Descendants of music royalty often struggle with making a name for themselves, though there have been plenty of successes over the years.
Jason Bonham, Jakob Dylan (who comes to Lowell later this summer), Dhani Harrison, Norah Jones, Jake Clemons, Albert Hammond Jr., and Hank Williams Jr.. have all done quite well for themselves.
You can now add Devon Allman and Duane Betts to that list, as the sons of Allman Brothers Band legends Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, have joined forces as the Allman Betts Band. Which is pretty impressive, considering that their daddies weren't the best of friends over the last two decades or so before Allman died two years ago.
The band will release their debut album, "Down to the River," later this month. They are currently on an expansive tour in support of that album, a tour that brings them to Boarding House Park on Friday night at 7:30 p.m., a concert that will kick off the 30th season of the Lowell Summer Music Series. Tickets are $45.
The group has generated a massive amount of critical buzz and mainstream popularity, in part because of the pedigree of Allman and Betts, but that only gets you so far. You have to have the musical chops for lasting success.
Allman has fronted or been part of groups that include Honeytribe and Royal Southern Brotherhood, while Betts played alongside his father in Great Southern. So when I asked Allman earlier this week in an email interview what brought them together, his answer made perfect sense.
"The stars ... timing ... lifelong friendship ... and a shared love for vintage-feeling rock 'n' soul."
Though the untrained ear would think Allman Betts Band is a hybrid of the Allman Brothers Band and Govt Mule, Allman expands the definition thusly, "What about the Stones? The Black Crowes? Derek and the Dominoes? The Band? I myself hear way more of those heroes of ours than just our family."
Allman says the Allman Betts Band is really a blend of musical styles that incorporate "good-time-feeling rock, blues, soul, jazz and jam bands."
The critical acclaim and burgeoning fanbase give Allman a sense of pride, but also the feeling that the work has just begun.
"Adulation from the fans, press and peers all coming at once feels amazing, no doubt. We've gotta grind our noses down and continue to do the work to keep that vibe alive," he wrote.
The tour is still taking shape, but a check of an early setlist shows a nice mix of Allman Betts Band songs, as well as covers of the different Allman and Betts groups they've been in and even Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Grateful Dead covers.
"We haven't killed each other yet. There's no empty venues. We're throwing out some cool covers. ... I'd say we're having a blast and blessed to do what we love."
As for what to expect from the Lowell concert, Allman said, "Buy the tickets, or someone else will, and they'll be telling you that you messed up! Honestly, it's a feel-good, high-energy nostalgia trip with us forging our own trail."