Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues


The second time Bluesdoodles have seen Devon Allman Band during 2016. Anticipation and expectation was very high as in the review of the night back in March in Derby ended with –  “A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one of if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year”.

Tonight the line-up as all American, as they stepped onto the stage, following a storming warm-up set from Texas Flood who never fail to please the audiences at The Scene. Joining Devon tonight guitarist and backing vocalist Bobby Schneck Jr, drummer Anthony Nanney and the only change in the line-up from March bassist Steve Duerst joining the band to add that twist to the blues, and rocking up the jam.

The venue was hot and there will be many in Wales who did not turn-out for this post Bank Holiday Tuesday that will be regretting it as friends tell them that this was a night to remember. Devon tonight was on sparkling form, his guitar was on fire the six-strings smouldered with emotion, the vocals soared through the venue and his shimmies across the stage picked up the mood and attitude of the music.

The set list picked out gems from his back catalogue with tracks from Ragged and Dirty including Half The Truth and Midnight Lake Michigan to close the set. Confirming that this album is full of textures and music that is tight with the band adding layers of sound for Devon to bounce off from. Once again, Booby Schneck Jr’s guitar was electric with controlled energy the two guitars fit each other perfectly with tones complimenting and never trying to outplay each other.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Torch we were treated to a live favourite Mahalo and Devon’s take on Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry. The band adds to the flavor of reggae and makes the song their own and the Welsh audience delightedly joining in the chorus. Devon really enjoyed interacting with the crowds so we all sang No Woman not once, twice but many times.

Devon would not have the freedom to jam, play with his honey dripping fluidity of he did not have a rhythm section that ensured the shape of every number maintains, tonight Anthony Nanny’s drumming was exceptional, crisp and always empathetic to the sound being created. Whilst, bassist Steve Duerst created the core bass lines and then added some funk and interplay between himself and Devon

Within the music tonight was the undercurrent of the blues, the legacy of the impact that this roots music has had on popular American music as the jamming vibe and rocking beats add to the poetry of the lyrics.  It is all about the emotion and feel of the music, he refuses to be caged within a genre, as into the numbers latino beats of rumba and samba are melded in so that at times the lead breaks are redolent of Santana.

It is all about the music, as the only plug for his forthcoming album as at the beginning of the encore we all demanded. As he played the opening track of Ride Or Die, Say Your Prayers which really wooed the crowd. Tonight, at The Scene he left the stage, animated and interacting with the crowd as he stopped to have his picture taken never dropping a note as he jumped on the table and climbed over the sofa’s at the back of the venue. Devon was enjoying the party atmosphere and ensured everyone was joining in the fun!

Tonight, Swansea will say one prayer – come back soon Devon and enchant us some more. If I had to pick between Derby in March and Swansea tonight it is the Welsh gig. The band was driven by a lust for the music with St. Elmo’s Fire lighting up our music soul as the band hit us with music that we wanted to hear again and again.

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Make sure you go and see the phenomena that is Devon Allman and his band check out the remaining dates in the UK & Europe HERE

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of Devon Allman

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of Devon Allman


Kev Andrews WM-6767The heat was rising on a cold February evening as the anticipation grew for live music tonight Southern style. Before, Devon, the local acoustic guitarist Kev Andrews warmed the stage with his recognizably deft guitar work. Kev made the six-strings zing especially with his acoustic re-working of Voodoo Chile. With a mix of authentic blues, slide playing that entertained using a glass from The Flowerpot bar we were musically warmed for the main act of the evening Devon Allman.

