Preview: DEVON ALLMAN’S HONEYTRIBE
LAFAYETTE TAP ROOM
Thursday March 26th
THE TORCH….As the ALLMAN BROTHERS Band embark on their
40th anniversary tour this year with a month long
stance at the Beacon Theatre the next generation of
the fabled ALLMAN family bloodline is making his own mark.
While the peach may not have fallen far from the tree
DEVON ALLMAN’S HONEYTRIBE is planting its own seed with a
unique blend of Blues based Rock ‘n’ Soul and a work ethic that
mirrors that of his Father GREGG.
With a voice akin to the soulful grit of his Father
and fingers that would make his Uncle DUANE
eternally proud; DEVON ALLMAN is ready to carry the
“Torch” for one of music’s most bountiful families.
The Rock Rapport had the pleasure to speak with
DEVON ALLMAN about his upcoming visit to the legendary
Lafayette Tap Room this Thursday night.
Thanks so much for taking time out for us. We’re looking forward
to bringing you to Buffalo.
really appreciate you guys bringing us to town I’m pretty sure
this is the first time I’ve ever played BUFFALO, I’ve heard great
things about the Lafayette Tap Room.
on the success of your first studio release “Torch”.
The record has an expansive flow that really covers a broad
spectrum of sounds tempered by a seductive force.
on Thanks so much I really appreciate the kind words, we are
really proud of the record.
Ross CAT-Let’s talk about one of the standout tracks
on the “Torch” record a powerfully passionate
instrumental called “Mahalo” which means Thank
You in Hawaiian. Tell us about that song?
always been a huge fan of the Rock Instrumental. I think that the
dynamics has something more to offer then say a Jazz or Cinematic
The Rock Instrumental has it’s own really cool niche, it’s
just a groovy little Art form. It really hasn’t been done by very
many artists; the select few that have ventured into that realm
are bands that influenced me as a youngster like SANTANA and the
In all honesty I really never thought that I would ever come
up with or be blessed enough to pull from the ether a strong
enough melody to create an instrumental.
I woke up in the middle of the night with the main melody of
Mahalo in my head, I called my cell and sang the melody into my
phone then woke up the next day and worked it all out.
I remember being extremely grateful that the creator bestowed
upon me the ability to conceive a worthy melody for such a cool
instrumental. I just kept thanking the flow of the universe so I
ended up calling the song “Mahalo” which as you mentioned
translates to Thank You in Hawaiian.
to the blistering guitar work you laid on that fiery track it
would be my guess that as a young man you may have had a
SANTANA record or two in your album collection.
that right, “Moonflower” is one of the coolest records ever.
Hearing that album exposed me to the amazing music that the
Spanish culture has to offer and it’s crept into my consciousness
talk about the albums title track “Torch”, what was
the significance of that particular song to you when it came time
to tie the record together with a title?
for me signified a few different things. I had decided to take
some time off a few years back when my son was born, at that time
I just wanted to be a DAD.
After a few years there came a point when I decided he was
old enough and it was time go out and do this music thing in the
biggest way possible.
I knew I had to not only expand my music but I had to make an
effort to get the music to the masses not just the Mid West United
States where I had done most of my touring.
In essence it was time for me to get off my ass and make this
happen. That being said, as we stand here today in 2009 I started
to think about the bands that I grew up with like SANTANA, The
ROLLING STONES and the ALLMAN BROTHERS and the fact that
eventually they’ll be hangin’ up. I want to be in the next
generation of players that is responsible for keeping this amazing
musical art form of Heart & Soul Blues inspired Rock alive and
Ultimately music needs to be an uplifting experience,
something that can get you through even the shittiest day and
that’s what I want HONEYTRIBE to be all about.
Ross CAT-We’ve talked about “Torch” and
“Mahalo” a few of the stand out tracks on
HONEYTRIBE’s debut album, the rest of the album has a great
flow to it, how particular where you in placing the tracks on the
the most part yeah it was tracked in a particular sequence, but I
have to say in a sense my heart was broken in this
one instance. I allowed the record label to start the record out
with “Torch” instead of “Mahalo”. Which by the way is totally out
of character for me, ever since I dedicated myself to my music
I’ve done everything that I thought was right for my family and my
career without compromise.
Ross CAT-It didn’t seem to slow down the record at all as
it’s been receiving critical acclaim worldwide since its release
in late 2006.
I’m sure you won’t be dealing with those types issues when it
comes time to put together the next album which is going to drop
later this year, tell fans what they can expect from
HONEYTRIBE’S sophomore effort already titled “Space Age
are about half way through writing for it and I’m extremely
excited about it. We’re looking to take it to another level as a
band, focusing on a certain area of what HONEYTRIBE is all about,
more or less looking to magnify the dynamics of the Blues and Soul
within our music.
As a genre HONEYTRIBE is really difficult to define we feel
we’re High Octane Soul, Shaking with the Blues, basically we are
playing something that’s old and kicking it in the ass.
