Written By | Lou Raimondi
The Allman Betts Band and opener Pressing Strings played to a packed house at the Buckhead Theater Monday night. The crowd was an interesting mix of mature fans in Allman Brothers shirts and millennials there to see the hot new Southern Rock band!
The opener Pressing Strings is a three-piece bluesy rock band out of Maryland. Members include Jordan Sokel (guitar/vocal), Nick Welker (Bass) and Brandon Bartlett (Drums). They were a pleasant surprise and received a fantastic reaction from the crowd. I didn’t know a lot about them, but after the first few songs I found myself getting sucked into their soulful style and pressing “Follow” on Spotify. Sokel is an incredible guitarist with a smooth voice and Welker and Bartlett blend in perfectly. Their 40 minute did not disappoint as it captivated the crowd and got the crowd ready for the Allman Betts Band.
The Allman Betts Band hit the ground running, opening with the rockin’ “All Night” from their new release “Down to the River”, featuring Johnny Stachela on lead guitar. They then moved right into another rocker “Shinin”. A powerful start to an incredible night of music. They slowed it down a touch with the moving “Autumn Breeze” also off the new album.
The first appearance of an Allman Brothers song was the iconic “Dreams”, which was loudly welcomed by the crowd, and the band did not disappoint! They followed with “Taking Time” from Duane Betts album “Sketches of American Music” and back to the new release with “Melodies are Memories”. Next up was “Mahalo” from the Devin Allman Project, where Devin got to show off some guitar skills of this own. Playing to the crowd they played Hot ‘Lanta which was immediately recognized when John Ginty hit the first few nots on the keyboard!
Special guest Vaylor Trucks, son of the late Butch Trucks, joined them on stage to play guitar for a few songs, beginning with the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street”, which was followed by the heartfelt “Good Ol’ Days from the new album.
They went back to an Allman Brothers classic “Blue Sky” with Duane Betts on vocals and rhythm guitar and Johnny Stachela taking the lead and doing a masterful job! Then quickly to another Allman Brother’s song “Ain’t Wasting No More Time”. Here Devin sounded very much like his Dad and Johnny killed it on slide guitar, alternating with Duane on the leads!
They wrapped up the set with title song of the album “Down By The River”, in which they did a live fadeout then brought the volume back up to close out the set. There was only a one song encore which was the final song of the new album “Long Gone”.
Very few attendees left before the encore and the crowd reaction to the show was positive. The next time they are in the area I will be there!
Photo Credit | Lou Raimondi