As promised, Dickey Betts has a huge announcement to make on his 74th birthday. After retiring from the road three years ago, the former Allman Brothers Band guitarist/singer/songwriter and founding member has decided that he will return to the road in 2018. Longtime manager David Spero described the decision as “a birthday present to himself”, and he has decided “to go out and play a select group of dates.” However, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the planning is just in the preliminary stages–as only “an email blast has been sent to concert promoters to see what options are available.”
Dickey Betts dedicates the decision to his fans, explaining, “Everywhere I go fans keep saying they want me to get out and play again… I think the time is right.” According to the exclusive news report, the 2018 shows will feature Dickey with his son Duane Betts sharing lead guitar duties. “Dickey is talking to some of the guys he has played with,” Spero explains. “We should know in a couple of weeks who will comprise the band.”
In addition to playing his own masterpieces, “Ramblin’ Man”, “Jessica”, “Blue Sky” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, the upcoming Dickey Betts setlists will include songs written by the late Gregg Allman, including “Midnight Rider”, “Melissa”, and “Whipping Post”. “I think the fans deserve to hear a few of Gregg’s songs as well, so I’m pulling out some classics,” Betts tells the Herald-Tribune. “We really gave this a lot of thought as to how and what the show will be,” Spero concludes. “Even I can’t wait to see it.”
Dickey Betts is one of two surviving members of the Allman Brothers Band, alongside drummer Jaimoe. Following the tragic passings of Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman earlier this year, the rare opportunity to see an original member perform has become the stuff of legends. Although Dickey played his last show with ABB in 2000, his legacy runs deep within the band’s roots. His career continued for 14 years, playing small clubs as Dickey Betts & Great Southern with his son Duane, performing his own blues songs and ABB classics. While there was talk of Dickey’s reunion with the band for the Allman Brothers’ final concert in October of 2014, it never came to be. Dickey’s inspiration to hit the road was spurred by a recent interview with Rolling Stone, where Betts received widespread praise for his incomparable life’s work. Perhaps this upcoming tour will give fans another note to hold on to–as the road goes on forever.
Stay tuned for Dickey Betts tour in 2018!
[via Sarasota Herald-Tribune]