Dickey Betts
" Official Bootleg "
Evangeline Records- UK Import

Kick Out the Jams!, (11/07/07)

Dickey Betts is no longer part of the Allman Brothers Band, but it is quite clear that his playing and song selections are still rooted to the band of which he was a significant factor since their humble beginnings. This excellent recording is with Betts' Great Southern band, which has been the name of his band since the late 1970s. This edition of Great Southern has three guitarists (Betts, his son Duane, and Andy Aledort), two drummers (James Varnado and Frankie Lombardi), keyboard player Mike Kach, bassist Pedro Arevalo, and backing vocalist Schascle Yochim. This double CD is taken from Great Southern's 2006 tour of the United States even though this release is (thus far?) only available as a U.K. import. Included herein are Brothers classics like "Southbound," "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (which clocks in at over thirty minutes), plus "Ramblin' Man," "Blue Sky," and "Jessica," which are all updated and freshly arranged with a healthy dose of dynamite jamming.

Some of the downers include the sound mix and recording, which are often muddy and also contains some annoying clipping, but this fact does not take away from the killer performances of Betts' top-notch band. Plus his voice sounds a little ragged too, but not his creative and, needless to say, expansive guitar playing.

The band is truly on fire throughout the recording and I forgot how much I miss hearing Betts' Jazz leanings (which I am sure would work perfectly with "dream" re-configuration of a current day Allman Brothers Band - with Betts paired with that nonstop, growing weed Derek Trucks. Now there's a concept!). But I understand from several sources that Dickey will never be an Allman Brother again, which is truly a shame. Betts' son (who's interestingly is named Duane) adds a lot of rhythmic guitar support thus making the current version of Great Southern one of the best bands Dickey has ever assembled.

Dickey Betts fans will adore this very strong recording; others should take careful note and give this set a close listen, as this arguably could be Betts' finest post-Duane era recording, and it comes close or equally matches any post-Duane live show by the Brothers. With all due respect to Warren Haynes, let's hope that someday in the not too distant future cooler heads may prevail that would allow Betts back for at least one tour with the current Allman Brothers Band. Until that hopeful day, enjoy this explosive recording and

Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com