ASHLAND,VIRGINIA USA – With thunderstorms erupting all day long, and also projected for evening hours, it seemed nothing was going to stop The Allman Betts Band from entertaining their loyal fans on Friday night June 11th in Ashland,Virginia at Richmond Harley Davidson. The equipment and instruments on stage were all covered in plastic tarps to prevent any moisture damage in case of foul weather. Fans started showing up carrying chairs, umbrellas and rain coats, with many of them wearing t-shirts from past Allman Brothers Band tours such as Eat A Peach, 40th Anniversary, Fillmore East, Enlightened Rouges, as well as dozens with The Allman Betts Band.
As show time drew closer and the weather seemed to be cooperating, the sound crew pulled back the tarps and ran a quick sound check before the River Kittens hit the stage. The St. Louis home grown duo of Allie Volger and Mattie Shell displayed their musical prowess on guitar, mandolin and ukulele as they backed it up with some amazing vocal harmonies. The best song of the evening was “Dressing on the Side” a hysterical and very familiar story with quick-witted lyrics in honor of waitresses everywhere. You can find it on their new EP ’Soaking Wet’ on Create Records (Devon Allman’s record label). The River Kittens were one of the first artists Allman signed to his label.
The rain was holding back as skies grew a little darker, but that didn’t stop The Allman Betts Band as they took the stage and began playing “Airboats and Cocaine”, “King Crawler” and “Midnight Rider” (Allman Brothers Band Cover). You could close your eyes, listen to the music, and it sounded as if you were listening to the Allman Brothers Band back in the day!! It was so eerie, but so BEAUTIFUL! As the sons of the fathers continued with the family tradition of playing some of the finest Southern Rock in the land, it was mesmerizing! The sweet sound of Duane Betts’s guitar with the combination of Allman’s gravelly sounding voice gave way to an alluring, mystical and tantalizing southern rock sound like no other.
But, the sky could not hold back any longer as a fine rain began to fall and The Allman Betts Band continued with “Blue Sky” (Allman Brothers Band Cover), “Savannah’s Dream”, “Southern Rain”, “Shinin” and “Down To The River” before the band stopped playing due to the steady rain. Allman took to the mic and told the audience they were going to take a slight break to wipe down their instruments and the stage, and to see if the rain would let up to allow them to continue the show. After a 15 minute break, and the rain subsided bit and the band returned to the stage performing ”Dead Flowers” (Rolling Stones Cover) and “Autumn Breeze”. Unfortunately, the rain came back and the band had to call off the rest of the show.
As the band left the stage for drier places, Allman came back to apologize for the shortened set due to the rain and told the crowd that the next time The Allman Betts Band returns to the Richmond area, they are going to play a three hour set to make up for tonight. The fans may have gone away wet, but left very musically fulfilled.