Hittin' the Note

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been almost a decade since the Allmans last holed up inside a studio, and while that span has been a turbulent one -- marked, for one thing, by the contentious departure of guitarist Dickey Betts -- Hittin' the Note shows nary a sign of discord. The band's hallmark sound is essentially unchanged, although new six-string recruit Derek Trucks waxes slightly jazzier and less intense than Betts. Those who are fond of the Allmans' more open-ended explorations can dig into "Instrumental Illness," a 12-minute assay that delivers plenty of cat-and-mouse interplay. The heads-down, no-nonsense boogie crowd will likewise find sustenance, in the form of the snaky opener ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been almost a decade since the Allmans last holed up inside a studio, and while that span has been a turbulent one -- marked, for one thing, by the contentious departure of guitarist Dickey Betts -- Hittin' the Note shows nary a sign of discord. The band's hallmark sound is essentially unchanged, although new six-string recruit Derek Trucks waxes slightly jazzier and less intense than Betts. Those who are fond of the Allmans' more open-ended explorations can dig into "Instrumental Illness," a 12-minute assay that delivers plenty of cat-and-mouse interplay. The heads-down, no-nonsense boogie crowd will likewise find sustenance, in the form of the snaky opener "Firing Line," as will those who groove to the sort of roadhouse balladry that Gregg Allman has all but perfected over the decades. ("Desdemona," for instance, conjures up images of the Allman classic "Melissa.") Thanks to the gritty bass playing of Oteil Burbridge (and the three-man percussion section), the Allmans have more spring in their step than they have any right to -- and that bounce proves pretty contagious here.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
There have been many tales of terror, nervousness, and depression -- as well as raw excitement and anticipation -- since the Allmans went into the studio to make their first album of new material in a decade, and the band's first record ever without guitarist Dickey Betts, who wrote and sang the last of the band's true hits in the 1970s. The result weighs on the latter side of the equation -- nervousness and fear that the old-road dogs didn't have it in them to make new music are completely unfounded. Hittin' the Note is the band's finest studio outing since Brothers and Sisters over 20 years before. The level of songwriting, inspiration, and execution is more than admirable; it's downright bone-chilling in places. The Allman/Haynes collaboration "Desdemona," while centered in Southern soul and earthy blues, is a rock & roll powerhouse with glorious jazz overtones à la "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" in the instrumental break. Haynes, whose ringing, stinging tone cuts through the mix like a fine-edged stiletto, is complemented beautifully by Derek Trucks. Trucks displays the round-toned beauty that adds warmth and dimension to the twin-guitar interplay that is very much built on the Duane Allman/Betts model, but creates shadowy chord figures that come more from jazz than blues, adding another shade to the tonal palette. But it's the sheer melodic power and soul feel that comes right through a studio soundboard that is most astonishing. It feels like the Allmans live, which is the thing they most wanted to get across. Instrumentally, the band's fiery exuberance is in abundance -- the organ-guitar duel in "Woman Across the River," which features a fine Haynes vocal, is given more thudding intensity by drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks and percussionist Marc Quiñones. The bass chair is held down by newcomer Oteil Burbridge, who, like Derek Trucks, adds a younger, more ambitious feel to the rootsy sound of the brothers, with his popped and thumped basslines that pay often just behind the beat to add space to the framework of a given track. The sprawling "Instrumental Illness" displays the awesome guitar power that the Allmans have at their disposal, as well as their ability to improvise off cues and feelings in a way that would make some jazz musicians jealous. "Old Before My Time," a Haynes/Allman collaboration, is the most haunting song on the record. Allman sings with all the world-weariness that has truly been his lot as a road dog who has endured his share of tragedy. It begins as a folk song, with Haynes' acoustic under Allman's voice before the band enters with slide guitar; staggered in 4/4 time and littered with hand drums and a swell that transforms it into a country song of regret, remorse, and resignation, it literally stops the listener in his or her tracks. There's little time to think about the tune, however, before the spooky, dark, bluesed-out funk of "Who to Believe" comes uncoiling from the speakers like a crawling king snake from the swamp. A wonderful surprise on this set is an absolutely riveting cover of the Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone," transformed into a rock & roll version of a Ray Price honky tonk song as if it were reinterpreted by Albert King. In sum, Hittin' the Note does exactly what its title claims -- 11 tracks' worth and it burns on every one. This album is in-the-pocket, deep-grooving Allman Brothers Band blues-rock at its best.
Rolling Stone - Parke Puterbaugh
Surprisingly solid.
Entertainment Weekly - Holly George-Warren
Masterful... on a par with the Allmans' long-established canon. (A)

