Duane's Tune by Dickey Betts Band. One of the greatest instrumentals that Dickey has written. A lot of energy in this song for sure and some great harmony lines throughout. This was one of the first recordings that Warren Haynes was on with anyone associated with the ABB. The Allman Brothers reunited shortly after this release I don't know where the guy came up with the art work that he used in the video......
Very nice. Here's the thing about Betts's playing - who was playing like that back then? Who influenced him? Nobody that I'm aware of was playing that kind of sentimental, melodic, harmonized music in rock back then. Sure, there was King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Yes, etc., but nobody in a blues/rock band. Today we talk a lot about thinking 'outside of the box', but it's not easy to think outside of the box, and to do so you risk falling on your face and being ridiculed. Betts definitely marched to the beat of his own drummer. You are right, the more I listen to this guy the more impressed I am with his compositional abilities and his 'freshness'.
If you listen the the ABB's version of 'Stormy Monday' there's a level of sophistication that wasn't typical of guys that young. I don't know how much Betts contributed to that, but I'd guess it was quite a bit.
As far as influences are concerned, Duane, and I think Gregg as well, was heavily influenced by John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery and I think Miles Davis as well.
Dickey Betts on the other hand, was the proponent that brought the harmonized leads to the table. Yes, Duane and Gregg was using them to certain extent before teaming up with Dickey but Betts was the final catalyst. That influence came from Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, who played western swing music. Western swing is one step away from jazz and when Dickey heard the fiddle and the steel guitar playing off of each other, it clicked.
When they came together, Duane & Gregg also had strong R&B and soul background. Duane had been a session player @ Muscle Shoals for a period of time, played behind Aretha, Boz Scaggs, Wilson Picket, Clarence Carter, etc. It was Duane that pushed the idea of Pickett doing Hey Jude while it was still on the charts for The Beatles. It was the solo at the end of song that caught Clapton's attention, saying it stopped him in his tracks, literally having pulled over to the side of the road to listen. Another interesting session for Duane was recording with flautist Herbie Mann. I've included a video of one of their songs.
When all of this talent came together and the players were able to play as they wanted to, the influences also melded and the results was The Allman Brothers Band. Rumor had it that when they were practicing, Whipping Post or Mountain Jam was known to last for a day and half.....like I said, Rumor has it. If that is so, its easy to see where their improv skills were honed