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Hittin' the Note #82 - 2014

Greetings everyone,

      Summer has faded away and the kids are back in school, but coverage of the music you love continues unabated at Hittin’ the Note. Issue # 82 contains in-depth features on some of your favorite artists - several of them are Hall of Famers, while others are members of the next generation - but they all create music that matters.
      It’s hard to improve on something that is considered to be the greatest of all time, but it is certainly special when you can add something to it. That is the case with At Fillmore East, the iconic live album from the Allman Brothers Band. Released in 1971, Fillmore East sets the standard by which all live performance presentations are measured. Now with the issuing of The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings the original album has been expanded to include all four sets of music the ABB played on March 12 and 13, 1971, as well as the group’s June 27, 1971, appearance at the closing of Bill Graham’s venerable East Village theatre. As Executive Producer Bill Levenson told HTN’s Brian Robbins, fans of the Allman Brothers original line-up have received a wonderful gift; fourteen unreleased tracks of music from the best ever. Bill shares what went into the compilation of The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings, and it’s a story comparable to the timeless music.
      Speaking of legendary bands - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young made music that was greater than the sum of its considerably-talented parts, despite the volatile personal chemistry of the quartet. Their 1974 tour set was one of the very first stadium runs while also setting the bar for rock and roll excess, but as captured on the newly-released CSNY 1974, the group played some spectacular shows. Graham Nash spent the last four years digging through the tapes of that tour, and he managed to capture perfectly a moment in time for CSNY. A candid and relaxed Graham shared his thoughts about CSNY 1974 with Brian Robbins, and it is one of the most captivating interviews you’ll ever read - enjoy!
      Blackberry Smoke is a group that has faced a conundrum ever since its inception a dozen years ago; the band’s music has been called too country for rock and too rock for country, but BBS fans clearly don’t care. Blackberry Smoke music is energized and passionate, powerful and visceral, and that is what counts. BBS lead singer/guitarist Charlie Starr told HTN’s Richard Brent all about the band’s new album, Leave a Scar, and their plans for success outside of radio play or exposure. Blackberry Smoke is winning over crowds the old-fashioned way; one show at a time.
      John Mayall has always been linked to two things: the blues and great guitar players. Fifty years after he moved from Manchester to London and established his band the Bluesbreakers, Mayall is still going strong. He served as a mentor to Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Peter Green, and still has an eye for up-and-coming guitarists. Now eighty-years young, Mayall has the energy of a man half his age. He recently released A Special Life, and still keeps a full tour schedule. As Mayall told Leslie Michele Derrough, he has no intention of easing up anytime soon.
      moe. has been a fixture on the jamband scene for over twenty-five years now, and the quintet from New York remains at the top of its game. moe. recently put out No Guts, No Glory, their 24th release, and they still tour relentlessly, much to the delight of their legion of fans, who proudly refer to themselves as moe.rons. Bassist Rob Derhak and guitarist Al Schnier spoke with Frank Etheridge about the key to the group’s longevity, which is to keep things light by going heavy on the humor and enjoying the fact that they make a living playing the music they love.
      Benmont Tench has served as Tom Petty’s keyboard player for over forty years, and has become an integral part of the Heartbreakers’ sound. But now he has sailed into uncharted waters with the release of You Should Be So Lucky, the first solo album of his career. Leslie Michele Derrough caught up with Benmont before he hit the road with the Heartbreakers, and they talked about his long tenure with Petty, his songwriting style and why the time was finally right to record You Should Be So Lucky.
      #82 also contains our usual columns: Tom Clarke’s “Compact Dreams,” Jamie Lee’s “In Tune,” a dozen CD reviews for you perusal and the HTN “6-pack” section. In addition, our “Photo Session” takes a look at PeachFest 2014, as seen through the lens of the gifted Derek McCabe, and sadly we bid fare thee well to Brian Farmer, guitar tech extraordinaire and dear friend to us all. Looking ahead, our next issue will include a twenty-year retrospective on Gov’t Mule from founding members Warren Haynes and Matt Abts, interviews with guitarist Jack Pearson and Luther Dickinson, and much, much more. As the years continue to roll on, we appreciate the loyalty and support of our readers; Hittin’ the Note has always been about the community aspect of music, and it always will be. Enjoy the read.

                                                                                                     Until later,
                                                                                                     John Lynskey
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