When you're a Allman, the road seems to go on forever. But it does have some intriguing twists and turns along the way. Devon Allman -- son of Gregg, leader of the group Honeytribe and member of the all-star Royal Southern Brotherhood -- released his first "solo" album, "Turquoise," back in February. Now he's planning to get the blues in a big an authentic way.
"The next record is going to be recorded in Chicago on all the old gear, with a bunch of the cats that played with the blues legends in Chicago," Allman, who's on the board of directors for the new National Blues Museum that's being built in his home town of St. Louis. He plans on hitting the studio in February for a fall release, and Allman says the title, "Ragged and Dirty," "is the vibe of the production of it. It's going to be very raw, very old sounding, but with a modern twist. It's going to be the most true blues record I've ever done; I've always been bluesy but I've never dived right into the heart of it. So this one's going to be really heavy on guitar and come out and punch you in the teeth."
Allman plans to record a mix of originals and covers for "Raw and Dirty." But, he adds, "there will be some very, very interesting covers that will surprise people that aren't necessarily blues songs that are being made into blues songs." He's "still working out details" on who will be playing on the album but says he expects the result will be "kind of the record people have been waiting for me to make."
"I just kind of felt like it's time," Allman explains. "I've always had an affinity for blues, but doing straight-up, traditional blues is kind of dusty to me. So I spent a good many years doing blues-inspired rock music or pop music or Southern music that still pulled a lot from the blues. Maybe now it's that I'm a little older or more mature or really wanting to connect the dots on where I got all that stuff. I don't know why, but it just feels right."
"Ragged and Dirty" isn't the only project Allman has in motion. He's also working on a second album by the Royal Southern Brotherhood, the quintet that also features Cyril Neville and guitarist Mike Zito. The group is also releasing a live album and DVD in January, while the new material, Allman says, "is really an evolution of our sound. The first record (in 2012) was really us coming in with some individual songs, and for this one everybody really took part in the writing. I would say there's a big emphasis on the soul side of it; the first record had a lot of rock, and this one has a little more soul, a little more funk, just really strong and catchy but it has a lot of integrity and soul. It's really cool. The material we've got slated for it is the best stuff I've ever been involved with."
Allman is on tour through Dec. 21 in the U.S., while the Royal Southern Brotherhood kicks off a run on Dec. 29, with dates currently booked through March 22.