The following review is for an August 22, 2001 Dickey Betts concert held at Jaxx Night Club, 6355 Rolling Road, Springfield Virginia

Dickey Betts

by Buzz McClain for the Washington Post

Any number of guitarists could play the same rig -- 1957 Gibson Les Paul guitar, pedal effects and amplifier -- and never in a million licks re-create the natural harmonic tone that Dickey Betts finds in virtually every note. His sound is as distinctive as those of Keith Richards and Chuck Berry.

Wednesday night before a large and enthusiastic crowd at Jaxx, Betts and his six-piece band roared through one Southern rock anthem after another in two generous sets that confirmed the 57-year-old guitarist's place as a seminal artist in a genre he practically owns. Betts may be troubled -- last week he was arrested and charged with assaulting his wife -- but his muse is intact.

As in the past with his previous band, the Allman Brothers Band (which booted him out last summer for bad behavior), the fresh material by Betts on the new CD "Let's Get Together" combines rock, boogie, blues, country and jazz -- often in the same frenzied jam.

Bett's chemistry with singer-guitarist Mark May wasn't as combustive onstage as with Duane Allman, with whom Betts traded stinging leads on many of the Brothers' classics, but May more than held his own, particularly in the looser, more jam-oriented second set. Kris Jensen's saxophone added propulsive jaxx rhythms to the mix, and Matt Zeiner's Hammond B-3 organ underscored the twin guitar leads with a New Orleans feel.

"Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica," two Allman Brothers fan favorites, were not included in the show, but an extended "Southbound" and "Blue Sky" seemed to slake the crowd's appetite for Allman material.