Friday, October 21, 2016

Devon Allman - Ride Or Die

2016 –  Ruf Records
By Phillip Smith; Oct. 21, 2016

Ride Or Die, the third solo album from Devon Allman is quite strong and very bold.  Recorded in Nashville, this rocking, soulful and rootsy recording confidently hits on all cylinders.  Allman returns to the studio with co-producer/drummer Tom Hambridge, along with guitarist/bassist Tyler Stokes, bassist Steve Duerst, saxophonist Ron Holloway, violinist Bobby Yang, and keyboardist Kevin McKendree

Best played loud, “Say Your Prayers” masterfully ushers in the album, firing off catchy marching riffs and wavy psychedelic licks. Allman adds more heat to the swirling rock anthem “Galaxies”, asking “when galaxies collide, will you ride or die?” Allman performs this one with a beautiful intensity.  Allman sings “Watch What You Say” with the attitude and suaveness of Tom Jones.  His vocals, dripping with soul and conviction, are wonderfully accented with his stellar guitar playing.  I love the bouncy folky rhythm Allman threads through “Live From the Heart”.  It is contagious and a sheer delight.  He then wraps the album up with “A Night Like This”, a big meaty track consisting of jet-streamed riffs, lush keys and bubbly blasts of sax.  I can’t help but think of James Bond when I hear this fabulous piece.  It truly would make for an astounding 007 theme song.

Ride Or Die is a lovely album, and is Allman’s best work yet.     

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