Last time the Allman Betts Band rolled through Southwest Virginia, it was a new act featuring Southern rock scions. By the time the septet makes its next stop in the region — Thursday at The Lyric Theatre, Blacksburg — it will bring months of seasoning, a recent album release and more new songs in the can.
The band name is a nod to the Allman Brothers Band tradition. It features Devon Allman, son of Allman brother Gregg, and Duane Betts, son of Allman Brothers co-founder Dickey Betts. Bassist Berry Oakley Jr., son of the band’s founding bass man, completes that aspect of the group.
The legacy looms, but the group is focusing largely on its own music, much of it contained on the June release “Down to the River.” A listener can pick up on the genetics involved but gets no sense that this is an attempt to copy and cash in. The blues, rock, country and jam elements of this band come together organically.
Since the summer release, Allman and Betts have reconvened with their “Down to the River” co-writer, Stoll Vaughan, to crank out a new batch of songs. Devon Allman told the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune last month that they have about 20 ready to record.
But fear not, Allmans fans. The band has touched on the legacy with some choice covers.
“If you dip too much into our dads’ repertoire, it becomes campy and like a tribute act,” Allman told The Roanoke Times in June, before a date at Rocky Mount’s Harvester Performance Center. “If you don’t dip into it at all, it’s kind of a slap in the face to those people who love that music. So we have to tip our hats, but we also have to push ourselves forward and make a name for ourselves.”