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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Coming at a time when both the Allmans and Betts were experiencing complex intertwined watershed events both professionally and personally (Remember Gregg and Cher, and the divisive, band-breaking Scooter Herring cocaine trial?), "Highway Call" seems to have been a rather fresh breath of countrified air for this "brother of the road"; the call of the highway may have been Betts' salvation.
Not that he hadn't already begun to increasingly spread his wings with his original band of brothers, serving as muse in helping to redefine the Allman's sound, this following the tragic deaths of founding brothers Duane Allman and Berry Oakley; both of whom had played important roles in shaping Betts' own guitar style.
After all, it was Forrest Richard (don't call me Dickey) Betts who penned the words and music to the Allmans' first radio hit -- "Ramblin' Man", telling us how the song's namesake was "born in the backseat of a Greyhound bus, rollin' down Highway Forty One".
Highway Call again keeps Betts "rollin on", the Ramblin Man apparently having turned up "out on the lonesome highway... ...just outside of Oklahoma City... ...with a case and an old guitar"; asking us "I'm on my way back to Georgia, won't you give me a ride?" in the album's opener "Long Time Gone".Read more ›
I think like all great artists, Dickey Betts lives just this side of normalcy. His recent run-ins with the law are proof of that. But he has a spot in his heart that is pure joy. This album is proof of that.
These songs are the kind of tunes you want to listen to while sitting on the porch of a house deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains drinking your favorite beverage from a mason jar.
Highly recommended for fans of music that comes from the heart.
There is a relaxed communication in this album which haunted me for all of the fifteen years since I lost that album until now. I wanted it back. It didn't fade. It just played out patiently in the back of my mind, haunting me with echoes of harmonies until I broke down and came looking for it.
Don't buy this album unless you are open to falling in love! This is not an album to appeal to the cynical or the road weary.
Venue: a record shop somewhere in London, England.
Music being played: Some kind of bluegrass/hillbilly-type music!
What I did: bought the album immediately.
Later on when I didn't have a turntable: waited more years than I care to remember (20-25 years?) for it to be released on CD.
What the album was: Highway Call by Richard Betts, of course!
My understanding is that Richard Betts was in the Allman Brothers Band and fronts/fronted the band Great Southern.
Ok, that's the history... This is an album which, to me, mixes hillbilly, bluegrass and country and has some jazz and swing influences. Just six tracks and only 35 minutes of music, but what a great album this is.
Betts has a light, but fine voice which suits the songs and is joined by some fine bluegrass singers and instrumentalists (The Rambos and The Poindexters to name a few) and also Chuck Leavell, who played on Eric Clapton's Unplugged album. They all play their part in turning each track into little masterpieces. The first half of the album - "Long Time Gone", "Rain", "Let Nature Sing" and the title track - are all top-notch.
However, the second half of the album consist of just two instrumentals - the excellent "Kissimmee Kid" which was written (I think) by Vassar Clements and the superb 14-minute "Hand Picked" which moves along at some a great pace that I defy anyone not to be tapping their feet by the end of the first minute. Clements - one of the great fiddle players of his generation - plays a key role in keeping the tune rolling along at such a rate of knots
There will no doubt be those who don't like the musical genres mentioned here (to some degree, I'm one of them!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simply an awesome album. Dicky Betts at the pinnacle of his musical powers.Published 23 days ago by Lynchburgpanzer
One of the greatest instrumental country-blues albums ever coomposed.Published 3 months ago by Kim Singleton
Man, I had forgotten how good this album is, or rather how great it is! I had this on vinyl back in the mid-1970s, but hadn't heard this album in over 30 years. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
if you are expecting anything like the allman brothers sound you will be sorely disappointed. the music is not horrible, it is just not what i like or what i expected. kipPublished 8 months ago by kevin d kelleher