Hittin' The Note review
I heard great things
about the Allman Brothers first studio album with the guitar duo of Warren Haynes and Derek
Trucks, Hittin' The Note.
Upon a listen did it hold up to my expectations? Yes!!!, in fact my
expectations were vastly exceeded. In
addition to great guitar playing, Gregg Allman's voice sounds alive
and enthusiastic, the rhythm section is solid, and perhaps most
important, the songwriting is tremendous.
The album doesn't
have a radio chart topper. Though, the third track "Desdemona"
would be worthy, beginning as a soft blues ballad driven by the vocals and
then on a dime shifting, and adding a jazzy flavor as the instrumental
section begins. Gregg Allman singing on this track is excellent,
often reminding me of Paul Rodgers of Bad Company at times.
pull out the acoustic guitars on a few tracks. "Old
Friends" is in rural blues tradition featuring Haynes on
vocals. Meanwhile, "Old Before My Time" is highlighted by Gregg Allman singing and
slide driven solo.
of the guitar passages remind the listener of some of Haynes and Trucks
influences, in a good way. Certainly they have the Duane Allman and
Dickey Betts riffs down, notably on "High Cost of Low Living";
that songs riff is very reminiscent of Betts' classic "Blue
Sky." During "Maydell" you'd think Stevie Ray Vaughan
appeared from the grave; in particular, the tone and wah wah.
Further, Trucks closes his guitar solo with a classic Garcia riff,
handing things off to Haynes, nice. Then "Instrumental Illness"
is reminiscent of some of the classic instrumental music from Jeff Beck
during the 1970's.
cover of the Rolling Stones "Heart Of Stone" is well done and
thoroughly enjoyable. Not trying to imitate the original,
rather putting their own signature on it.
The Note is among the top Allman Brothers Band studio albums bar
none. Well, maybe not quite as high as any their albums through
Brothers and Sisters, but that is a high standard. Truly Hittin' The
Note is thoroughly enjoyable throughout running a generous 75
minutes with no filler.
Grade A -