Three years ago, Devon Allman, the 44-year-old son of Allman Brothers Band keyboard player/singer Gregg Allman, resumed a solo career after quitting Royal Southern Brotherhood. In the UK to promote his album Ride Or Die (released last September), the guitarist/vocalist is savouring his independence.
Having put such work into the group, why did you quit Royal Southern Brotherhood?
It was among the hardest decisions of my career. But I did three records with them. If I was an actor and I’d spent three years playing supporting roles, there comes a time when you want to carry the weight alone. I have eight or nine solo records and I wanted to sing my own songs again.
Would you ever go back?
You never know. We still have a lot of love for each other. I’ve yet to see their new line-up but I hope our paths will cross again.
Ride Or Die is a diverse collection. Classic Rock’s favourite track is the beautiful Butterfly Girl. Will you do that one live?
We can play about half of the record, and we shuffle them around, so it all depends on the whim of the evening.
What are the best and worst things about touring the UK?
Oh man, when I was a kid listening to Wings and Pink Floyd, to be touring in England and building a fan base there I’m living the dream. The food isn’t always so great, though, especially for a vegetarian.
We recently lost Chuck Berry. You once supported the great man.
Ten years ago, in St Louis. He was into his eighties but still had the fire. It was a crash course in showmanship and guitar licks. We chatted about how he’d also hung out with my dad. It was very cool.
Your son Orion Gregory Allman has just turned seventeen, and you’ve also produced new music for your sister, Brooklyn. Would you encourage them to follow in the family tradition?
It’s up to them. People say the business is a shambles, but there are tools that were unavailable twenty years ago. If you’re willing to slog it out, to eat tacos and sleep on couches and cultivate things, you can be autonomous and pretty much own your career. I find that empowering.
Allman’s tour ends on May 15.