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The 2DVD set and companion piece to the 2CD Rockpalast-30 Years of Southern Rock 1978-2008 from Dickie Betts & Great Southern. Major props here, as you get the full shows on both the 1978 & the 2008 German sets, with Dickie and the band in fine form on each one. Fans of the early Allman Brothers Band will love the twin guitar mastery of Betts and cohort ‘Dangerous’ Dan Toler, who evokes images of a young Duane Allman on a great rendition of “In Memory of Elisabeth Reed”, and other Allman’s cuts such as “Jessica”, “Ramblin’ Man”, and a monumental, 30-minute version of the underrated instrumental fusion classic “High Falls”, which includes some fiery guitar solos from Dickie. Throw in stellar renditions of Great Southern songs “Run Gypsy Run”, “Back on the Road”, “Good Time Feelin’ “, and more, and you have a rippin’ set from a Southern Rock band that seemingly never got their due. Give credit out to the whole group, especially keyboard player Michael Workman, who layers in plenty of smoky organ tones throughout.
Over on the 2008 show, Dickie’s looking a bit weathered (as of this writing, he’s getting set to retire from live performances), but he has a three guitar army in this latest version of Great Southern, including his son Duane and slide master Andy Aledort, along with two drummers, a bassist, and keyboard player. Son Duane (no doubt named after the late Duane Allman) is the spitting image of Dickie circa 1971, and shows his formidable guitar skills on “Get Away” and “Having a Good Time”, while Dickie and Andy do the dueling slide & lead guitar lines on “Statesboro Blues” and “One Way Out”. Of course, the set wouldn’t be complete without stirring renditions of “Blue Sky”, “Ramblin’ Man”, “Jessica”, and “In Memory of Elisabeth Reed”, all featuring sizzling guitar solos and interplay, but the surprise is the hard rockin’ 90’s Allman Brothers gem “No One to Run With”, as the band is locked in and giving their best. Keyboard player Michael Kach handles all the Greg Allman vocals in this set, and does a fine job, while Dickie tackles his original pieces and the Great Southern tunes. His voice is pretty weathered at this point, and he certainly looks a tad frail, but for a guy nearing 70, he can still rip on his Gibson Les Paul. The audio & video on this portion is stellar, as compared to the slight grainy quality of the 1978 part of the DVD.