The Allman Betts Band
'Bless Your Heart' Album Review
When The Allman Betts Band released 'Down to the River' in June of 2019, the debut album represented not only the first time the group had recorded together but, in fact, the first time the seven-piece ensemble had ever played together.
If 'Down to the River' was the sound of the band’s combustible sparks igniting, then 'Bless Your Heart' is their bonfire, built for the summer of 2020 and beyond; a double-album follow up fueled by road forged camaraderie and telepathic musical intensity, vibrantly reflecting the individual and collective experiences of these seven, all drawing inspiration from the band’s symbolic hometown- a place Devon Allman calls “the United States of Americana.”
'Savannah's Dream' is another on the slower side, certainly the intro is before organ and drums lead us on a 70's psychedelic trip with this instrumental piece that lasts over 12 minutes. Sounds like the band had a blast playing this.
'Airboats & Cocaine' is an up tempo ball buster of a rockin' tune that doesn't let up all through the track. A real foot tapper, and this is followed by 'Southern Rain', which is more of a power ballad but with a slightly higher tempo. Devon again on lead vocals and a track that just flows beautifully throughout.
'Rivers Run' is a bounding reminiscing tune with acoustic leading the way throughout in this country sounding track before latest release 'Magnolia Road', which is the most Allman Brothers sounding track so far, and is just wonderful. Lots of slide and shared vocals.
'Should We Ever Part' starts with a bluesy funky guitar before a more theatrical track is shared with us. Next up is 'The Doctor's Daughter', which is a hypnotic and haunting number with a graceful flow. 'Much Obliged' is another in the country music bracket, a mid tempo album track.
'Congratulations' is just a beautiful way to end this sophomore album. Lots of wonderful keys forming the backbone to this finale, and Devon's vocals are the icing on top of the cake.
“I think we definitely challenged ourselves, pushed ourselves artistically, and widened the spectrum on all levels. We wanted something that was a little more sweeping. A deeper experience,” says Betts.
Says Allman, “I hope what people hear on 'Bless Your Heart' is a band that’s having a love affair with being a band.”
1. 'Pale Horse Rider'
2. 'Carolina Song'
3. 'King Crawler'
4. 'Ashes Of My Lovers'
5. 'Savannah's Dream'
6. 'Airboats & Cocaine'
7. 'Southern Rain'
8. 'Rivers Run'
9. 'Magnolia Road'
10. 'Should We Ever Part'
11. 'The Doctor's Daughter'
12. 'Much Obliged'
'Pale Horse Rider' has a wonderful slower vocal start with Devon's voice hitting every mark before the band join in and we are taken along on a smooth flowing ride to open this latest release before 'Carolina Song' is just a wonderful and uplifting tune both musically and vocally with a huge chorus.
'King Crawler' is a rock 'n' roller that just brings a smile to your face. A real up tempo track that will have those feet tapping and heads bobbing from the off. This is followed by 'Ashes Of My Lovers', and is a track right out of a Tarantino film. Very Latino in vibe, with a wonderful harmonica solo added into the mix.
This sophomore album is a wonderful follow up to 'Down To The River' released last year, and is sure to be enjoyed by all. There is a definite tightness to the band and they just seem to be getting better and better with every release.
Once this current worldwide pandemic is under more control and we are allowed live music again, I really hope they come back across this side of the pond. They really are a wonderful band with a great new album and always put on one helluva show.
TFM gives 'Bless Your Heart' 4.75/5, another fabulous album.