A3, Manchester.
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Why? Southern blues from sons of music legends
When: Touring from September 2, 2018; in Bilston on September 3
Phone: 08444 780 898
Where: Robin 2, Bilston, and touring
Cost: Advance tickets: £20; On the door: £22
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