Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece
Ride Or Die, is a journey full of colour and texture in the tone. With flashes of blue and twists of granite rock and country green woven into a musical tuned magic carpet. The fabric of the album is the winning and beguiling combination of Devon Allman’s triumvirate of power in equal measure Songwriting, guitar and those vocals. Adding to the fabric that creates a sound that across the whole album is full of emotional outpourings that shape each song are the superb tones and textures from his band and guests on the album. The phrasing of every instrument adds a musical emotion, there are no unnecessary layers every instrument compliments each other and are servants to the heart of the lyrics telling a powerful story.
Deep bass driven rhythms are laid down, setting the individual tone and tempo of each track is the combination of Tom Hambridge on drums and bassist Steve Duerst. They set the groove that is dynamic, exciting and certainly never static they are the warp and weft of the fabric that is Ride or Die. The fabric of the music is stretched, turned and reshaped with the addition of Saxophone, violin, and keys augmenting the message when required. Then the main pattern of this magical musical carpet, reflected in the wonderful cover design full of colour from Pepe Paras, capturing the integral heart and complexities as Devon sings the songs you want to hear again and again.
The dozen tracks all have a place on the album and add to the Ride Or Die journey, from the opening track Say Your Prayers through to the last notes of A Night Like This. Instantly recognisable as a Devon Allman melody and driving riffs that pull in the vocals that just curl around the lyrics is the opening number Say Your Prayers. The judicious us of the wah-wah pedal adds to the low down dirty howling tempo of the opening number. The beat changes as we Find Ourselves, with an underlying Latin dance vibe; this is found again later in the album with Pleasure and Pain. Demonstrating the deep links within whole roots scene of American music from the Blues to Southern Rock of influences from steamy Latin dance moves from the Rumba to the Tango.
The tempo changes with the acoustic guitar of Lost, and a country feel as Devon’s vocals speak directly to you with a simplicity of the melody line contrasting the poetic depth of the lyrics. The wah pedal is again used as an effect that says more than a thousand words the hurt and pain of this beautiful number. As Devon sings “ Your clocks are all spinning, Your compass is bleeding now, Your Maps are all burning baby, You couldn’t be more lost”. If I had to listen to just one track from the album this would be it. There is a feeling of another place and time, yet Lost is completely grounded in the now, with experiences, hurt and feeling of being lost we have all experienced.
Watch What You Say, has a foot tapping tempo where guitar and vocals are underpinned with drumming that give the lyrics a sense of purpose and momentum this is music which rocks and rolls it is emotionally poetic, this is experiences of life that is more about tears than laughs. Vancouver gives a time and place a location where we can re-set the journey. Melodic violin and Devon’s voice has a lighter tone, the lyrics though are full of yearning that the saxophone reflects. As we live a love story and how we could have done things differently if you only had a time machine.
As Ride Or Die’s musical journey only has three more stops, the acoustic is picked up again for Live From The Heart, a philosophical song ‘look to your heart look to your soul’. The keys give the track shades that make it glisten and stand out in a crowd of beautiful numbers. The reflective sound continues with Butterfly Girl, his voice deepens in a Country feel. Another song about relationships with a searing violin as Devon gives advice that is so difficult to enact. Giving people the freedom to fly while caring from them. The melody has a looseness, a freedom that allows you to fly and look down on the emotional journey the album takes you on.
An imaginative cover of The Cure’s A Night Like This closes the album, that mixes the influences of modern music, blending them into a textural tonal carpet that you want to ride on forever.
Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece, with ten of the tracks written or co-written by Devon he captures the sound that defies boundaries of genres that has the freedom to be itself. Full of strong lyrics and heartfelt melodies. This is an album that takes you on a journey full of anguish, hurt, pain and the pleasures of living life where you Ride or Die whatever your journey remember hope will be present.
Release Date 16th September 2016
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Say Your Prayers
- Find Ourselves
- Shattered Times
- Watch What You Say
- Pleasure and Pain
- Hold Me
- Live From The Heart
- Butterfly Girl
- A Night Like This