The Allman Betts Band brings southern rock vibes to Buffalo


Thomas Tedesco / The Record

From left to right: Berry Oakley Jr., Devon Allman, and Duane Betts

Thomas Tedesco, Culture Editor

Southern rock group, The Allman Betts Band extended its southern hospitality during their first performance in Buffalo on Wednesday night at the Town Ballroom.

Three of the group’s members, Devon Allman, Duane Betts, and Berry Oakley Jr., are the children of the members from the famous 1970’s rock group, The Allman Brothers Band.

The evening began with openers Jackson Stokes and JD Simo. Both acts provided their own takes of soulful southern rock to get the audience ready for The Allman Betts Band. Both Stokes and Simo would appear later in the headliner’s set to jam on a song each with the band.

At 9:35 p.m., the members of The Allman Betts Band took the stage to the excitement of a near-capacity Town Ballroom crowd eagerly waiting for the performance. They opened the set with their original song “Airboats ‘n Cocaine”, followed by their latest single “Shinin’” from their debut album.

In total, the band played a 12-song, one hour and 45-minute set that never waned in emotion, energy, or musicianship. The set comprised mostly of their original material along with a few songs originally by The Allman Brothers Band.

Just like their fathers, Allman and Betts have their musical abilities at the forefront and would extend the songs with long solos and improvisational jams. This reached its height with the performances of the older songs, including the Muddy Waters song, “Trouble No More”, which featured a rare lead vocal from Berry Oakley Jr. and The Allman Brothers classic instrumental, “Jessica”. The latter lasted over nine minutes and featured several lead guitar trade-offs between Betts and slide guitarist Johnny Stachela.

Several of their new songs also carried on in this vein, which shows the impactful influence their fathers had on them. Specifically, “Autumn Breeze” and “Long Gone” also featured lengthy instrumental sections within the songs.

These songs also showcased the strong vocal talents of Allman and Betts. Both of their voices are distinctly different but contrast very well. Allman’s deep, burly voice like his father’s, Gregg, provides power for the songs. On the other side, Betts’ sweet tang provided a great southern styling similar to his father, Dickey. When the voices blend together, it created a very unique and resonate harmony.

The fans were significantly invested throughout the show with the older and newer songs alike. The band showed their southern hospitality in their music and graciousness, which definitely proved to not be lost on the fans all the way up to their final bows.