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Author: Subject: Hittin' the Note album

A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 11:24 AM
This album has aged like fine wine. I liked it at first but was still in " where's Dickey" mode to an extent at the time. I've listened to mostly live stuff the past few years but dusted this one off last week. What great sound quality also.

Ray G - first time I heard Back Where it All Begins at the beacon 4/1/94 - I think my head literally exploded. I practically kicked down the door of Ralphs Records in Scranton PA , where I was going to school at the time, to buy the album on the release date a few weeks later.

The ABB was a force to be reckoned with in 94. HORDE Fest at Montage was quite a day later that summer !

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 11:35 AM
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Now that it doesn't matter so much I guess it's also worth pointing out that a bunch of the stuff on HTN was old material: Maydell must've been written for Seven Turns or shortly after it, Heart of Stone was a cover the ABB did a few times in the '90s, Rockin' Horse was left off of Where It All Begins, High Cost of Low Living was mostly written by some friends of Warren's, and Who to Believe and Old Friend were both released by other artists in the mid-90s (Warren co-wrote both). The performances matter much more, but the way fans were so excited by the fact that the ABB was coming up with new material at all shows you how much the fans wanted them to create anything new at all in those days. Once they finally got it together and got in the studio they did a hell of a job.


It's funny how timing is such a big part of the creative process. Sometimes a song just has to be "ready". As an artist, I total get that, you have to be compelled by the material, even if it's your own half-formed idea. Listening to other versions of "Who to Believe" is interesting: in others' hand it is an above average throwaway blues tune, but the Allmans gave it a bit of a "Thrill is Gone" swing, especially when they added horns, that really made it a solid Allman Brothers tune for that lineup.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 12:03 PM
Here's the original "Old Friend," which to my surprise is done as a hard rock tune and shifts into a funkier groove in the middle. Kind of an ABB move although the transition is really abrupt. Warren plays a couple of slide solos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_aFFXweJGw

quote:
It's funny how timing is such a big part of the creative process. Sometimes a song just has to be "ready". As an artist, I total get that, you have to be compelled by the material, even if it's your own half-formed idea. Listening to other versions of "Who to Believe" is interesting: in others' hand it is an above average throwaway blues tune, but the Allmans gave it a bit of a "Thrill is Gone" swing, especially when they added horns, that really made it a solid Allman Brothers tune for that lineup.

Agreed. I can't find a full recording of this one online - it's on Spotify, though - but the clip I heard was less compelling. The first version was recorded by John Jaworowicz for an album he released with a band called Blues Co-Op. Warren and Jack Pearson both played on its only album. He died in 2001 but also co-wrote "Before the Bullets Fly" with Warren, and "When the Blues Come Knocking," which Little Milton recorded with Gov't Mule backing him.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 12:18 PM
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Here's the original "Old Friend," which to my surprise is done as a hard rock tune and shifts into a funkier groove in the middle. Kind of an ABB move although the transition is really abrupt. Warren plays a couple of slide solos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_aFFXweJGw

quote:
It's funny how timing is such a big part of the creative process. Sometimes a song just has to be "ready". As an artist, I total get that, you have to be compelled by the material, even if it's your own half-formed idea. Listening to other versions of "Who to Believe" is interesting: in others' hand it is an above average throwaway blues tune, but the Allmans gave it a bit of a "Thrill is Gone" swing, especially when they added horns, that really made it a solid Allman Brothers tune for that lineup.


Agreed. I can't find a full recording of this one online - it's on Spotify, though - but the clip I heard was less compelling. The first version was recorded by John Jaworowicz for an album he released with a band called Blues Co-Op. Warren and Jack Pearson both played on its only album. He died in 2001 but also co-wrote "Before the Bullets Fly" with Warren, and "When the Blues Come Knocking," which Little Milton recorded with Gov't Mule backing him.


Just goes to show, arrangement is everything - that "Old Friend" sounds like imitation Bon Jovi.

I listened to the Blues Co-op version on itunes, it's pretty straight forward.

I found a few versions of "Who to Believe" from the mid-1990s. Here's Tony Sarno, which isn't far off from the Allmans' version, just a little more stripped down and less funky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlt3Kdh4crU

There's another by Sandra Wright, which is a little more heavy and soulful, more akin to "Gambler's Roll", can't find a link to it though.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 12:21 PM
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Looking back on it I guess all the speculation about what Warren was going to do was a little silly. Yes, he was billed as a special guest and officially he wasn't committing. And yes, it's hard to figure out what the ABB would've done without another guitar player who could write and sing. But as long as the guys weren't at each other's throats the way they were at the end of the Warren/Woody years, of course he was going to stick around even if the scheduling was going to get complicated.


