Venice West, Venice CA, April 3, 2023 by Howie David Photos by Stevo/ARoodPhoto
Duane Betts and his band Palmetto Motel stopped in Los Angeles at Venice West, a great venue for fans who enjoy being close and personal with performers. Duane is of course, the son of original Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts, and the presence of his father’s spirit is obvious, and welcome.
The Allman Brothers Band is no more, but their influence, and substantial body of recorded work, will live forever. That the offspring of several now-departed members of the band are able to carry on the tradition, not only with reverence, but with talent and skill commensurate to the task, is every fan’s good fortune.
Audience members who expected the classic two-guitar harmonized melodies, touch of swing, and hint of blues that characterize the “Southern Rock” genre that the Allmans invented, were not disappointed. Of particular note were the contributions of Betts’s long-time partner Johnny Stachela on co-lead guitar, and the vocals of bassist Pedro Arévalo, a veteran of several other incarnations of Allman/Betts-centric bands.
The show featured a mix of Allman Brothers material, a few covers, and a strong helping of Duane Betts originals, all fine examples of how to create new and compelling songs while honoring a half-century-old tradition that is unmistakably American, and musically authentic. Notably, the band’s transition into “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed”, and their modifying of tempos between sections, showed how to play a classic composition with just enough innovation to keep it fresh.
This band shows that the Southern Rock tradition of real musicianship, solid songs, and intense, no-nonsense performance is alive and moving forward. Duane Betts and Palmetto Motel has just a few more west coast dates on this tour: Pioneertown CA, San Juan Capistrano CA, and Monroe Utah.
Check them out, if you can.
(The Allman Betts Band cover)
Oh Well – Peter Green cover
Saints to Sinners
(The Allman Brothers Band cover)
Waiting on a Song
Hoochie Coochie Man
Stare at the Sun
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
(The Allman Brothers Band cover)
Honky Tonk Heroes
ABOUT DUANE BETTS:
As a teen, Duane Betts cut his teeth sitting in regularly with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Allman Brothers Band. A native of Sarasota, Florida, Betts relocated to Southern California and fronted Malibu rock groups Backbone69 and Whitestarr, then ascended to a near-decade stint playing guitar alongside his father, Dickey Betts, in his dad’s group, Great Southern. Whether as a touring guitarist for folk-rockers Dawes or sharing the stage with luminaries from Jack Johnson and G. Love to Kid Rock and Phil Lesh, Betts became a consummate musician. He continued to hone his craft in notable collaborations, including a brief but celebrated 2017 stint with Jamtown — a super-group featuring Love, Donovan Frankenreiter, and Cisco Adler.
In 2018, Betts’ own impassioned, six-string stories portraying a life and a history steeped in blues, rock, and country music tradition, inspired the release of his first solo record, Sketches of American Music. With venerable guitar, time-worn vocals and enlightened, seasoned songwriting on a six-pack of instant favorites, Betts delivered five of his own freshly-drawn rock-and-roll portraits, brilliantly colored in country and blues, plus a special homage to his Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame dad. Betts enlisted the guiding pen of respected song-smith Stoll Vaughan and veterans Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the M.G.’s) and Marc Ford (Black Crowes) for a production hand on sessions in Nashville and Los Angeles.
In support, Betts released two videos for the EP’s singles — “Taking Time” and “Downtown Runaround” — and undertook a world tour with the Devon Allman Project, fronted by the son of the late Gregg Allman. Betts also reunited with dad Dickey and his Band for a round of summer 2018 tour dates.
At year’s end Betts announced the formation of The Allman Betts Band, officially uniting with Devon Allman and Berry D. Oakley, son of the late Allman Brothers Band founding bassist, Berry Oakley. The group recorded tracks at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in November for its debut album, Down to the River, released in June, 2019. A world tour commenced in 2019 in New York City.
Duane Betts has picked up a lot along the way. With every note and every word, he’s showing what he’s learned, while holding with the utmost respect what’s been passed to him. “There are traits that are inherent. It’s in your sense of melody or with your phrasing. I think some of that stuff comes from hearing it a lot and from your instinct,” says Betts. “I have my own identity, too, and that’s my identity, for sure. I don’t think you could really get around that history if it’s there. I’m honored and I’m grateful to be a part of that legacy.”
|06 Apr||Marquee Theatre||Tempe, AZ|
|07 Apr||Mystic Hot Springs||Monroe, UT|
|08 Apr||Hillfest 2023||Eden, UT|
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