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Devon Allman's Honeytribe - 'Space Age Blues' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/b4/cd/85/968_DevonAllmanshoneytribespaceageblues_1297032711.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 06, 2011    
 
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A versatile and engaging album.

The son of the legendary Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers has obviously spent a lot of time around talented people over the years and some of it has obviously rubbed off on him. The guitarist and singer formed Honeytribe in 1999 with bassist George Potsos and drummer Gabriel Strange but they didn't get around to releasing any music until 2006 when their debut album 'Torch' was released. With the line-up still intact 'Space Age Blues' is the impressive follow-up, although I hear a lot of traditional blues-rock and funk and there's nothing remotely space age about any of it.

Although this would never be my genre of choice, what makes it eminently listenable is Allman's baritone voice as there's no mistaking that he's a chip off the old block. His rich deep voice flows over the songs like Baileys over ice, and whilst I have absolutely no idea what this concept album is about, I can easily enjoy the individual songs for what they are.

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Opening with the funky 'Can Get Dangerous' and continuing through many different moods and tempos, the trio are joined by the occasional saxophonist, violinist and even Huey Lewis on the harmonica, but all the highlights come from Allman's voice and fiery guitar playing which incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, jazz and R&B – that's real R&B, not the stuff that is passed off as R&B these days that's all rhythm and no blues. Elsewhere there's a great version of the Stevie Wonder classic 'Sir Duke' on which Devon stamps his own identity, and on the more aggressive tracks like 'I'm Ready' The Black Crowes come to mind. To stretch the boundaries even further 'Take Me To The Bridge' wallows in 70s psychedelia and 'New Pet Monkey' is simply a gorgeous piece of work.

'Space Age Blues' is a versatile and engaging album that deserves to rid Devon of his 'Allman junior' label, because on this evidence he doesn't need father Gregg or Uncle Duane, he's doing fine on his own.

Phil Ashcroft

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