- DEVON'S DEAL:
Devon Allman is the son of famed rocker and Allman Brothers founder Gregg Allman, but he says he didn’t have a relationship with his father until his late teens.
“It’s weird how it worked out,” he said earlier this week, as his band, Honeytribe, prepared to journey from home base in St. Louis to New Orleans before heading back up to play Little Rock’s Revolution Room on Saturday, Aug. 19. “I discovered music and fell in love with playing music all on my own.”
It was after high school that he began going out on the road with his father, who had divorced Devon’s mom Shelly many years ear-lier. “It was neat to go from high school to out on the road and to find out if I really wanted to do that, which I knew almost immedi-ately I did.”
Now 31, Devon Allman has had Honeytribe out on the road for about a year. The band, composed of top musicians from the St. Louis area, was formed in 2000, and they played for about a year before going on hiatus. Part of the recent time together was spent in the studio recording a new album, “Torch,” that’s due out Aug. 29.
Allman has spent more than 10 years in St. Louis, but he was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“My parents split when I was really young, so I didn’t grow up in the eye of the hurricane,” he said. “I had a normal suburban up-bringing.”
He also discovered the Beatles and KISS in suburbia. “I know they’re polar opposites, but the music and content and songwriting of the Beatles and the theatrical, harder edge of KISS really drew me into music,” he said.
Though a biography of Allman says he also plays slide guitar, he says he’s never tried a slide in his life. “It was just that my uncle (the late Duane Allman) forged that path, and although I respect it immensely, I have never played slide.” Rather, his style reflects such axe-wielders as Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickie Betts, Lindsay Buckingham and B.B. King. “I seem to gravitate to guitar players who have their own unique voice. When you hear Santana, you know who it is. Same with B.B. King,” he said.
Allman also only dabbles in keyboards, his dad’s instrument, while relying on Jack Kirkner for piano and Hammond B-3 in Honey-tribe. “I’m proud of my heritage and all, but I’m my own musician,” he said.
Mark Oyarzabal is Honeytribe’s drummer, and George Potsos plays bass.
In the years between Honeytribe’s first incarnation and now, Allman said he kept playing and never stopped searching for his own voice, and then “I woke up one day literally having an epiphany, to just follow your heart, play from the heart and trust it.”
And while there may be some Allman Brothers influence in Honeytribe’s music, Devon says the band’s style “evolves from the past, from many great guitarists and bands. That’s one thing about this band, our heroes are all those guys, from the Grateful Dead to Santana to Hendrix to the Rolling Stones to others.
“We’re trying to create something that’s timeless, the same qualities that you heard from someone like Carlos Santana. You can put on a Santana record 20 years later and it sounds so amazing and fresh and full of love and life. We want somebody to listen to our music in 20 years and say the same thing about it.”
Tickets are $7 and the show starts at 9 p.m. Cooper’s Orbit, featuring guitarist Chris Henry, will open the show.