As a celebration of Gregg Allman, The Allman Family Revival kicks off on November 27 in St. Louis; the tour concludes December 19 in Los Angeles. Robert Randolph, Donavon Frankenreiter, Lilly Hiatt, Cody and Luther Dickinson, Eric Gales, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Jimmy Hall, and Lamar Williams Jr. will join Devon Allman and the Allman Betts Band on the tour. According to Rolling Stone, “this year they’re planning Last Waltz-style evenings packed with musical collaborations.”
The tour started as a celebration of Gregg Allman’s 70th birthday in December 2017. It started 7 months after he passed, and grew from there. Devon Allman said in a statement, “I like having artists that knew Dad, played with him, maybe were an opening act, or were really influenced and inspired by him.”
Gregg Allman’s Legacy
As a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band with brother Duane Allman, Gregg Allman had a long and storied career as a singer/songwriter. He had a successful solo career after the Allman Brothers Band; According to his official website, he was an “exceptional practitioner of the American blues tradition.”
Gregg Allman was a musician spanning a 5-decade career, and during that time he was awarded many commendations. This includes the Allman Brothers Band’s “1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards as well as his own 2006 induction to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.”
The Allman Brothers Band went through a few name changes before their inception. Before that, in 1963, Gregg and Duane called themselves the Allman Joys. They then released a couple of albums under the name Hour Glass. Their stage debut was as part of a Daytona Beach YMCA Youth Group as high schoolers; after that they started the band The Misfits. Then, when they moved from Tennessee to Florida, they started their second band, the Shufflers. Gregg considered their first “real band” The Escorts, where he and his brother played the local Daytona Beach scene. According to his website, “Gregg skipped his Seabreeze [High School] graduation to perform with his band.”
The Allman Brothers Band Begins
The band was officially born in 1969, and they were quickly considered one of the best live acts. “The Allman Brothers Band virtually invented Southern Rock,” says Gregg Allman’s website, “blending blues, boogie, country, psychedelia, R&B, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll into their own idiosyncratic musical stew.” Their second album, 1970’s album “Idlewild South”, was named one of Rolling Stone’s 40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time.
Unfortunately, Duane Allman died in 1971, at 24 years old, in a motorcycle accident. The Allman Brother’s Band commemorated his life and talent by continuing to record and tour. In 1972, the band lost another member when Berry Oakley was tragically killed; he also died in a motorcycle accident, also at 24 years old, three blocks from where Duane was killed. The Allman Brothers Band continued to perform and record, but took a hiatus in 1976. They came back in 1978, but decided to retire in 1981.
But you can’t keep a good band down, and they reunited in 1989, putting out 8 albums, 4 of them live, from 1990 to 2004.
In 2014, fellow musicians honored Gregg Allman with the concert “All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman.” His last show was on October 25, 2016; he passed in 2017 due to complications with liver cancer. Allman’s legacy lives on in his son Devon, who is one of the founding members of the Allman Betts band with Dickey Betts’ son Duane.