Duane Betts & Palmetto Motel with Special Guest Rocky Athas | Granada Theater | Dallas, TX

Thu Apr 25 2024 at 07:00 pm to 10:00 pm

3524 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, Dallas, TX, United States, Texas 75206 | Dallas

Granada Theater
Publisher/HostGranada Theater
Duane Betts & Palmetto Motel with Special Guest Rocky Athas | Granada Theater | Dallas, TX
Goes Good With: Allman Brothers, Allman Betts Band, JJ Grey & Mofro, North Mississippi Allstars
Doors at 7:00pm, showtime at 8:00pm
Duane Betts, Wild & Precious Life

By the time Duane Betts began working on Wild & Precious Life — his triumphant debut solo album — he'd already spent two decades creating his own version of guitar-slinging, story-driven American rock & roll.

"It felt like the right time to make something that was entirely my own vision," he says. "This is a record that guitar players will love, but at its core, it's really a song record. It's an album about who I am, where I come from, and what I believe in."

The years leading up to Wild & Precious Life's creation were a whirlwind. Duane cut his teeth with the bands Backbone69 and Whitestarr, then spent the better part of ten years playing guitar alongside his father — legendary Allman Brothers co-founder Dickey Betts — as a member of Dickey Betts & Great Southern. He’d also travel the world as a touring member of Dawes before releasing an EP of his own songs, Sketches of American Music, in 2018. As the decade drew to a close, Duane co-founded The Allman Betts Band, releasing two records in 2019 and 2020.

Even so, the need to create a full-length solo album — one that nodded to his mu-sical roots while simultaneously pushing ahead into new territory — continued to gnaw at him. “I wanted to make a record which would really capture that old school Florida vibe," says the Sarasota native. Following his instincts, Duane assembled his dream team of musicians — including guitarist Johnny Stachela, bassist Berry Duane Oakley, keyboardist John Ginty, and drummer Tyler Greenwell — and took up his old friends Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks on an offer to record at their own Swamp Raga Studio in Jacksonville. Wild & Precious Life was recorded to two-inch analog tape during a series of live-in-the-recording-studio performances in 2022.

"We set up as a band, tracked everything live, and kept whichever takes had the magic," says Duane, who co-produced the album with Stachela and Ginty. The band welcomed a number of guests into the fold too, finding room for Marcus King (who swaps guitar solos with Duane on "Cold Dark World"), Nicki Bluhm (whose haunting harmonies run throughout the country-flavored "Colors Fade"), and Derek Trucks (who contributes searing guitar leads to the album highlight "Stare at the Sun"). Bobby Tis handled the album's engineering duties, while seven-time Gram-my winner Jim Scott mixed.

Wild & Precious Life offers up a timeless version of American music — a mix of blues, rock, folk, and country that could've blanketed the FM radio airwaves during any number of decades. It's a modern album inspired by some of the best parts of the past, full of sharply crafted songs written in a state of deep reflection and Duane's journey toward sobriety. "Waiting on a Song" is a timeless tribute to pa-tience, faith, and the muse itself, laced with fiery fretwork from Duane's Les Paul Gold Top. "Circles in the Stars" is equal parts cowboy campfire song and folk bal-lad, with Duane singing a love letter to his wife over the earthy resonance of a vin-tage, post-WWII Martin D28 acoustic guitar that once belonged to his father. The twin guitar harmonies that define "Stare at the Sun" breathe fresh life into southern rock. "I was inspired by a conversation I'd had with Derek, where he was talking about my father's guitar playing," Duane explains. "He told me, 'Your dad is one of those players who's not afraid to stare directly into the sun,' and I loved that line. I was already working on a new song, and Derek's sentiment gave the song a cen-ter." Even the album's instrumental track, "Under the Bali Moon," seems to conjure up its own storyline, thanks to a combination of evocative slide guitar and non-western twinkles of piano.
Wild & Precious Life captures the emotional release of overcoming struggle, ap-preciating the fleeting nature of life, and celebrating the joy of being present.

