Duane Betts: Wild and Precious Life Review

Wild and Precious Life is the full length debut album for Duane Betts. While this is Betts’ first full length solo record, he’s no stranger to the music scene. Betts is the son of legendary Allman Brothers band co-founder Dickey Betts. Earlier in his career, Duane played with bands Backbone69 and Whitestarr. He also spent a decade as a guitarist for Dickey Betts & Great Southern. He also toured with the band, Dawes.

In 2018, Duane was set to launch his solo career. He released his debut EP, Sketches of American Music. That summer, Duane was touring with the Devon Allman Project and during those shows would play a few Allman Brothers Band hits with Devon such as “Blue Sky.” The duo began writing an album together and the Allman Betts Band was formed, which has now released two albums.

Now Betts is finally releasing Wild and Precious Life. If you’ve enjoyed the Allman Betts Band you’re going to enjoy this album. Betts is joined on the album by Allman Betts Band members Johnny Stachela (guitar), Berry Duane Oakley (bass), and keyboardist John Ginty. Drummer Tyler Greenwell rounds out the band. Betts recorded the album at Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s Swamp Raga Studio in Jacksonville, Florida.

The album opens with “Evergreen” which would fit right in on an Allman Betts Band album. Betts sings, “Sweet sympathy, don’t turn your back on me. Sweet memory, as long as you stay with me, and you know that I’ll always be your evergreen.” The single “Waiting on a Song” follows and begins with a beautiful guitar harmony played on Duane’s Les Paul gold top.

“Colors Fade” features guest vocals from Nicki Bluhm with a country tinge. “Saints to Sinners” is an album standout which is about pushing through the challenges of life and finding your way to the positive. Stachela’s slide guitar is sprinkled throughout the track and the song includes another memorable guitar harmony. “Stare at the Sun” features Derek Trucks on slide and given the opportunity could evolve into an epic live track. Speaking of live tracks, the same could be said for the instrumental “Under the Bali Moon” which follows.

Marcus King joins the party on guitar for “Cold Dark World” as the two exchange guitar solos. The album closes with the more stripped down and mellow “Circles in the Stars.”

Duane Betts has been around for a while but his star continues to rise with the Allman Betts Band and now his solo career. Betts is a strong songwriter and an excellent guitarist to boot. Wild and Precious Life is highly recommended for any fan of southern rock. The album features shades of blues, country, and folk, and takes the listener on a journey from start to finish.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Evergreen
– Waiting on a Song
– Saints to Sinners
– Stare at the Sun

The Big Hit

– Saints to Sinners

Buy the album: Amazon

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete founded Blues Rock Review in 2010 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

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