Gregg Allman to be remembered

Duane Betts, son of Allman Brothers guitarist, to play tribute with help from Sea Cliff friends


Duane Betts, the 38-year-old son of the Allman Brothers Band guitar virtuoso Dickey Betts, will bring his vast talents to Still Partners in Sea Cliff, playing with a few of Sea Cliff’s own accomplished musicians on Aug. 8 at 8 p.m.

The gastropub, at 225 Sea Cliff Ave., will be the place to rock out to the tunes of the late Gregg Allman, including songs made famous during his many years with the Allman Brothers as well as during his solo years. Allman died on May 27 of complications of liver cancer. He was 69.

Dubbed “The Tribute to Gregg Allman,” the concert will feature Sea Cliff’s Andy Aledort, a singer and guitarist who has performed with the elder Betts in his band, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, for the past 12 years. Local singer and songwriter Chris Kinnear will also perform in the three-hour tribute. They will be joined by former Deep Purple singer and keyboardist Mike DiMeo and drummer Dave Diamond of the Zen Tricksters, a Long Island Grateful Dead cover band, as well as virtuoso bassist Roy DeJesus.

“It’s an honor to have some of the Allman family in my bar,” said Dan Roth, owner of Still Partners, who is also a drummer who performs around town and elsewhere. “This will definitely be a magical night. The phone is ringing off the hook at the bar.”

The decision to organize the tribute to Allman came about unexpectedly. Betts, who lives in Malibu, California, sent a text to Aledort, a close friend, saying he would be taking part in a tribute concert to Allman at the B.B. King Blues Club in Manhattan on Aug. 9. He asked whether Aledort was free so they could catch up. “I said, ‘Why not do a gig with me the night before,’” Aledort recounted. “He paused and then said, ‘OK.’ Then I called the other guys and asked them to come and do the gig with Duane.”

Aledort said he was excited about the lineup of musicians who will be performing. DeJesus plays with Long Island guitarist Willie Steele, and DiMeo is known for his work with Deep Purple. The keyboardist currently plays with Tommy James and the Shondells. “And Dave Diamond is from Long Island, too,” Aledort said. “He’s played with Phil Lesh and other Grateful Dead guys.”

Kinnear said he met Betts after Betts performed with the indie band Dawes at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, N.Y., two or three years ago. “He’s great,” Kinnear said. “When I heard him do Allman stuff with Dickey, he was great, but I got a better idea of his talent with Dawes — his playing was much more melodic. He’s got a good musical curiosity about him and is a real nice guy.”

Betts was close with Allman, considering him an uncle. His mother, Paulette, who was once married to Dickey Betts, was Cher’s assistant. Betts had anything but a traditional childhood.

“At 12, Duane went to live with his dad, and at 14 he was touring with the Allman Brothers,” Aledort said. “Because he was close to Gregg, he doesn’t want to do a lot of tribute concerts for him. He doesn’t think it’s appropriate.”

For Betts, part of the appeal of playing at Still Partners is that it’s a small, local venue.

Roth said his bar has hosted some pretty big acts in the past and will have others in the future. Jennifer Mydland, the daughter of the late Brent Mydland, the Grateful Dead’s keyboardist, will play there on Aug. 18.

Playing with the musicians in “The Tribute to Greg Allman” can’t come soon enough for Kinnear. “Getting called in for this gig is like being a baseball player and getting called in for a Babe Ruth tribute,” he said. “They’re all so super-talented. It will be a great, loose show.”

Still Partners will serve dinner starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The concert cover charge is $12.