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of  Devon AllmanA grand entrance to a packed Flowerpot, and as usual Devon Allman dazzled everyone with his glorious guitar playing. No gimmicks, no pedal board just straight into the amp and his magical ability to manipulate the six strings of his Gibson; producing a mixture of tones from deep with the blues and the energy of Southern Rock this was a spellbinding set from Devon and his band.  Opening with Wash in A serving as the invitation to enjoy Devon Allman and his band on a whirlwind of notes that shaped the mood and we were ready for the party. Leading into the first of three tracks off his current album Ragged and Dirty; including Half The Truth, this is a track that curls around the manipulation and shaping of the fret board. Tonight adding to the honey dripping vocals was Bobby Schneck Jr on guitar taking the lead often his playing is monstrous what a pairing plus great harmonizing on and backing vocals. The rhythm section that sounded like they had been playing together for years. The reality was so very different joining regular drummer Anthony Nanney was bassist, Carl Stanbridge on his second gig with Devon. We were treated to Devon doing a Devon Allman Honeytribe cover Mahalo. The music was scorchingly hot with No Woman No Cry via Bob Marley and The Wailers heard in Derby. This was the perfect time for audience to join in on the chorus; the absolutely delicious licks and riffs contained within Back To You within the great blues undercurrent. The music of Devon and the band hits you deep in your music solar plexus, massaging your soul creating that huge smile of delight of hearing stunning live music unfolding in front of you.

Many remembered the last time Devon was at the Flowerpot with Royal Southern Brotherhood so the inclusion of Left My Heart in Memphis was thoroughly enjoyed. The blues that chugged and coursed around the venue, the wonder of Checkin On My Baby from Sonny Williamson via Junior Wells hit the spot.  Midnight Lake Michigan from Ragged and Dirty closed the set the lights dimmed they left the stage. We collectively drew our breath and then in harmony yelled for more.

Encores can be a number or two added to the set list. No Devon and the band hit the stage as if starting again rather than drawing the evening to a sedate close this was Rock n’ roll at its best. We were treated to a triple caress of the power of Devon Allman. The title track of his latest album led into a medley of music, colouring book of pop, rock blues and everything in between. The fastest version of Stairway To Heaven with the audience joining in the fun. This was a riff medley of huge proportions, a jam that had energy shape and a purpose. I think I picked out Sweet Home Alabama. Whole Lotta Love and Smells Like Teen Spirit many more I missed, when you are that enthralled by the sound your brain forgets to take note of tiny details. Closing an evening we would like to have just continued was One Way Out an Allman Brothers Number that we all loved and left Southern Rock and the legacy of Allman’s family talent resonating in the venues air and seeping into the walls as part of The Flowerpots DNA.

A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year.

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Bluesdoodles Dozen Albums of 2015 & more…..

Bluesdoodles Dozen Albums of 2015 & more…..  Album 2015 – Live Album 2015 and Artists & Bands to watch out for in 2016!

Having reviewed numerous albums this year Bluesdoodles has listened to Blues, Americana, Rock and so much more – more importantly the music has been fabulous.

Bluesdoodles picks of 2015 HERE – Forty Three Albums that stood out from the crowd. The albums will be on my play list long into 2016 and beyond…

Bluesdoodles Album of 2015


King KingReaching For The Light

Bluesdoodles Live Album of 2015


Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam


Bluesdoodles Dozen


Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty



Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love



Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar



Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live



King King – Reaching For The Light


CL - CD Cover-1

Connie Lush – Renaissance



Chantel McGregor – Lose Control


Danni Nicholls - 'Mockingbird Lane' - cover (300dpi)

Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane


danpatlansky cd

Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves



Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova



Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard



Walter Trout – Battle Scars



Bluesdoodles Quartet of Live Albums


BabaJack Live Cover banner fb

Babajack – Babajack Live



Erja Lyytinen – Live In London



Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam



Layla Zoe – Spirit of 66



Bluesdoodles One’s To Listen Live & Recorded

 (alphabetical order)


Rebecca Downes

Della Grants

Husky Tones


Jar Family

Kaz Hawkins

LaVendore Rogue

Elliot Morris

Tristan McKay

Red Butler




CD Review: Devon Allman ~ Ragged & Dirty


Devon Allman
Ragged & Dirty
Ruf Records


This is an album that catches your attention with the bold font used for Devon Allman with the slopping capitals that emphasise the V in Devon and the A drawing you in to the surname, this is another workaholic Allman full of talent whether in the studio on the road with a band or solo. The colouring is Blue and White with the album title small in a quirky type that almost makes the words look like they have been scripted in Sanskrit; as do the titles of twelve tracks captured in the recording studio.