Surprisingly solid.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/2003
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • UPC: 060768459922
  • Catalog Number: 84599

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Firing Line (5:17)
  2. 2 High Cost of Low Living (7:52)
  3. 3 Desdemona (9:20)
  4. 4 Woman Across the River (5:51)
  5. 5 Old Before My Time (5:23)
  6. 6 Who to Believe (5:38)
  7. 7 Maydell (4:35)
  8. 8 Rockin' Horse (7:23)
  9. 9 Heart of Stone (5:06)
  10. 10 Instrumental Illness (12:17)
  11. 11 Old Friend (6:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Allman Brothers Band Primary Artist
Gregg Allman Piano, Hammond Organ, Vocals, Clavinet
Warren Haynes Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Slide Guitar
Oteil Burbridge Bass
Jaimoe Johnson Drums
Marc Quiñones Percussion, Conga
Butch Trucks Drums
Derek Trucks Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Slide Guitar
Technical Credits
Warren Haynes Composer, Producer
Michael Barbiero Producer, Engineer
Oteil Burbridge Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Brian Farmer Guitar Techician
Booker T. Jones Composer
Sir Mack Rice Composer
Hugh Syme Art Direction, Illustrations
Jamie Van De Bogert Drum Technician
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New Fan Now a fan for life

    I have been collecting albums and cds for the last 20 years, but this one goes on my easy access shelf, I have already had lots of folks ask me what cd is that, I dont tell them till its over, cause I want them to hear all the music first, so far the end result is always the same, man that cd kicks BUTT

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the ABB's best albums since Filmore East!

    This album is truly eclectic. Between Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, you have an amazing combination of jazz, blues, fusion, and other inventive forms of rock. The ABB has less of a southern sound in this album while Haynes and Trucks work in their signatures. Every track is very unique.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ALLMAN BROTHERS ROCK

    I'VE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW FROM THE ALMAN BROTHERS AND BOY WAS IT WORTH THE WAIT..THIS ALBUM ROCKS...DEREK AND WARREN ARE AMAZING AND GREGG HAS NEVER SOUNDED BETTER...AND WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THE RYTHYM SECTION...AIN'T NOBODY BETTER..THIS ALBUM IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BEST SINCE EAT A PEACH ...AND THE BEST PART IS THEY HAVE ENOUGH MATERIAL TO DO ANOTHER ALBUM RIGHT NOW..THIS IS A MUST HAVE ALBUM..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    good stuff

    i feel as if i were superman when i listen to the music on this cd. i know im not, but sometimes i am. i know i can be if i listen to this one more time........

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Too Polished

    It is a good album but does not have the "Edge" or emotion that the previous, new line up, albums do. It is maybe too slick and polished to be considered a typical Allman Brothers Album. It is less intense and smoother than usual.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New Classic

    Let me get this out of the way, WOW WOW WOW!! I saw the band last friday and it was one of the best sets I have seen in a while. The band looks happy and at ease and the music was excellent. This album only serves to bolster the credibility of this recent line up. The music is amazing and true to the original ABB feeling. The three albums from 1989 and the early 90s were great, but this is a whole different league! Dust off some space on the shelf between Idlewild South, Eat a Peach and Live at the Fillmore East!! Buy this one, its a must have!!

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