With all the recent events regarding COVID-19 we thought you might like some light reading to cheer you up. Here we have an unreleased interview with the Allman Betts band from Ramblin’ man fair 2019. If you have a beer on hand just take a sip every time somebody says “yeah” or “you know” it may just be the best interview you will read this week. For your health and safety some of the “yeahs” and “you knows” have been edited out but most were kept for authenticity…Enjoy!
“The Allman Betts Band is Devon Allman (guitar, vocals), Duane Betts (guitar, vocals), Berry Oakley Jr., Johnny Stachela (guitar, vocals), John Ginty (keyboards), percussionists R Scott Bryan (percussion, vocals) and John Lum (drums).” – Allman Betts band website
Anna- By the way, brilliant set. I’ve really enjoyed it!
Duane- Thank you it was fun.
Anna- First of all what was it like to play a festival named after one of your fathers biggest hits?
Duane- Erm I was proud you know I was proud, it’s cool that there is a festival over here named that. I’ve seen the festival you know on social media and stuff. I’ve known of it, of its existence for a while so I thought it was pretty cool.
Anna- You didn’t play ramblin man at ramblin man fair, everyone was expecting it. Is there a reason you didn’t play it perhaps because everyone thought you would or is there more to it than that?
Devon- Ooh you threw a curve ball at him.
Duane- I mean we’ve never played it so I mean we would have had to have worked it up especially for this. This band hasn’t played it have we?
Berry- We have, at the revival. (laughing in the background)
Devon- You know we’ve actually played it for a celebration for my dad’s life in San Francisco at the Fillmore and we had Samantha fish, the lovely Samantha fish sing Lord I was born a Ramblin’ man which was just cool for a chic to sing, but yeah Duane is right we haven’t played it on tour so far at all so…
Duane- It’s not like we’ve been playing it and we decided not to play it here. (laughs)
Devon- Wouldn’t that be fun though if we played this festival like 4 times and never played it, never played and then like the 5th time we opened with it. You know that’s the kind of band we are. We don’t want to just sort of.. they’re gonna play it, they’re gonna play it, it’s named after them. You know what I mean let’s just really fuck with peoples minds.
Anna- I like that you want to give the people something they don’t expect. I like that.
All- YEahrr! (spoken with the most southern accent you can imagine)
Anna- You guys have obviously all grown up together there is so much history there.
Devon- Yeah same house, it was a big house. (sarcastically)
Anna- How come you’ve decided to do this now, play together I know you’ve been in bands together previously?
Devon- Timing, (both laugh) Money and timing. No you know we’re kidding with you right now we’re exhausted and you know we get a lot of the same questions. In the cliff notes version, we’ve had shit going on man, for years and years and years you know and different shit so it was time. It was the right time when we’re at a point where it was like wow this could all just come together and it did. It’s really that simple. It wasn’t like any major thing like we have to do. We never have to do anything.
Duane- We didn’t go from like not seeing each other for years and then just like alright we’re putting a band together. We’ve kind of got our feet wet. I was opening up for him last year and put out a record. So I was the opening act for his band and then we jammed a little bit and then really when we started writing together we were like wow you know this is cool we may have something. That’s when you know we decided to do it.
Anna- While we’re on the subject of you guys writing together can you tell me what inspired your album “Down to the River” what started that?
Devon- You know I think last year when we were on that joined tour where Duane opened up and was supporting his release and I was just kind of coming back from taking a year off after my dad passed, we got a few months on the road and just kind of fitting into a bit of a rhythm and see if we can write some songs together. We were really happy with a couple of the songs that came out first and we thought wow that’s like a doorway has opened lets do a few more and do more and then we had a record worth. It made sense it was a natural evolution. What’s inspired it, is just the timing and being around each other and actually having true chemistry. You can write down on paper this band would look cool, be special but it has to actually have chemistry and really be a tone entity and it is.
Anna- What about the actual recording process? I know you’re all fans of vintage gear and you recorded the whole album analogue? That’s Correct?
All- Yeah that’s correct.
Anna- Did you use any specific equipment or techniques that you would like to share?
Duane- We’ve kind of used our live set up pretty much. I’ve just played through what I play through live and just wanted to capture the band and capture the performance.
Berry- The record was recorded to actual 2 inch-tape rather than a digital hard drive, it’s what makes it.
“Welcoming producer Matt Ross-Spang, the band recorded their sessions at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. They brought in Gregg’s former bandmate, Peter Levin, and former Allman Brother and current Rolling Stone keyboardist Chuck Leavell as guests, adding organ and piano, and recruited seasoned players from the Project ensemble: slide guitarist Johnny Stachela, drummer John Lum, and percussionist R Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow). Motivated by classic recording techniques and vintage gear in the historic Alabama studio, they cut the album live. No computers. No digital editing. Setting-up as one in the studio, they tracked nine songs on two-inch analog tape, resulting in their debut effort.” – Allman Betts band website
Anna- Have you got any plans for the future, new music? Or are you just enjoying promoting your debut album (down to the river)?
Duane- We’ve started writing, we’ve started writing for the second album.
Devon – Yeah it’s a country zydeco opera! (laughs) It’s a boxset release that’s gonna be fun! Yeah it’s a really challenging record to put out so we might just put another one out like we did. (laughs)
Anna- Hmm yeah do both! Now that would be interesting and unexpected. I think you should do both. (laughs)
Devon- I mean it feels good right so…
Duane- Kicking ass!
