The Allman Brothers’ seemingly hopeless disintegration prompted no revolutionary rethinking from Dickey Betts. Instead, the man whose twinlead guitar with Duane Allman had been their original molten core formed a lesser southern rock band, and released the two albums compiled here.
With Dan Toler as his new guitar foil, Dickie Betts & Great Southern’s 1977, self-titled debut’s songs are routine, but the style and authority of Betts’s playing stays sturdy, not least on the cat-scratch, roadhouse blues of Good Time Feeling. The title track of 1978’s Atlanta’s Burning Down cuts deeper, in a Band-style account of a Confederate soldier journeying back to his blazing home, carried by Betts’s uncharacteristically sweet, yearning vocal. His dirty growl, sultry slide-guitar dives and high-kicking solo on Leavin’ Me Again have more swampy conviction than the debut or the misbegotten Allmans reunion which followed.