Opening with three of Tom Hambridge’s tracks that fit Devon’s driving style so well with the energy of Southern Rock tempered and controlled without losing its warmth and flow of the driving harmonies. Half The Truth, with a searing lead guitar and vocals from Devon filled out with the Rythmn guitar from Giles Corey; this full sound is then embellished with stylish bass from Felton Crews. The track seamlessly flows into Can’t Lose ‘ Em All, with drumming from Tom Hambridge who adds a shimmering symbol crescendo that highlights the vocals that just get better; Devon knows how to wrest every emotion out of words making the lyrics bend to his direction. The organ from Marty Sammon gives this a very Allman Brothers feel and there is something in Devon’s delivery that will always connect him to Duane. The third of the opening trio has a mix of Acoustic from Giles and Devon’s electric giving a jaunty country feel to Leavin’ it is a journey that has no sense of direction just hope; the music has a texture of a jam that has objectivity and control.

Midnight Lake Michigan, has a different ethereal shape to the preceding tracks. But fits in perfectly adding another sound pattern, throughout the 9 minutes of searing instrumental there is a fluidity that comes with intuitive playing this is the perfect jam on a moonlit night. The atmosphere created is full of mystery and there is a tension between the instruments making the playing sparkle with a shimmering energy. This centre piece of the album is fusion music that is not being clever but drawing in a primitive soul within blues/jazz movement and the stripping of the instrumentation down to Devon on guitar, Marty on keys and the rhythm section keeps the tempo light and fresh.
Then a change of colour, shape and form with Ten Million Slaves, this version of Otis Taylor’s track is stark and the words create a graphic picture with the harshness of Devon’s vocal’s there is nothing gentle about this track; it is an emotive track that stirs and leaves you thoughtful. We need another style and tempo to deal with gambling addiction so we have distorted vocals, funky beat that develops a feeling of fever that all addictions does to a person when under its spell.
The penultimate track is the title song and a shortened version of Luther Allison’s Ragged and Dirty and gives the album some fantastic Wah Wah adding another tonal shape and texture. Closing the album with Leave The City full of yearning for a simpler life the lyrics suiting the voice, resonator and drums, this minimalist approach reflects that need for something less complicated and leaves you feeling this album has been a journey for Devon, reflected on the track Traveling which alludes to the many airmiles accrued while touring with Royal Southern Brotherhood. The album finishes with a fade away that is a perfect ending for Ragged and Dirty; an album full of soul, funk, but very little blues is in fact stronger for that as Devon is creating his own blends that suits his style and the mood of the moment. A much darker more considered album than Turquoise, with a focus and drive to all the tracks whether self-penned or not have a shape creating an album with purpose and form.
Having listened to the album before starting to write it is the music that matters, there is a melodic flow throughout the album so every track meshes together creating a tapestry of sound with every instrument having a place in the waft and the weave of the lyrical fabric created in an album that is neither ragged or dirty but mighty fine musicianship delivered with passion care and an intuitive feel for the shape, colour and tone of the fabric of sound created.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

Track Listing
1. Half The Truth (Tim Hambridge)
2. Can’t Have Em All (Tim Hambridge)
3. Leavin’ (Tim Hambridge)
4. I’ll Be Around (Thomas Randolph Bell)
5. Traveling (Devon Allman)
6. Midnight Lake Michigan (Devon Allman)
7. Ten Million Slaves (Otis Mark Taylor)
8. Blackjack Heartattack (Devon Allman)
9. Back To You (Devon Allman)
10. Times Have Changed (Tim Hambridge)
11. Ragged and Dirty (Luther Allison)
12. Leave The City (Devon Allman)

Devon Allman – Lead Vocal & Guitar
Felton Crews – Bass (All Tracks except 12)
Giles Cory – Guitar (All Tracks except 6 & 12)
Tom Hambridge – Drums
Marty Sammon (All Tracks except 5,7 & 12)
Bobby Schneck Jr – Lead Guitar/ Harmony Vocals (Tracks 2, 7 & 10)
Wendy Moten – Background Vocals (Tracks 4 & 9)