Dickey Betts Officially Returns From Retirement In Macon: Photos, Setlist & Videos
Images by: Lisa Keel
The Dickey Betts Band w/ Devon Allman Project :: 05.17.18
Macon City Auditorium :: Macon, GA
Macon City Auditorium :: Macon, GA
In 2014, Allman Brothers Band co-founding guitarist Dickey Betts retired from performing. Earlier this year, the guitarist announced he was ready to get back at it and put together a new version of The Dickey Betts Band for a series of 2018 concerts. While The Dickey Betts Band played a “live rehearsal show” at a tiny venue in Sarasota on May 15, Betts made his official return to the stage on Thursday night at the Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Georgia.
The 2018 Dickey Betts Band lineup finds the Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer joined by Damon Fowler and his son Duane Betts on guitar, Mike Kach on keyboards, bassist Pedro Arevalo and drummers Frankie Lombardi and Steve Camilleri. In Macon, the group was augmented by legendary singer Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie fame and her daughter Bekka Bramlett on backing vocals for portions of the show including Allman Brothers Band classics “Blue Sky” and “Ramblin’ Man” as well as “Nothing You Can Do” from Dickey Betts & Great Southern’s 1977 LP.
The Dickey Betts Band opened with ABB instrumental “Hot’ Lanta,” a Kach-sung “Statesboro Blues” featuring Fowler on slide guitar and the aforementioned “Nothing You Can Do.” Devon Allman not only kicked off the evening with a 50-minute Devon Allman Project set, but he also sat-in with The Dickey Betts Band to provide lead vocals and guitar on one of his father Gregg’s signature songs, “Midnight Rider.” Allman’s appearance was followed by the beloved “Blue Sky,” late era Great Southern cut “My Getaway,” Dickey’s “Change My Way Of Living” from the Allman Brothers Band’s 1994 album Where It All Begins and the title track off the ABB’s 1990 Seven Turns LP.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night came next, when Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe emerged to rapturous applause from the crowd. Jaimoe added to The Dickey Betts Band’s blistering version of “Whipping Post,” which marked the first time the pair shared the stage since Betts’ 2000 departure from the Allman Brothers Band. Saxophonist Kris Jensen also sat-in on “Whipping Post” as well as the set-closing “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” that followed. The Dickey Betts Band brought the evening to a close with an encore of “Ramblin’ Man” and an extended version of ABB instrumental “Jessica.”
Thursday’s concert began with a set from the Devon Allman Project that featured guest appearances from guitarist Duane Betts and keyboardist Peter Levin. Devon led his band through a number of originals from his various projects such as Honeytribe’s “Mahalo,” solo cut “Ten Million Slaves” and the Royal Southern Brotherhood’s “Left My Heart In Memphis.” Duane Betts’ time on stage with The Devon Allman Band included a version of his own “Taking Time,” a cover of Gregg Allman’s “Multi-Colored Lady” and Devon’s “Midnight Lake Michigan.” The latter ended the set and saw Devon utilize the late Duane Allman’s 1957 goldtop Les Paul, on loan from Macon’s Big House Museum. Photographer Lisa Keel was in the house. Check out a full gallery of her work:
The Devon Allman Project
Set: Mahalo, Ten Million Slaves, Left My Heart In Memphis, Taking Time, Multi-Colored Lady, Midnight Lake Michigan
The Dickey Betts Band
Set: Hot ‘Lanta, Statesboro Blues, Nothing You Can Do, Midnight Rider, Blue Sky, My Getaway, Change My Way Of Living, Seven Turns, Whipping Post, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
Encore: Ramblin’ Man, Jessica