RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Betts, Hall, Leavell And Trucks - Live At The Coffee Pot 1983
MVD Entertainment Group

Rating: B

Back in 1983, the southern rock wave had crested.  Between popular music shifts, lots of drugs, more booze and many years spent on the tour bus, most major southern rock bands were in tatters.  The big money was gone and the artists were trying to figure out what to do next.

This time period created some very interesting collaborations that time has all but forgotten about.  One such meeting of the guitars/fiddles/saxophones/keyboards/bass/drums was the band Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks.  The band was short lived but pumped out some great music.  They left behind the DVD and CD (sold separately) Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks: Live at the Coffee Pot 1983.  Now… from the name of the place—the Coffee Pot—one knows this was not Madison Square Garden.  This was a small club somewhere in Roanoke, Virginia.  The band was crammed onto a small stage and the crowd was immediately in front of them.  This was the good old bar-band days revisited!  Still, Betts, even back then a larger-than-life icon in the genre, was the star of the show.  His band, however, were all big names and well known to fans.  Butch Trucks, who just recently tragically passed away, was Betts’ band mate in the Allman Bros.  Chuck Leavell also played in the Allmans.  Jimmy Hall came to this band via Wet Willie and brought to this band a unique vocal style and some killer sax playing.  Even though his name is not mentioned in the band name, bassist David Goldflies holds the low end down like a pro, and along with Trucks, allows the soloists to take lead breaks that blew the roof off the Coffee Cup!

“Ramblin’ Man” sounds cool with a saxophone and the band really knocks this version out of the park!  “Southbound” is an example of a band in tight quarters playing their collective asses off, feeding off the energy of both the intimate crowd and the other musicians on stage.  There is a version of Dickey’s song “Rain” sung by Leavell that is simply powerful and very touching.  Jimmy  Hall’s “Cadillac” sounds great being played with a stage full of ex-Allman Brothers!

There is a DVD as well [sold separately] that really captures a southern rock band up close and personal.  The footage is darn good considering how old it is.  It looks dated, but it is a solid time reference of days gone by.  The CD sounds killer.  This is a true live southern rock classic.  “Jessica” done live with the band -it goes without saying- rocks! (There I said it...)

At the end of the day, this CD and DVD are not just awesome archival footage and tracks.  These offerings don’t just capture a cool band few people even know existed. No, the releases are much more than that.  This is a killer concert and a rare, up-close and personal look at true living legends during the early 1980s.  All of this put together makes it a must-own for any fan of southern rock and roll.  

Track Listing:
Nothing You Can Do (There Ain't)
Whole Lotta Memories
One Track Mind
Ramblin' Man
Pick a Little Boogie
Let Me Ride
Stop Knocking On My Door
Cadillac Tracks
I Believe to my Soul

By Jeb “I Believe to my SKOAL” Wright