Caught a truly great night last night--Monday, July 30, at Cervantes in Denver with Mr. Betts. We got the "good" Dickie, who appeared to be in total command of his band, his guitar and the almighty groove.
We stood at the lip of the low-slung stage and drank beer from 10:30 to 12:30 while Betts wailed and handed off to Andy Aledort, who played slide, and his son, Duane Betts, who played lead and a killer bassist, an organist and two very talented drummers.
Dickie opened with Les Brers in A Minor and hit many of his classic tunes from ABB and from his solo career. Truth be told, we rang our bell last night and I can't give an accurate, detailed blow by blow account. Except to say that Dickie Betts has the stuff in spades still and there were many times over the several hours when we were transported to Les Paul/ABB/Betts-land and the crowd, which was small, was dancing and grinning like mad.
Have to say it was loud, even with earplugs. But, even tho one can stand in back and see and hear fine in this small room, I was stuck to the stage all night. This morning, at work, my colleagues all sounded like they were making scratchy, cartoon sounds--turned out they were trying to speak to me and I had trouble hearing, plus the tombstone eyes. Y'all know that's part of the concert-going colleague charm, right? (I don't charge extra for my occasional, spent behavior..)
I hear Dickie can be variable, according to his 'state of mind,' if you will. We were blessed last night and it reminded me why I have been listening to this man since my first ABB show in 1973.
Great review. Was the the "Guitar Town" Festival? If so, did you catch David Lindley? How was he? Thanks!
Dickey Betts has always brought his A game each and every time I've seen him. Glad to hear that he and GS are tearing it up.
A true originator.
The first show I saw at Winterland was Dickie Betts & Great Southern, 38 Special & Kingfish.
It's great that he's still playing; he is a truly classic player with a very unique sound.
Love Dickie Betts!!
Great review. Psyches me up more for seeing Dickey in 2 weeks.
You mention he "hit many of his classic tunes from ABB and from his solo career." Do you remember any of the solo stuff he did? This is something I'm very curious about going into his show -- whether it will be mostly an ABB greatest hits. Not a bad thing, obviously, but I really like some tunes from his own records. I'd love to get "Rain" off of "Highway Call."
Hey boys... I heard from a chum that the Guitar Festival with David Lindley was not particularly great. Lindley went first among many and didn't return for the guitar-heavy jam. Dickie displayed some anger at his sound guy and the conditions likely were less ideal than in a small room.
But at Cervantes, I heard many of Bett's own tunes--at least as many if not more than ABB greatest hits stuff. I never really patronized Dickie's solo LPs, so I'm less familiar with the solo tunes, but there were many and my comrades perked up on a few that I recognized but could not name.
Dickie showed one flash of anger--milliseconds--when a blerch of feedback emerged. Otherwise, sound was loud and flawless. Those Marshalls really scream...
I'd say you take a chance on Dickie, but in 34 years, he's only blown one show, when he angrily smashed his guitar and stalked off after 2-3 tunes. That was 30+ years ago.
My advice: do whatever the hell it takes to catch this guy when he comes 'round. Distinctive tone and technique and ballsy delivery. The band is designed as almost an ABB-personnel replica, but they can deliver the goods.
Advice worth taking. thanks!!
My observations on the Sunday "Guitar Town" line up (well, Lindley and Betts, anyway):
Sounds like Dickey got rid of his bad vibes on Sunday and had plenty of the good stuff on Monday. To be fair, there were flashes of that Betts brilliance on Sunday, and I was a little burned out and stressed by the time Dickey came on.
(been a while since I spent a hot sunny summer day at a music fest; I'm SOOOOO out of practice! not to mention that I had to leave early to go do some work)
>>Except to say that Dickie Betts has the stuff in spades still and there were many times over the several hours when we were transported to Les Paul/ABB/Betts-land and the crowd, which was small, was dancing and grinning like mad.
>>ABB greatest hits stuff.
>>whether it will be mostly an ABB greatest hits
Dickey doesn't cover the ABB. He plays the songs that he composed and wrote. Along with some classic covers that were around long before the Brothers. I have seen the ABB cover Dickey Betts since they fired him though...
I saw him in Charlotte last summer and it was an absolute blast...
it really is a shame that he and the band can't get it together. but after having been backstage at an ABB show at the Beacon this year I can see where Dickey, who's still getting after it a bit, prob does not want to "abide" by whatever rules it is that Greg is putting up - the dressing rooms were absolutely sterile - I mean not a single beer can, puff of smoke or any other thing going on in there.
looking forward to my next DB - GS show!