Duane Betts, son of Allman Brothers Band co-founder Dickey Betts, was simply outstanding in his solo outing Wednesday night. In the tiny Stephen Talkhouse room in Amagansett, Long Island, the SRO-crowd just adored what Betts and his terrific band put forth; chill, tempered and stunning.
If you were an Allmans’ fan, this was manna from heaven; Bett’s work can’t help but be referenced by ABB, yet as evidenced by the 5 tracks on his current EP, Sketches Of American Music, Duane is his own man. His West Coast-work with the Dawes (a big favorite around here) speaks volumes on his musical references.
His opening track “Downtown Runaround” (which is the new single from the album, started off things in a superb way and his terrific band, Johnny Stachela on guitar; John Lum on drums; Justin Corgan on bass; and R. Scott Bryan on keyboards, immediately shined on this one. “Juliette” and ‘Autumn Breeze” followed and were equally well received by the crowd. Stachela, with his dual guitar work with Duane, was sensational. More to the point, it reminded the crowd, in a not to subtle way of another legendary guitar-duo: Duane Allman and Betts-senior.
My personal favorite track from the EP, “Ride It Out” followed and featured a delicious lead from Betts. Alternating between a sunburst-Gibson and a weathered, Fender Strat, Betts delivered some of the best guitar work I’ve heard in quite some time. Melodic and measured, Betts is one sensational player … no question. “Hot ‘Lanta” and “Taking Time” closed out his superb set.
On tour with Devon Allman, Betts’ show was one of the best this year so far.