The new material is going to have a more modern message to it
and really have an even more universal sound then “Torch” we are
really having fun putting this record together.
debut album was recorded at the storied Ardent Studios
in Memphis; I believe the ALLMAN BROTHERS recorded “Shades
of 2 Worlds” there in 1991, what was it like
to step into that studio as you begin to create your own legacy?
true, I saw the great TOMMY DOWD work on that record with the
ALLMAN BROTHERS. I was down there everyday as a wide eyed sixteen
year old watching the masters at work thinking to myself I will
come back here one day and make a record; to be able to follow
that dream through was really an incredible feeling.
For this new record we may end up back at Ardent but I’m not
quite sure yet, it will all depend on the vibe when the songs are
your Father you too are a road warrior touring some
three hundred dates a year, is that where you do a lot of writing?
I wish I could write while I’m on the road it really would make
more sense with the time I spend touring but I’m just not one of
Obviously it takes a great deal of discipline and focus, I’m
not one of those daily songwriters; I basically soak up life six
months at a time and draw inspiration from that when it’s time to
step into the studio.
CAT—I’ve had the
honor to speak with your Father GREGG on a
few different occasions most recently this past Christmas
during his visit to the Seneca Niagara Casino, he’s
bounced back quite nicely from a 2008 that saw him slowed down
quite a bit physically.
We had the chance to talk about HONEYTRIBE and he said
he doesn’t like to leave home without you on the GREGG
ALLMAN & Friends tours; he really was gushing with pride
when talking about your guitar playing and being a grandfather.
Tell us about what’s its like being out on the road with your
year was a tough year for him we were all pulling for him and it’s
great to see him back out on the road again. I know it drove him
crazy having to take so much time off but he owed that to himself
and to the band. It’s certainly paid off as he is doing really
well and performing at a high level which he demands from himself.
We really had a blast on the GREGG ALLMAN & Friends tour over
the holidays, this year was extra special being able to share the
experience with my Father as he got back up on the horse again so
Being around musicians like those involved with my Father’s
solo tour is really a great experience on so many different
noticed a few years back HONEYTRIBE made a contribution to
a record called “A Song for my Father” which was a
tribute from the children of some of music’s legends to their
You performed “Midnight Rider”, what made you
choose that particular song from the ALLMAN BROTHERS
narrowed it down to that song and “Ain’t Wastin’ Time”. I decided
to go with “Midnight
Rider” because it always had a special place in my heart when I
was growing up as a kid with my Mother.
was really neat to come full circle hearing that song as a kid on
the radio to actually doing my own version. What made it even
more special was the fact that I got to hand my Dad the finished
mix on Father’s Day. I didn’t tell him what it was I just told
him to give it a listen on the bus when he had the chance, he
liked it a lot.
suppose it will always be difficult to avoid the comparisons to
your Father and the ALLMAN BROTHERS music.
One of the quotes I read that showed that you are ready to
embrace that challenge was; “The ALLMAN BROTHERS are
more of an inspiration then an influence”
expand on that for us?
hit a point in my life when I was about eighteen years old when I
had to make a decision on how I wanted to approach my music.
I didn’t feel that for me just sitting down and learning all
of DUANE ALLMAN’S guitar licks or learning all of the ALLMAN songs
would be enough for me as an artist, I just didn’t want to hang on
to that legacy for the ride.
I had to find the right balance, to be respectful to where I
came from and appreciate it but at the same time I needed to forge
a path of my own.
I think I’ve found that center that I need to go out and do
my own thing. We’ll throw in an ALLMAN BROTHERS tune in the set
but you’re not going to hear five of them.
I really feel HONEYTRIBE can stand on its own; I have no
illusions to the fact that some folks will come out to see GREGG
ALLMAN’S son, but when they leave a HONEYTRIBE show I’m confident
that they’ll have an appreciation for every member of the band and
what we are trying to accomplish; we’re just a hard workin’, hard
Rockin throwback band kickin’ it old school.
stripped things down a little with HONEYTRIBE, touring as a
power trio here in 2009, tell us about that?
Actually I’ve got this cat SETH DAVIS on slide guitar, he’s played
with VICTOR WOOTEN & JOHNNY NEEL and he’s just a bad bad boy on
the slide and he’s going to join us for a few shows. We want to
give that a little test drive and see how that goes.
CAT-Will you be
using the legendary Lafayette Tap Room to road test
any of the new material on Thursday night?
we are looking forward to our first visit to BUFFALO.
Ross CAT - On the "Mahalo" video
on your website
www.myspace.com/honeytribe you have a signature on your
guitar, who might that be from?
That would be the great LES PAUL.
The Rock Rapport would like to Thank DEVON
ALLMAN for his time. Tickets for the show are available at
Tickets.com, All Tops locations and at The Lafayette Tap Room
located at 391 Washington Street in downtown
*****************PEACE & HARMONIES**************