Looks-wise, Devon Allman didn't fall far from the family tree, seeming for all the world like third brother to uncle Duane and pop Gregg. No one's ever going to question if he's the real deal, but his approach to music is decidedly different here, apart from his chart-busting Royal Southern Brotherhood (here). This one's much more folk/soul oriented, the mellifluous Time Machine perhaps best illustrating his personal wont. The majority of Turquoise is trio oriented, and the format works to marvelous effect. Then, of course, there are the augmented tracks, such as his killer version of Petty's Stop Draggin' my Heart Around, with Samantha Fish's lead vocals (and, man o man, Devon did the right thing in giving her the prime seat, 'cause when he comes sailing in, the song REALLY lights up) and Rick Steff's swirling B3.
Allman spiffed up Mike Zito's Strategy, tossing some lyrical Bobby Schneck Jr. lead lines in while Devon comes through with pleading authority and ringing heartfelt emotion, a catchy and solid song that should be chartbound if it already isn't. And, Lord amighty, things only get better from there, but I'm warning ya, don't expect Idlewild South or I'm No Angel 'cause this gent's his own man, and, though he can rock with the best of 'em, this disc is much more personal, even haunting in places.
Allman doesn't emphasize his guitar skills a whole lot this time out, preferring instrumental rhythm duties for the most part (great chord choices, too), but they're there nonetheless, as in the cool-ass leadwork in Homesick and elsewhere. The center of Turquoise, however, and no doubt about it, is his voice and writing talent. Ruf Records' Jim Gaines and Tom Ruf let him have his head, and the result just might herald another avenue in the Allman family legend, 'cause these tracks are going to find welcoming homes in quite a few genre charts.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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