Mainers lamenting the loss of Gregg Allman from Saturday’s B.B. King concert at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion will be able to get their Allman Brothers Band fix after all.

Allman, who canceled all tour dates through mid-September due to an upper respiratory condition, will be replaced by former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts, responsible for such ABB classics as “Ramblin’ Man,” “Blue Sky,” “Jessica” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”

Those who know their Allman Brothers history can see the irony in Betts replacing Allman on a bill. Allman fired Betts from the band in 2000 via fax, allegedly due to Dickey’s increasingly drunken performances on stage.

Betts sued and carried on solo with his band Great Southern. His lead guitar duties in the Allman Brothers were picked up by Derek Trucks, nephew of ABB drummer Butch Trucks and a renowned guitarist in his own right. (Trucks performed just two weeks ago with his wife, Susan Tedeschi, at Portland’s Ocean Gateway.)

As far as anyone knows, Allman and Betts haven’t spoken to each other in 11 years. Betts even turned down an invitation from the ABB to perform with them during a 40th anniversary concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York.

I’ve had the pleasure of talking to both men in person since their acrimonious split, and both politely but firmly refused to comment (perhaps owing to a nondisclosed court settlement).

I’ve also seen both of them live as solo acts. Allman, who has been clean and sober since the mid-’90s, has never failed to put on less than a spectacular show. Betts, when he’s on his game, proves why he’s long been regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history. When he’s not on his game, well, let’s just hope he is on Saturday, and leave it at that.

But regardless of how well Betts performs, those attending can be sure of one thing — B.B. King will not disappoint. I have never been let down by a B.B. show, nor I have ever heard anyone else say they were. Even when he’s been sick, he’s gone on and given a great performance.

King is also one of the most kind, modest men you’ll ever meet, and signs as many autographs as his 85-year-old body will allow afterwards. So be sure to take some paper and a Sharpie with you.

But wait, there’s more: The bill also sports Big Pete Pearson and Mark “Guitar” Miller, both blues veterans with razor-sharp chops.

In case you didn’t get the point, I’ll be more blunt: If you like the blues, don’t miss this show.

Tickets are $31.50 to $61.50, and are available at or by calling 783-2009, Ext. 208. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the music starts at 7:30 p.m.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]