Following several years of solo projects, a new configuration of the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1978. Chuck Leavell and Lamar Williams, who had rejuvenated the group following the deaths of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, were now committed to t… Read more
Following several years of solo projects, a new configuration of the Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1978. Chuck Leavell and Lamar Williams, who had rejuvenated the group following the deaths of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, were now committed to their own band, Sea Level, so the Allmans brought in Dan Toler on second guitar and David "Rook" Goldflies on bass. This new lineup was well received by fans and released the promising album, Enlightened Rogues to generally enthusiastic response. However, the next few years would again be plagued with problems and turmoil, beginning with the collapse of their label, Capricorn Records, the following year. The band signed with Arista Records and released Reach For The Sky in 1980 and Brothers of the Road in 1981, but neither faired well. Financial trouble and inner turmoil that resulted in the firing of founding member Jaimoe all took its toll and the group again split up in 1982. Gregg formed the Gregg Allman Band with Dan Toler and his brother Frankie on drums and began touring small venues and clubs. Dickey Betts also formed a new band, recruiting the soulful vocalist and sax player from Wet Willie, Jimmy Hall as co-leader. They also convinced Chuck Leavell, David Goldflies, and Butch Trucks to join, forming the Betts, Hall, Leavell, and Trucks Band (aka BHLT). This proved to be an inspired grouping and, with fiddle player Danny Parks fleshing out the lineup, they too took to the road. Although they never pursued a record deal, this band was a formidable outfit on stage. With a repertoire culled from Betts work in the ABB, Jimmy Hall's recent solo album material from Cadillac Tracks and several choice covers, BHLT delivered a driving blues-rock sound that featured country twang and jazzy instrumentals in equal measure and developed a unique sound that was quite impressive.