Allman Brothers’ Dickey Betts Adds to 2018 Schedule

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Dickey Betts (Photo from his website)

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

On 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, said 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.”

Since the Peach Music Festival announcement, Betts has added other concerts including the Allman Brothers Band’s “home away from home” (aka New York City’s Beacon Theatre) plus many other festivals. The guitarist’s son, Duane Betts, who will share lead guitar duties. Also on board: Frankie Lombardi (vocals, drums), Mike Kach (keyboards, vocals), Pedro Arevalo (bass), Damon Fowler (guitar) and Steve Camilleri (drums).

It’s a fair guess that the 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. See below for dates.

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

Dickey Betts 2018 Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

May 17 – Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium
May 19 – Boca Raton, FL – Florida Jam
Jul 15 – Patchogue, NY – Great South Bay Music Festival
Jul 18 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre (with Marshall Tucker Band and Devon Allman ftg Duane Betts)
Jul 19 – Scranton, PA – Peace Music Festival
Jul 20 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
Jul 21 – Staten Island, NY – St. George Theatre

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

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