December 12, 1988 12:00 PM

The Dickey Betts Band

Somehow it just didn’t seem right that the most productive alumnus of the Allman Brothers Band was turning out to be keyboardist Chuck Lea veil. The recent returns first of Greg Allman and now of guitarist Betts to the recording fray rectify that imbalance. Pattern Disruptive, Betts’s first album in seven years, proves beyond a doubt that Dickey recalls how to rock. He starts things off with the light-as-helium boogie of Rockbottom and follows with the boiling blues of Stone Cold Heart. The whole first side of this record jolts along like a pickup truck going down a mountainside. Betts’s musical signature, dual entwined guitar solos (with Warren Haynes in this case), is much in evidence—most of the passion on this record, as a matter of fact, is in the guitar playing. Other aspects of the performances seem a little over-rehearsed. The second side of the album begins with Duane’s Tune, an instrumental tribute to Duane Allman (who died in 1971) with some slide-guitar work as sharp as marsh grass, courtesy of Haynes. After that, all Betts is off, and things are pretty stale. So, he runs out of steam on the second side, and his blues-and-boogie style may not have universal appeal. But for enthusiasts of Southern-fried rock, this collection is a strong reminder of Betts’s former glory. (Epic)

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