New Allman Brothers book explores acrimonious departure of Dickey Betts

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Alan Paul’s new digital Ebook on the Allman Brothers Band called One Way Out provides the most in-depth information yet on the angry split in 2000 with founding guitarist Dickey Betts — even as it describes in stirring detail the fiery interplay between Betts and Duane Allman that helped define this group.

Paul, a senior writer at Guitar World magazine, conducted hundreds of hours of interviews in constructing one of the most detailed historical accounts yet of these legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, from behind-the-scenes looks into the recording of classic albums like At Fillmore East, Layla and Eat A Peach, through to today’s revived edition of the group.

So indepth is this oral history that even members of the Allman Brothers Band itself came away with new nuggets of knowledge: “If you want to know the real deal, read Alan Paul,” said Oteil Burbridge. “I learned a lot reading One Way Out.”

Among the exclusive, never-before-seen interviews are Gregg Allman, Betts, Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Burbridge, the late Allen Woody, Jack Pearson and Jimmy Herring. Also included are comments from Eric Clapton, Tom Dowd, Phil Walden, Billy Gibbons, Dr. John, Scott Boyer and others.

“Alan Paul is one of America’s foremost experts on the Allman Brothers Band,” said E.J. Devokaitis, curator/archivist for the band’s museum at the Big House. “For the past 20 years, he has written informative, comprehensive articles on the band, and he truly understands the essence of their significance. It’s great to see him release this chronicle.”

One Way Out: An Oral History Of The Allman Brothers Band also includes a “highly opinionated” discography, with short reviews of more than 50 albums from the Allmans, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Gov’t Mule, Derek Trucks Band and more; as well as a list of Essential Southern Rock Albums.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Allman Brothers Band, Derek Trucks and Gov’t Mule. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND – ONE WAY OUT (2004): The tendency for bands like this — bands that are known for their jamming — is to just rely on jamming, period. This has always been my problem, I find that most of the bands who jam simply lack the chops and taste to maintain my interest for long as they fall back on repetition and simple variations of riffs. The Allman Brothers Band perfected the art of jamming long ago, and One Way Out doesn’t lack for it. Numerous tracks venture past the 10 minute mark, but don’t drag on so long that you forget what song you’re even listening to. What could be an aural mess is just the opposite. The mix on One Way Out is fantastic – so clear that everyone’s parts are exquisitely defined, each being given plenty of room and space and yet it never sounds weak. One Way Out is just plain fun to listen to.

ONE TRACK MIND: WARREN HAYNES AND GOV’T MULE, ‘WORRIED DOWN WITH THE BLUES’ (2011): What more perfect song to include in a benefit for the homeless than “Worried Down With The Blues”? A devastatingly lonesome track originally included on Gov’t Mule’s the first album following bassist Allen Woody’s untimely passing, it mirrored the album’s general tone — something that can only be called mournful anger. If anything, this new live version resonates even more fully as part of Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Volume 4. Eschewing the muscular, grease-trap Southern rawk so long associated with Gov’t Mule, or the Allman Brothers for that matter, “Worried Down With The Blues,” then as now, boasts a serrated blues attitude similar to that put forth by the likes of Buddy Guy or Otis Rush. It’s a city blues, hard and blunt, a song about a dying love — but perfect for a Habitat for Humanity benefit with broader aspirations in that it speaks to anyone who’s desperately missed something.

GREGG ALLMAN – LOW COUNTRY BLUES (2011): This record’s hat-tips to blues, R&B, gospel and jazz only underscore how each provided uniquely American spices in the Allman Brothers Band’s bubbling Southern-rock synthesis. Even so, it could have been recipe for a snoozy conversation piece if not for Allman — the archetypical risktaker. Check out the appropriately fidgety edge he adds to Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” as Allman dirties up a Chess-era groove. Other highlights include a devastatingly frank update of Sleepy John Estes’ “Floating Bridge,” with a surging assist at the piano from Dr. John; Junior Wells’ “Little by Little,” transformed into something resembling a lost soul side from the 1950s; Skip James’ “Devil Got My Woman,” which again reveals the lively intellect of guitarist Doyle Bramhall II; and Amos Milburn’s hardy R&B classic “Tears, Tears, Tears,” where Allman — belying a series of serious health problems — howls with a shanty-shaking, soul-rending power. He’s still got it. Every bit of it.

TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND – REVELATOR (2011): Ever since Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi married in 2001, the two have frequently contributed to each other projects and performed together. But through (and likely because of) the rigors of the Allman Brothers, the Derek Trucks Band, Tedeschi’s own band, and the rigors of raising two kids, they never fully consummated their musical marriage. That is, until now. Tedeschi, a pretty good guitar player and a phenomenal singer and Trucks, a great guitar player and an all-world slide specialist, finally join forces full time to form a band that from the mere mention of its existence already becomes one of the premier roots rock bands in the land. Culling together members of the Derek Trucks Band, the Allman Brothers Band and elsewhere, the eleven member Tedeschi Trucks Band is a grand collection of backup singers, horn players, a rhythm section, and, at the core, Trucks and Tedeschi.

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