Good points. Also, think about the timing and what was going on in the background at the time. Things likely weren't settled down enough to announce anything permanent. There were lots of legal and business negotiations going on.

I think that was one of the year's the Beacon run wasn't announced until some time in January, so perhaps all they could say was Warren was back as a special guest. The summer tour with Jimmy/Derek ended only 6 months earlier, and when the ABB played the Christmas Jam in December it was Warren subbing for Derek, not Jimmy subbing for Derek. And they announced the Beacon run just a few weeks later.

It's not entirely clear to me when the door was shut for good on Dickey's return, which could have affected Warren's commitment, but on the business side they still had to settle lawsuits and create new business entities. And as has been reported here, Warren negotiated an ownership stake in the business entity that was the 2001+ version of the ABB. Lots to work out over what was really a fairly short time frame.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 12:51 PM
Let's not rewrite history now just because Gregg has passed. Best album since Brothers And Sisters?!?! Give that pipe a rest. I always thought there were 4 good songs and 2 covers and filler. "Heart Of Stone"? Never understood that one. 7 Turns, Shades and BWIAB don't have to worry about this record ever surpassing them in greatness IMO. Again IMO Hittin'theNote will be what it is the only thing the band could muster in the dozen or so years after Warren's return. It's certainly no fault of Warren's or Derek's. But it is what it is ... a sad reminder ... the only studio document of what was an enjoyable band.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 02:03 PM
By 6-7 yrs ago, the ABB seemed to have had enough ideas and songs such that some focused writing sessions could have yielded another album's worth of quality material ........could have leaned on some writing partners like Mike Mattison or Jack Pearson too if needed.

So yeh, I was as disappointed as anyone that they didn't work on another studio album.

That said.....Hittin the Note is no sad reminder to me. I just enjoy it as a HQ album that has some absolute ABB classics on it. The ABB were always a band of classic tracks rather than full albums of classics end to end (even Brothers & Sisters seems incomplete by another solid track). I'd rate HTN on par with the three Epic releases; they all contain some pure gems alongside solid (not necessarily spectacular) tracks.

True Gravity, Seven Turns, End of the Line, Nobody Knows, Come On In My Kitchen, Kind of Bird, Get On With Your Life, Back Where It All Begins, Soulshine, No One To Run With, High Cost of Low Living, Desdemona, Old Before My Time, and Old Friend are 15 more ABB classics than I thought I'd ever get back in the 80s. Throw in some other enjoyable tunes like Shine it On, It Ain't Over Yet, Firing Line, Good Clean Fun, All Night Train and it's a lot more good music than I ever thought I'd get.

[Edited on 6/7/2017 by hotlantatim]

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 06:32 PM
They could have started with Dusk Till Dawn, Spots of Time, Egypt, Bag End, and any cover, or even two, out of Gilded Splinters, Blind Willie McTell, Who's Been Talking and the many others they did in late in the game. I guess all you can say is that they could have done it if they'd wanted to.

quote:
Best album since Brothers And Sisters?!?!

This is crass. Anyway it depends on your taste in Allman Brothers material. There's definitely filler on the Epic albums: I count eight or 10 songs they either didn't bother playing live at all or dropped from the setlist fairly fast. One person's filler is another person's favorite, but I prefer the weaker tracks on HTN. Then again I thought Good Clean Fun screams "album filler" and they kept that one in the regular rotation for years.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2017 at 07:29 PM
I thought the three Epic studio releases made two excellent records.

Also, the Epic albums were released when record companies still put out cassette/LP media, and were kept under 60 minutes (7 Turns was under 50 minutes). HTN timed in at 75 mins, so in some ways it was more like an album and a half.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 6/8/2017 at 07:01 AM
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HTN oRtimed in at 75 mins, so in some ways it was more like an album and a half.


Or, in comparison with Idlewild South, two and a half albums.


 

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  posted on 6/10/2017 at 09:11 AM
In a recent interview posted on here with Derek he mentioned Desdemona, saying " "That tune could have been on almost any Allmans record." That one had the stuff. " Truer words could not be spoken. That song is a classic hands down.

 

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