Ear Full: Dickey Betts and Great Southern

The Great Southern Experience

Dickey Betts and Great Southern at Penn’s Peak


Duane Betts knows the relationship he has with his father is something very special. His dad is Dickey Betts, the legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter and a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. Watch as father and son join forces on stage along with a handful of great musicians when Dickey Betts and Great Southern perform on January 12 at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe.
A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Dickey Betts is considered as one of the greatest rock guitar players in rock history. Now in 2013, Dickey Betts is back at it with his band, Great Southern, featuring Andy Aledort (guitar), Mike Kach (keyboards and vocals), Pedro Arevalo (bass), Frankie Lombardi (drums/vocals), James Vernardo (drums) and Duane Betts (guitar).
We spoke with Duane Betts about the upcoming run of shows.

What can audiences expect to see at the show?
“This line-up is a really great band. It’s a big band. We have two drummers, three guitar players, keyboard and bass. The band is really amazing. It’s a fun night of music.”

What’s new with Great Southern?
“We’re doing some shows and getting ready for the spring and summer touring schedule. My dad’s been writing a bit which is encouraging and he may want to do a record at some point. It’s a good time to be playing music.”

How do you prepare for these shows?
“We all play a lot and have different projects we work on when we’re not working in Great Southern. We are constantly playing. My father may take a little time off but when it’s time to go back on the road, I’m sure he starts playing around the house.”
How has your role in the band evolved?
When I came into the band, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next in my career. I had been in a few bands and done a few records. I was flying by the seat of my pants. I like to think I did a good job, but now I know lot more. I’m a more seasoned player. I know what to play with the band more appropriately than I did in the beginning. Now I approach this band in a very specific way. There is a certain way you play this kind of music.

Describe playing music with your father.
For a while, I felt like I was in the shadows. Then I realized it doesn’t need to be a hindrance. It’s just that your father is really successful and you can look at that as a positive. I have a more healthy understanding in where I’m going in my life. I’m more comfortable playing with my father. It’s really enjoyable. It always was enjoyable but it’s especially enjoyable now, because it allows you the freedom to do whatever you want and you’re around good people. My dad and I are really close. There are sometimes when you feel the magic and the love and that’s something really special. I really value the time we are spending together. A father and son playing music together is a certain way of bonding.
tom graham

Catch Dickey Betts and Great Southern with Scott Weis Band on Saturday, Jan, 12 at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe. Doors open at 6 p.m and show time is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27 in advance or $32 day of the show. Call 1-866-605-PEAK (7325) for tickets and more information.

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