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Famed guitar slinger, Dickey Betts; the other half of the twin-guitar force of The Allman Brothers, alongside the late Duane Allman he helped set the standard. Betts also wrote a bunch of fine songs, as well as performing manfully on lead electric slide guitar. As this 10-track compilation taken from the time (1977-1978) Betts was fronting The Great Southern he was also a talent in his own right.
Fashioned in brooding Southern country rock, the music is pretty much relentless.As his lead slide guitar licks are matched by moody organ, keyboards and a feisty rhythm section. Alan Robinson’s liner notes give a fine assumption of the music Betts provides, saying Betts was in fine playing form, and his vocals sound energised and committed. Plus, the backing tracks provided muscular but lithe musical backdrops from which Betts and the Great Southern could shine.”
Among the highlights you have “Out To Get Me”, one of five songs pulled from their first album it enjoys a wonderful balance. Spacious and accomplished in all areas it shine like a beacon. Betts was at the top of his game and with genuine excitement “Nothing You Can Do” straddles country and country rock, perfectly. Its wonderful harmony vocals place an icing on the cake. Band members include; Dan Toler (electric, acoustic guitar, vocals), Tom Broome (keyboards, vocals), Ken Tibbetts (bass), Topper Price (harmonica) and Jerry Thompson (drums, percussion).
“Billy Ray Reynolds' (Waylon Jennings) penned “Atlanta’s Burning Down” is a moody and reflective affair, and with it warmed in hints of soulful Southern rock the song hangs in the air like the humidity during the Georgia state's summer. “Leavin’ Me Again” (a co-write with band Toler) is arguably sharper, a little funky even.
“Back On The Road Again” a co-write with Reynolds is typical sounding of many road songs, but possesses enough energy and quality (mighty slide from Betts included) to claim a slot alongside those of a high tier. His co-write with band member Toler and Reynolds “Dealin’ With The Devil” contains a little mystery (provided by the harmony vocals) and some jam-like Southern Rock guitar, which is also part of the fabric of his music without pulling up the tracks. More from Betts would be nice, are you listening Floating World?
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