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Dickey Betts & Great Southern

Rockpalast: 30 Years of Southern Rock

Review by Gary Hill

This double disc release is two live performances of Dickey Betts and Great Southern. They are thirty years apart (1978 and 2008, but neither is less vital than the other). The first seems more about the extended jams, but both present a killer live southern rock show. The recording quality and quality of performance of both are great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Rockpalast Intro

This is just the short little theme for the “Rockpalast” television show.

Run Gypsy Run

This feels like they jump in right in the middle of the cut. To me the vocals are a little high up in the mix, but beyond that, this is a killer tune. The guitar solo really smokes in a classic southern rock style. It turns into a real classic southern rock instrumental jam later. And, yet, they manage to pack it all into a package that’s less than five and a half minutes in length.

In Memory Of Elisabeth Reed
They bring this one in mellow and a bit like space rock goes southern fried. It loses much of the space rock element as it continues and there’s some killer melodic instrumental work. This works through a number of changes and alterations and, at times, resembles progressive rock or fusion. The soloing gets quite intense and this instrumental weighs in at a mighty eleven and a half minutes plus.
Good Time Feelin'
Starting with a killer guitar solo, this moves out to a boogie kind of bluesy rocker. It’s tasty, but the vocals at times seem a little off (the backing ones) but it feels more like the mix than the performance. Still, this is a great tune. The jam late in the cut makes me think of what you might get if the Grateful Dead were to merge with the Allman Brothers.
Dealin' With The Devil
Energized and fun, there’s some killer classic southern rock textures to this number. It’s a real screamer.
This is an Allman Brothers classic and it’s captured in fine style here. I’ve always loved the tasty guitar licks on this piece and this thing just works great. It’s another smoking hot instrumental that’s oh, so tasty. It has some extremely cool little twists and turns and tasty instrumental interplay.
High Falls (incl. Drum Solo)
This is an expressive and powerful instrumental. As the parenthetical on the title says, it includes a drum solo. This seems to occupy space between progressive rock and southern rock. It is almost half an hour in length. I have to say that I’m not a big fan of drum solos, so that section kind of leaves me a bit bored. There is a killer funky bass solo after the drum showcase.
Ramblin' Man
This Allman Brothers classic is delivered in style. It’s a great way to bring things back in for the closing.
Disc 2
Statesboro Blues
This is a smoking hot live rendition of a classic southern rock tune. It just plain rocks! I love this one.
Nothing You Can Do
Not as smoking hot, this one still has an extremely effective southern rock sound to it. It’s a great tune and works quite well with a playful element that reminds me a bit of Little Feat.
Blue Sky
Here’s a more balladic cut that still manages to maintain the classic southern rock sound. It’s a strong tune, but not as fiery as the opener. Still, there is some tasty instrumental work from all participants.
Get Away
Another balladic piece, this is pretty and quite tasty. It’s got some great instrumental work mid-song.
One Way Out
This southern boogie number is another classic and the riff that drives it is extremely tasty. It’s another that I’ve always loved. They put in a killer performance.
Havin' A Good Time
Another hunk of southern rock, this more playful. It has some cool boogie woogie built into it.
In Memory Of Elisabeth Reed
One of only two repeats from the first set, this is a killer extended jam here, too. The blend of jazz, progressive rock and southern rock remains essentially the same and this is a killer tune. I don’t really prefer one rendition over the other, but they each have their own charms. There is an extended drum solo in the piece.
No One To Run With
Here we get another classic southern rock number, performed with fire and passion. It continues the tradition of great music presented in the rest of the set.
Ramblin' Man
The closer is the same as it was in the earlier performance. And it's equally strong.
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