Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa recently hosted the Allman Goldflies Band. An Allman relative and a former Allman Brother’s bass player, I was curious to see what this was all about. Singer/songwriter Gary Allman is an Allman cousin. His father was a cousin of Gregg’s father. He met Gregg a few times over the years but did not know him well. Gary has been doing music in some form or another since he was a teenager with a band called “Tumbling Dice” and was a guitar tech for the late Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band.
David “Rook” Goldflies played with Dickie Betts’ Great Southern Band and then ended up playing in the reunion of the Brothers from 79-82. He credits being discovered by the Toler Brothers after they played a jam one night in Indiana and they said they would never forget him. They didn’t! A year later, the brothers came and got him in Cincinnati to audition for Dickie in Nashville. David talked about learning much from Dickie and Butch Trucks during his tenure in the ABB. He caught the name “Rook” from Dangerous Dan Toler, talking about him being the rookie of the band and the nickname stuck.
Those are fond flashbacks of days long ago for Goldflies, who now lives in Panama City Beach. David and Gary Allman met many years ago at a club, they jammed and then David didn’t hear from Gary for quite some time. Gary was off the grid doing ten years in federal prison and not much of anyone had heard from him. While he was inside, he was writing music. When Gary was released, he recorded a song he had written called “Standing in the Georgia Rain” that he emailed to David. David thought it was a really good song and they got together. Gary writes a lot of the music and David does the arrangements. “We are not trying to be the Allman Brothers, we are just doing our own thing” said David. “Yes, we play a few Allman covers for fun but most of our set is originals and songs from our new album, Second Chance”.
They have some good, experienced players in their band with Joe Weiss on vocals and guitar, Shawn Shackelford on drums and Matt Siegal on guitar. Goldflies stepped up on violin during the show which added to the southern flavor of the band. Allman plays keyboards and guitar, as well as vocals. The crowd at Skipper’s were into the new music and a few fans brought old photos and posters of David when he was with ABB, some of which he hadn’t seen before and was enjoying the trip down memory lane.
On the bill at Skipper’s following the Allman Goldflies Band was the ever popular Sean Chambers Band! For an encore, both bands jammed together! The first song was a Dickie Betts tune called “Southbound” and that led into a Gary Allman penned ditty “Tuscaloosa City Blues” and a great jam with Sean Chambers and Joe Weiss trading off guitar riffs! The whole place was on their feet!
Check out the Allman Goldflies Band this Sunday at the Mainsail Arts Festival at Vinoy Park in St. Pete! You can get all their tour and music info at www.allmangoldfliesband.com
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography