Destin’s Dr. David Ott, conductor of the Panama City POPS Orchestra, wanted to expand the outreach of the orchestra and reach an audience of all ages.
To accomplish this, he turned to his friend, David Goldflies, bassist in the Panama City POPS and co-founder of the Allman Goldflies Band.
“In a casual conversation with David, he and I, along with the support of the board, decided a collaboration between the orchestra and band would be a fantastic way to accomplish a broadening of both our audiences,” Ott told The Log.
When Southern rock and blues meets classical and jazz, the result is the Allman Goldflies Band Goes POPS, a free concert at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at Founders Pavilion, 1980 Discovery Loop in Panama City. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy this mix of music, backed by the POPS Orchestra.
Lovers of both classical and Allman Brothers music are encouraged to attend. The orchestra will play the "William Tell Overture" and the "Ritual Fire Dance" to open the concert, then the Allman Goldflies Band joins the POPS for an exciting night of music.
The Allman Goldflies Band, recently named “Best Southern Rock Artist/Band,” was formed in February 2016 when raspy-voiced blues-man Gary Allman, on vocals and keyboards, and bassist David "Rook" Goldflies, formerly of the Allman Brothers Band, reconnected.
"We played together in a few groups in the early 2000s and Gary sent the song 'Georgia Rain' to me in an email," Goldflies told The Log. "I heard something I hadn’t heard in a long time — honesty. So I called Gary and said let’s record this song. We did and our first album came out March of 2018. It is called 'Second Chance.'"
Gary Allman told The Log he writes from the heart, “be it blues, country rock or country blues,” and from life experiences.
“David (Goldflies) writes funkier upbeat stuff and I think we complement each other that way,” Allman said. “David and I have been friends for many, many years and have a great musical relationship as well as a friendship that is as close as two brothers I feel.”
There are six people in the band most of the time. In addition to Allman and Goldflies there are two guitarists and one or two drummers, “depending on where we are playing and the size of the gig. We feel the Southern rock style requires two (or more) guitars to really do it justice,” said Goldflies.
Ranking at the top of post-World War II born American composers, David Ott’s works, including concertos, an opera, a ballet and more, are among the most frequently performed of any American of the era. The list of honors and awards he has received would fill a page, among them four Pulitzer Prize nominations and two Grammy nominations.
“As a classically-trained musician, this was an all-new project for me,” Ott said. “David G. gave me much guidance as I began the first of the arrangements. He explained elements of rock music in a quite detailed manner.”
Ott said he decided that the arrangements should be a 60/40 split with the band carrying the load. There are nine songs for the the Allman Goldflies Band and the orchestra. Although Ott did not compose any new songs, he made arrangements of both existing Allman Brothers favorites and some new material by Goldflies and Allman.
“The orchestra acts as a true accompaniment to the band,” Ott said. “However, I made sure the orchestra had plenty of content. I treated each chart as a concerto. Because I have composed 20 concertos, I know the genre better than any other classical form.”
With songs that reflect love, travel and life experiences, the Allman Brothers took inspiration from southern gospel, the blues, hard-driving rock and guitar playing. These elements remain in Ott’s arrangements.
Goldflies has worked with Ott many times in Northwest Florida — with the orchestra, at Ott's church, performances at Mattie Kelly Arts Center and in the pit orchestra for "The Nutcracker" and Ott’s original score for the ballet "Peter Pan."
“This project has been great for me as I have had the chance to work on a different creative level with David Ott. We got to know each other and we each had a tremendous amount of respect for each other’s talents and accomplishments, even though we came from different worlds, mine rock and roll and David’s classical and jazz,” Goldflies said.
Allman Goldflies Band will also perform on the Main Stage at the Destin Seafood Festival Oct. 5 as they continue to renew southern music with honest, hard driving, inspired performances.
“I think of myself as a true classical musician but I love and perform jazz. Now I have come to deeply appreciate the music of the Allman Brothers,” Ott said. “Above all, I want others to experience the joys of music. That's what I am called to do. I am a blessed person with a blessed mission.”