Wild and precious, indeed.
Goes Good With: Allman Brothers, Allman Betts Band, JJ Grey & Mofro, North Mississippi Allstars
Rocky Athas, known by critics and fans as The Texas Tornado, The Malice from Dallas, The Young Eric Clapton and The Last Great Bluesbreaker Guitarist, possesses an arsenal of punishing guitar riffs and catchy hooks that have opened every door. From his first solo album at Willie Nelson's studio with multi-Grammy winning producer, Jim Gaines, to recording with Buddy Miles and SRV's Double Trouble to Glenn Hughes, Joe Walsh and John Mayall, Rocky has a blues rock pedigree that reads like a Who's Who of musicians. You might not remember how to pronounce his name correctly, but you will most certainly remember his playing! With his wonderfully crafted new album, Livin’ My Best Life, Rocky gives his fans “ten bodacious tracks of high octane music” to encourage everyone to live their best lives. The album includes smokin' hot tributes to Jeff Beck and Peter Green and an instant classic performance by John Mayall on harmonica. Rocky delivers this musical message with his trademark soaring guitar pyro-technics, monstrous tone and iconic Texas style.
After carrying the mantle of the coveted role of lead guitarist with John Mayall's legendary Bluesbreakers for eight years, Rocky Athas returned from the international touring stage to reclaim his rightful place front and center with his successfully established solo career. The much anticipated reunion between Rocky's good friend and multi-Grammy winning producer, Jim Gaines, delivered Shakin' the Dust to rave reviews and garnered a nomination for Album of the Year!
Partnering repeatedly with Grammy Award-winning producer Jim Gaines, Rocky Athas has released a series of albums, including Miracle, Voodoo Moon, Lightning Strikes Twice, Let My Guitar Do The Talking...with my friends and his band of Texas musicians wows audiences everywhere they go.
At the beginning of his career, Rocky was the creative vortex behind Lightning, one of the biggest draws in Texas nightclub history, regularly opening for national acts.
By the age of 23, the Oak Cliff, Texas native had been included in Buddy Magazine's now-legendary list of Top Guitarists - one of the first and the youngest to receive the honor. Rocky shares that honor with Eric Johnson, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons (of ZZtop), and Johnny Winter.
Moving on from Lightning, Rocky began appearing as the lead guitarist for national acts, including the southern rock one-of-a-kind Jim Dandy and Black Oak Arkansas. Two of BOA's greatest hits, "Ready as Hell" and "Wild Bunch", were written by Rocky and feature his playing.
While playing with BOA, Rocky was introduced to the Bolin brothers--drummer extraordinaire Johnnie Bolin, and Tommy Bolin (of Deep Purple and James Gang). Johnnie and Rocky cemented a life-long bond as brothers. After Tommy's death, Rocky performed, toured, and recorded Tommy Bolin Tribute shows with Johnnie in support of the Tommy Bolin Archives foundation. Joining them for these efforts was their friend and amazing vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes, of Deep Purple and Trapeze.
Throughout his career, Rocky has been asked about his friendship with Stevie Ray Vaughan, a fellow Oak Cliff native and legendary guitarist. Rocky is extremely proud of their shared Oak Cliff roots and their friendship. In Kerri Leigh's biography Stevie Ray Soul To Soul, Rocky shares some stories of that early friendship, before either Rocky or Stevie had known music or fame. In 2000, Rocky worked with Buddy Miles and Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, Double Trouble, on The Bluesberries album for Ruf Records. Rocky also recorded the classic Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" for Ruf Records' album Blue Haze - Songs of Jimi Hendrix.
While working on The Bluesberries project, Rocky forged a friendship with Grammy Award-winning producer Jim Gaines, who has worked with Santana, Steve Miller, Journey, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and who was named Blues Producer of the Year in 2003. As the friendship flourished, Rocky wrote, recorded, and released his first worldwide album, Miracle, produced by Jim.
In the late oughts, Rocky was made an offer he couldn't refuse: John Mayall, the iconic "Godfather of British Blues", had asked him to play lead guitar on his next album. Needless to say, Rocky was honored to be recognized for his skill and thrilled to join Mayall's legendary outfit, The Bluesbreakers. Former members included Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and Mick Taylor. Within weeks of the call from John Mayall, they were together in the studio working on Tough. The album was a smashing success, and Rocky's performance did not go unnoticed. Guitar Player Magazine wrote that Rocky was, "a veteran Texas gunslinger with a wicked tone and a thriving solo career of his own."
Over the next few years, Rocky continued to record and tour with Mayall's The Bluesbreakers. Mayall's album A Special Life featured stellar guitar performances by Rocky, prompting Neil Spencer of Uncut Magazine to highly praise the new work, "... whose guitarist, Rocky Athas, recalls the young Eric Clapton."
With a mutual admiration nurtured by thousands of miles on the road together, Rocky was proud to stand next to John Mayall, rockin’ the blues around the world and blazing a fresh, new, innovative sound with the veteran bluesman.
In September of 2016, John Mayall announced that he would reduce his performance format to a trio and become his own guitar player. While Rocky no longer tours with the band, he holds nothing but respect and gratitude for its founding member.
In 2014, Rocky released Let My Guitar Do The Talking...With My Friends on Cherryburst Records. The album is "all-instrumental, all-guitar, all the time" and samples several vintage guitars from Rocky's personal collection. It also features guest appearances by long-time friend and fellow Texan Smokin' Joe Kubek and an exclusive performance by John Mayall on keyboards,
In 2015, the ultimate, commemorative Rocky Athas series was released, highlighting Rocky's most crowd-pleasing solo work. Also included are never-before-released bonus tracks paying homage to artists who influenced him, like Eric Clapton and Leslie West. The release of The Essential Rocky Athas - Volume I & II is hailed globally by critics as "a delectable album tailor-made for the blues enthusiast" filled with "delicious howling guitar riffs".
Don't miss this authentic Texas guitar legend and former Bluesbreaker!
Doors at 7:00

Event Venue & Nearby Stays

3524 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, Dallas, TX, United States, Texas 75206


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