Devon- So if it feels good just keep going right?
Anna- It’s definitely good the fans love it, we love it and there is just so much history there I mean it’d be rude not to in a way!
Devon- It’d be rude not to? That’s the best I’ve heard in a really long time. It’d be rude for you not to do a second record. Yeah we’re gonna have to use that. You’re gonna have to start saying that in all of our interviews. (laughs)
Anna- Yeah! We’re planning already. I like it. (laughs)
Devon- That’s very um, that’s a very awesome thing to hear so thank you. We’re erm, it feels good so we want to make another record. Strike while it’s happening you know.
Anna- Obviously you’ve done a lot of interviews today and you were not expecting to do this one this late so thank you…Is there anything you wish the press would ask you and they didn’t I know you get a lot of repetitive questions so..? –“Earlier in the evening we have been informed that the band has cancelled the rest of their interviews but luckily they have managed to squeeze us in last minute” – New Sounds
Duane- Ooh that’s a good one.
Devon- The colour of your (his) underwear? (laughs)
Duane- What kind of underwear do we wear? I mean there is a lack of today, I mean mine are life changing, mine are from Saxx. They’re like $35 a pair. (laughs) – For those that would like to check out Duane’s underwear we have added a link. – New Sounds
Devon- Yeah, you can see it going south when you open it up like that. (laughs)
Duane- No you know I don’t know what would you…? (to Devon)
Devon- No you know I think we’re really just about making people happy that’s what it’s all about.
Duane- Spreading the love..
Devon-…and spreading the peace and love. The world can be a little bit of a dark place and we feel like all art in the world balances that darkness and we’re just trying to do our tiny little part and make people feel good for an hour or two.
Duane- Concurring fear.
Anna- Is there anyone you would have liked to see this weekend?
Duane- I’d like to see Chris Robinson is he playing here?
Anna- Yeah tomorrow.
Duane- Yeah I would have liked to see that. He’s a buddy of ours.
Devon- Yeah he’s great.
Anna- He sure is! We did ask for an interview but he isn’t doing any this weekend.
Duane- That’s cool I like that. He does’t really have to he’s like fuck that shit, fuck you. Can I say that?
Anna- Hey it’s cool you can swear we like to be authentic.
Duane- Yeah? Fuck yeah I’m just gonna swear then I’m getting it all out at the end here!
Devon- Yeah you need to erase all that, this never happened. (laughs) – “We’re not even sorry” – New Sounds
Duane- This has been like the funnest one. (laughs)
Anna- We like that!
Duane- No yeah I’d like to see Chris. He is one of my favourite singers.
Devon- We got to overhear Cheap Trick, some heroes. That was great to hear. I wish we could have seen it but we were too busy doing interviews, thanks…Just kidding of course.
Duane- Black Stone Cherry are on now, Kenny Wayne Shepherd our buddy.
Devon- Kenny Wayne, I played with him when I was 22 and he was 18. That was the first time I ever met him and we opened not the band that’s collectively here but the band I was with at the time. Got to open up for him and it was really cool to reconnect with him.
Anna- Wow, Yeah I’ve managed to catch their whole set they were great!
Devon- Did you see the Darkness?
Anna- Oh yeah! Justin Hawkins has definitely got a personality!
Duane- Oh the Darkness I haven’t seen them play in 15 years. I saw them play when they first came out to LA at The Roxy. Yeah I would have loved to check them out.
Anna- They were great, such a fun band Justin is a very athletic man. I’ve seen him do a toe touch now that’s really impressive.
All- (confused) a What?
Anna- Yeah it’s like a thing that cheerleaders do…’explains what a toe touch is’
All band- Oh wow okay wow.
Devon- And dudes up there now like nearly 50? He’s rocking it that’s amazing.
Anna- Anything else you would like to add before you fly off to Belgium?
Devon- Yeah send people to the website Allmanbettband.com. The record is out but definitely the Shepherd bush show is gonna be a big one for us it’s a great venue and that’s when we get to stretch out. You know today we had an hour and it was lovely but we’ll do a two hour show you know with the kind of stuff we do we like to not look at the clock so we’ve had shows be an hour and fifty, we’ve had shows be two and a half hours and I have a feeling London will be nice and long. So yeah get people out for that. It’ll be good and we’ll hold all of the attendance on your shoulders.
Anna- Oh thank you, so no pressure then..
All- Yeah no pressure. (laughs)
Unfortunately the show at Shepherds bush did not go ahead due to Devons emergency appendectomy but we are pleased to announce he has recovered just fine and the band is planning to visit the UK sometime in Autumn. Of Course due to the COVID-19 situation musicians are having to reschedule their tour dates so we will keep you informed once we know more.
On the plus side the band have announced a second album is very much on the way and will be out this June! We do not yet know the name of the new album but on the off chance the guys have not got one yet may we suggest..”Because it’d be rude not to…”? Let us know what you think.
Because of the brilliant stalkers we are, we have managed to screenshot some fun facts for you from Devon Allman’s instagram.
As for now Ramblin’ man fair 2020 is planning to return this July with another amazing lineup! Follow New Sounds for our top picks this year.