Allman Brothers’ Dickey Betts to Play Peach Fest

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Dickey Betts (Photo from his website)

Guitarist Dickey Betts, one of two surviving members of the original Allman Brothers Band, will return to touring after a three-year self-imposed “retirement.” Betts had used the occasion of his 74th birthday on Dec. 12 to make the announcement.

Today (Jan. 12), Betts’ first 2018 date was revealed: He’s in the lineup for the annual Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA, billed as “The Return of Dickey Betts and His Band.” (Others booked for the July 19-22 event include: the Devon Allman Project featuring Duane Betts, Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, and Gov’t Mule.)

Betts’ manager, David Spero, in an article published Dec. 12 in Florida’s Herald-Tribune, Betts—who was born in that state and lives in Florida’s Sarasota County—is giving himself a birthday present by hitting the road once more. He decided “to go out and play a select group of dates,” Spero told the newspaper, which said that an email blast has been sent to concert promoters to determine interest in booking him.

The paper also quoted Betts, who said, “Everywhere I go fans keep saying they want me to get out and play again. I think the time is right.”

Betts’ decision to go out and play live music again is a reversal of a decision he made a few years earlier to quit. In an interview with Rolling Stone following his now-suspended retirement announcement, the guitarist attributed his withdrawal from touring to “a little bit of burnout, a little sour grapes, a little bit like a boxer who gives it up.”

Betts’ return to the road is good news for Allman Brothers fans who’ve been besieged by one piece of tragic news after another in 2017. This year alone, founding band members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks passed away, as did Johnny Sandlin, who produced three of the ABB’s albums. Guitarist Jimmy Nalls, a member of Allmans offshoot Sea Level, also passed away this year.

Related: Allman Brothers Band producer Johnny Sandlin died in 2017

No other tour dates have been announced for Dickey Betts, nor have any band members, other than the guitarist’s son, Duane Betts, who will share lead guitar duties. It’s a fair guess that his setlist will include the hits he wrote for the band, including “Jessica,” “Ramblin’ Man” and “Blue Sky.” Betts also said that he will perform material from the Allmans’ catalog.

Watch Dickey Betts play “Blue Sky” with the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2013

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