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.
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