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Devon Allman brings blues back to Hub City

March 21, 2012|By AMY DULEBOHN | amyc@herald-mail.com
  • Devon Allman will perform Sunday at The Maryland Theatre with Honeytribe and guest guitarist Duffy Kane.
Submitted photo


Devon Allman said his life is a "plethora of insanity. But the good kind."

The bluesman and his band, Honeytribe, average more than 250 shows annually around the world. He also is working on a duo album due out in May with one of the Neville Brothers, has a hot sauce on the market and is working on a book. He also does charity work, is getting ready to play on a cruise ship in Sweeden and is working on a new Honeytribe album set to drop this fall.

Squeezed in there will be a performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown. Also performing will be Duffy Kane and the Lisa Lim Band.

How does Allman keep his perspective?

"I wake up, get some coffee and hit my knees. I say my prayers. And I ask for a little clarity. I'm not a religious cat, but I'm very spiritual and I've got a relationship with the Great Creator," he said during a telephone interview Tuesday from his home in St. Louis. Allman also said his son, Orion, 12, "is and always will be my greatest hit." 

"Rock 'n' roll is fun and all, but (family) is where the real stuff's at. It is a crazy, crazy life ... but I'm blessed. I get to play guitar every night. And I got the world's best kid," he said.

Allman is the son of Greg Allman, frontman of the Allman Brothers Band, but Devon is quick to point out that his influences cover a wide birth.

"It's kind of all over the place, really. Everyone from Curtis Mayfield to KISS, The Beatles to the (Rolling) Stones," he said.

Regardless of his famous lineage or early influences, Allman said he is his own musician and promises a unique concert experience.

"It's a really energetic show. It's really kind of fly by the seat of our pants. I've never used a set list with the band in my life ... we just wing it.... We throw a couple covers out there, but we mostly draw off of our two records," he said.

For Allman, performing without a set list is a way of life.

"If you're playin' like 15 or 20 songs and you know 'em like the back of your hand then you should be able to bounce from one to the other or something's wrong. I never looked at it as ... strange or tough. We really want to feel the vibe of the crowd. It's about not having any rules," he said.

Allman said he has been writing songs since he was in high school, and starting picking guitar at age 13.

"Probably, most people who come across me say, ‘Oh yeah, he was handed a guitar at age 5 on a tour bus' and this and that, and it's like nothing like that. I fell into it. So I'm glad I had an organic path to it. And I think that's the thing that people walk away from the shows figuring out," he said.

As part of a famous musical family, people might have certain expectations for Allman's music. But he said he doesn't worry about that, and regardless of preconceived notions, he wins fans in his own right.

"(Some people) come to the shows kind of curious because they've been following my father's band for so long. And (they think) ‘Oh, what's this kid like?' And then they come out of there and their face is melted and their head's blown off and they're like, ‘Wait, that's a totally different thing ... and I think I like it,'" he said.

Although Allman tours around the globe, this is not his first time in Hagerstown. He and his band performed at the Western Maryland Blues Fest in 2011.

"It was awesome," he said. "People went nuts and we played the blues and life is good. We like the small towns. We play places like New York, and Rome and Paris and those are great too, but when you come to a small town, people ... really appreciate it. And that's cool."

Allman said he looks forward to his return to the Hub City this weekend.

"Thanks to Hagerstown for being supportive. It's great to come there and have people go nuts, and really get it. It's our pleasure to play there," he said.



if you go ...       

Who: Devon Allman's Honeytribe with Duffy Kane; also playing will be Fredericksburg, Va.-based Lisa Lim Band

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25

Where: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

Cost: Tickets cost $15 to $20, plus fees

Contact: Call 301-790-2000 or go to www.mdtheatre.org

More: Look for Devon Allman's Honeytribe on Facebook. His fan page is called Tribal StreetTeam

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