CD’s, Vinyl & Downloads

The Allman Betts Band Down to the River (BMG)

It was many years

ago that the Who pro- claimed “The Kids are Alright.” Somehow, that has never left my mind as I watch the sons and daughters of our generation come into their own musi-

cally. Matter of fact, I remember discussing the idea at one point of having Gregg’s son Devon, Dickey’s son Duane, Berry Oakley Jr in a band with Jimmy Hall’s kids and Doug Gray’s daughter, just as many next gen south- ern rockers as we could assemble. That dream has now become pretty much a reality with the sons of the Allman Brothers teaming up to form the Allman Betts band. Joining Devon, Duane and Berry are Johnny Stachela, John Ginty, R. Scott Bryan and John Lum. Together, the boys ventured down to

Muscle Shoals to record their debut album. And a fine album it is. Kicking off with the rocker “All Night,” there is an air of familiar- ity surrounding the originality. Devon’s vocals are a power to be reckoned with, and when Dune takes over the singing as on “Shinin’,” he truly sounds like his daddy 40 years ago. Surround that with tight drums and bass and some nice slide guitar. These guys have really managed to harnass a great and unique sound. It doesn’t try to imitate the Allman Brothers, they simply allow the songs to flow and if the obvious influences. Duane’s “Melodies are Memories” is quite nice, and very much in the vein of Dickey and “Down to the River” is an extremely catchy tune with a nice funky and soulful vibe. “Au-

tumn Breeze” may well be one of the finest tunes on the record with beautiful instrumen- tation and a smooth vocal from Duane Betts. The album is filled with great new songs, in- cluding the excellent “Good Ol’ Days.” An excellent surprise pops up toward the end of the record with a beautiful reading of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents.” An ideal choice for the album and an apt tribute to Tom Petty. The guys close out the opus with a slide guitar enhanced ballad called “Long Gone,” a song that finds Devon and Duane trading off on lead vocals to great effect, backed by steller guitars Down to the River is a simply remark-

able debut, and the doors have been swung wide open for this band to go as far as they want to take it. Seems like the rocad goes on forever was not a cliché after all.

- Michael Buffalo Smith

Keb Mo Oklahoma (Concord)

To follow up the

GRAMMY-Award win- ning album TajMo, Keb Mo’s collaboration with Taj Mahal, Keb re- leases his first solo record in five years. His 14th, Oklahoma solidi- fies Keb’ as a modern

master of American roots music, a reputation he has held and expanded on throughout his 25+ year career. The album is a straight up winner. “Beautiful Music,” a duet with Keb's wife Robbie Brooks Moore, is a stand out track, backed by some amazing acoustic gui- tar. As for the rest of the album, there is a va-

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