A salty ocean breeze was blowing under dark semi cloudy skies with a crescent moon rising in the west on “The World’s Most Famous Beach”. All Music Magazine dispatched Mark Horan of MarkHoran.Pictures LLC to cover The Allman Betts Band performing Thursday, November 19, 2020 at The Daytona Beach Bandshell. The Daytona Beach Bandshell is in Daytona Beach, Florida between the Atlantic Ocean sand and the high-rise buildings along highway US A1A, which runs north to south along the eastern Florida coastline.
The location is a great open-air venue, and all precautions were taken due to Covid 19. Masks were mandated, seating was spaced, and sanitizing stations were located throughout. They even broadcasted warnings on how to behave and the consequences that will be taken for violators before and in between performances.
The entertainment started on time at approximately 7:30pm with Jackson Stokes taking the stage with his bass player Nathan Gilberg and Allman Betts drummer, R Scott Bryan. Jackson Stokes was recently signed as the first artist to Devon Allman’s record label, Create Records in St. Charles, Missouri. Stokes was also in The Devon Allman Project between 2016 and 2018. The two men originally met when Jackson Stokes was ten years old, and they were neighbors in Saint Louis. “He’s a virtuoso guitar player, great singer, great songwriter, and he’s got youth on his side,” Allman says. “My crowd already knows him and are already cheering him on out of the gate.”
I must admit, Jackson Stokes short set was extremely entertaining, and I was impressed with his playing ability and bringing the crowd into his performance. This young man is a star in the making and he is now on my radar to cover in the future as his career progresses.
Jackson Stokes – guitar, vocals
Nathan Gilberg – bass guitar
R Scott Bryan – percussion
After a great warm up act, there was a brief break and the Allman Betts Band took the stage. The band members huddled around John Lum’s drum kit with their backs to the audience in almost a football huddle style with the lights down low. My thought was, it was an on-stage preshow ritual. Then the music started for “Airboats & Cocaine” and they broke huddle, the lights came up and the musicians settled into their stage positions. This was something I had never seen done on stage before. Most bands huddle just before they step on stage, but this was unique and cool. The band went on to play eight songs from first two albums “Down To The River”, released June 28, 2019 and “Bless Your Heart“, released August 28, 2020. Mixed into the set were also three covers, The Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street” and to the crowd’s ruckus approval, “Blue Sky” and “Jessica” from The Allman Brothers Band.
It is literally impossible not to link The Allman Betts Band with their band’s lineage. Three of the members have fathers that were the founding members of the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” band, The Allman Brothers Band.
Devon Allman, is the son of keyboard player and vocalist Gregg Allman and nephew of guitarist Duane Allman. Duane Betts, was named after Duane Allman and is the son of singer and guitarist Dicky Betts. Berry Duane Oakley, is the son of the bands founding bass player Barry Oakley.
I have to admit, I felt nervous deep down as I watched the bands performance and wondered if they could duplicate the magic on stage of the greatest southern rock band of all time. Well let me tell you, it’s one thing to play a cover song and do it well, but it’s another thing to play your own original composition and just kill it. “Doctor’s Daughter” started out with incredible keyboards and amazing slide guitar. The sound was captivating and a testament this band is for real. The next song and second last song in the set was “Jessica” one of my all-time favorite Allman Brothers Band’s songs and at that point, I realized these men have truly captured lightning in a bottle. I look forward to hearing more from the Allman Betts Band. Let’s hope there is more to come.
Devon Allman– guitar, vocals
Duane Betts– guitar, vocals
Berry Duane Oakley– bass, vocals
Johnny Stachela– guitar, vocals
John Ginty– keyboards
R Scott Bryan– percussion, vocals
John Lum– drums
Airboats & Cocaine 2020
King Crawler 2020
Shakedown Street (Grateful Dead Cover)
Magnolia Road 2020
Autumn Breeze 2019
Blue Sky (Allman Brothers Cover)
Southern Rain 2020
Savannah’s Dream 2020
Doctor’s Daughter 2020
Jessica (Allman Brothers Cover)
Down to The River 2019
Pale Horse Rider 2020
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Freelance Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.