The Allman Betts Band Embarks On Two-Week Tour

Kaelan Barowsky
– The Allman Betts Band

Today marks the beginning of The Allman Betts Band’s first two-week, socially distanced/limited-capacity tour of 2021 as the musicians try to blaze a trail for a return to concert touring.

The first gig is tonight at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, after which the run heads to The Kessler in Dallas for two nights, Dosey Doe in The Woodlands, Texas (which is in the Houston market), and then rambles on to Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and, finally, Ohio.

The full routing (which feels very strange to be posting again) can be found below:

1/29/21 – Austin, Texas – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
1/30/21 – Dallas, Texas – The Kessler
1/31/21 – Dallas, Texas – The Kessler
2/02/21 – Woodlands, Texas – Dosey Doe
2/03/21 –  Memphis, Tenn. –  Lafayette’s
2/04/21 – Mobile, Ala. – Saenger Theater
2/05/21 –  Greenville, S.C. – Peace Center
2/06/21 –  St. Augustine, Fla. – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
2/09/21 – Boca Raton, Fla. – Funky Biscuit
2/10/21 – Boca Raton, Fla. – Funky Biscuit
2/11/21 – Melbourne, Fla. – King Center for the Performing Arts
2/13/21 – Nashville, Tenn. – Ryman Auditorium
2/14/21 – Cincinnati, Ohio – Riverfront Live

The band’s co-founder Devon Allman spoke to Pollstar about the upcoming run, saying the band was excited about the prospect of being on the road, connecting with fans, and playing live music once again.

Safety is a priority on the tour and masks will be required for entry, fans will be required to maintain social distances within venues, podded seating will be utilized and capacities will be reduced to one-fourth or one-fifth of their usual size – meaning the shows will likely not make anyone any real money.

“This is about the art form at this point. That goes for everybody who is at the table: promoters, venues, musicians. There is going to be just enough money to make it possible to get on the bus for about two weeks and that’s about it,” Allman said. “But that’s OK, that’s what we do. We want to make people feel good with music and keep hope alive in their hearts. Music does a lot for people, so as long as everyone is safe, it feels good to serve it up.”

Allman said the band’s commitment to safety is real and he hopes that this tour will provide an example of a safe way for people to get together and enjoy music during the pandemic.

“I’d like to think our fanbase … if they weren’t feeling well, they would stay home. And the venues are doing everything they can to maintain the safety of the people coming in. We are coming in from the bus, going onto the stage, then right back to the bus.”

“You don’t want to go run cavalier, like you don’t care, because we certainly care. We have people that we know who have gotten COVID, we know people who have passed away from it. It’s a situation, for sure, obviously, [the pandemic] is worldwide. But at the same time, people need art, they need hope, people need togetherness. And if we can start giving them that in a safe manner, I think that’s a good thing.”

Allman does not shy away from the fact that shows on the tour may still be nixed due to safety concerns – the band went on one-week runs in October and November, both of which saw postponed shows – but he said tickets to every postponed show will be honored at the rescheduled date.

One particular date to circle on the routing is the Feb. 13 gig at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, which is the band’s annual Allman Family revival, with special guests Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie, Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, Shannon McNally, Alex Orbison, Lamar Williams, Lilly Hiatt, Patrick Sweany and more.

The band also has dates scheduled in March, April and May, as well as through the summer, though, again, Allman acknowledges that safety always has to be the main priority and dates may very well get moved if local authorities or partners determine it necessary.

As far as what to actually expect from the shows, The Allman Betts Band was built on the onstage chemistry between Devon Allman and Duane Betts, both children of founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, so the live music promises to be worth the trouble.

The band started when Allman invited Betts out on tour after the two jammed together at an event and they began to incorporate onstage collaborations into each night’s set. They started writing together and The Allman Betts Band was born.

Allman told Pollstar the band was definitely finding its sound in the first album they recorded, 2019’s Down To The River, and now the sophomore LP Bless Your Heart, released in August, is a more confident version of the band.

The new album was recorded in the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama and Allman says they used analog, two-inch tape to give the whole project a very “warm, vintage feel” that will pleasantly surprise many audiophiles.

And the band is already writing material for the third album, which may be fitting, as much of the first album was written while the group was on the road.

While going on the road is still a daunting prospect for much of the industry, Allman said he feels confident much has been learned about putting on safe, socially-distant shows, and in some markets sports teams play for thousands, movie theaters are open and restaurants allow patrons to dine-in … so why not allow a small concert?

“It’s going to take bands like us going out there and doing our thing in venues in front of way less people to kind of get the ball rolling,” Allman said. “What we want to see is an exponential growth, as cases go down and people get vaccines, the next step will be half-full venues, then maybe two-thirds and, eventually, back to capacity.”