RIP Dickey Betts

RIP Dickey Betts
Authored By John Nicholson

Dickey Betts has died aged 80. All things considered, he did well to live so long. I first heard him on’ The Road Goes Ever On’ an Allmans compilation, aged 16. That was the first I’d heard of them and I was bowled over. If you remember how you felt when you first heard the band, that feeling of shock and excitement and amazement is special. I just couldn’t believe something like In Memory Of Elizabeth Reid even existed, let alone was extended by almost telepathic jamming.
His playing on Blue Sky pointed the new post-Duane direction. That is such a melodious solo.

Betts was a more lyrical player than either Duane or Gregg and provided a superb foil. The band enjoyed their first number one with Brothers and Sisters led by Dickey’s guitar. Jessica was their first hit, but that album had a lovely vibe on things like Come And Go Blues and the excellent Southbound. There is space in those songs that is fantastic and invests tremendous soul.

I also loved the Richard Betts solo album which is quite Allmans-ish. Both Great Southern albums are excellent, more of a country feeling and with soaring guitar. Following his death, drummer Jaimoe (Jai Johanny Johanson), became the last surviving original member of the Allman Brothers Band, though Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes carry on the tradition.

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