Devon Allman gets sci-fi with ‘Space Age Blues’

Dutch independent label Provogue Records has announced an October 12 street date for Devon Allman’s Honeytribe’s latest recording Space Age Blues. Allman shares, “I had a concept that you could simplify as ‘Darth Vader meets B.B. King.  Even before I’d written the first song, I decided I wanted to make a statement about the way we live. I love blues and I’m a sci-fi geek, so I imagined a marriage of the two: music with a backbone that’s solid and soulful, lyrics that talk about where we’re at and where we’re heading, and a sprinkling of cosmic dust — colorful, creative sounds — on top of everything.”

The album is his second with bassist George Potsos and drummer Gabriel Strange.  The 11 tracks offer a musical thrill ride, carefully constructed, but full of surprises like guitar licks that explode into whistling comet trails, lush beds of strings and an overall sonic palette that draws on the best of electric music’s past and present.  There is an emphasis on composition and the band has captured something timeless amongst these songs.  As the lyrics of the song “Space Age Blues” speak to the theme of life in the digital age, Allman, Potsos and Strange draw from the wellspring of Curtis Mayfield and Led Zeppelin to define their own distinctive Southern-rooted fusion musically.

Special guests include Eighties megastar Huey Lewis, who lends his badass harmonica skills to “Could Get Dangerous.”  Allman offers, “Huey was a pleasure to work with.  He was a complete gentleman, and a really amazing player.  He drank a lot of coffee and wore really great shoes.”  Other guests include Ron Holloway, Dizzy Gillespie’s veteran saxophonist who delivers a masterful performance.  Virtuoso Violinist Bobby Yang from Kevin Costner’s Modern West, serves as a one-man string section bowing all the violins via overdubbing on the ballad “Warm in Wintertime.” Tony Antonelli adds percussion, and Memphis session veteran Rick Steff plays electric keyboards, leaving the acoustic piano to Allman.

Although Allman Brothers Band front man Gregg Allman is his father, Devon carved out his own musical path.  He shares, “I didn’t grow up in limos or backstage.  I had a very normal childhood in the suburbs, eating McDonalds and playing soccer.  By the time I was five; I was running off with my mother’s Beatles records and learning all the words.  Only relatively recently have I been open enough to listen to the advice my dad shares.  I’ve always been kind of a lone wolf and I’ve worked my share of shit jobs, from a sweat shop printing T-shirts to a steel factory in Memphis to Burger King.”

Slowly building a solid, loyal fan base worldwide over the past decade, Devon Allman and Honeytribe continue building this army one gig at a time.  They have been in constant motion, averaging 250 to 300 shows a year across the Globe. Reflecting on the past, looking towards the future, Allman states, “it’s time for us to really bring our A-game.  The three of us have delivered an album we feel is a quantum leap from anything we have recorded in the past.  Artists and bands get to the point where you either have to stay in the sandbox or go to beach. And with Space Age Blues, I hope we’ve made that transition.”  Allman co-produced Space Age Blues with Ardent Studio’s veteran engineer and producer Pete Matthews in Memphis, TN.