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Hittin' the Note #83 - 2015

Greetings everyone,

      Seasons come and go, even as they grow more unpredictable, and the years pass us by in the blink of an eye. But there is one constant you can count on Hittin' the Note will always be there, providing coverage of the music that truly matters. Issue #83 kicks off with HTN's commemoration of Gov't Mule's 20th anniversary. Founding members Warren Haynes and Matt Abts spoke at great length about the formation of the power trio and the early years of struggle, perseverance, initial success and then the devastating loss of bassist Allen Woody. Matt and Warren had so much to say that we're running this feature over two issues there is insight aplenty about Gov't Mule, and it is knowledge fer yer ass, no doubt.
      Jack Pearson plays guitar so beautifully yet so effortlessly it appears that he's not even trying. One listen to his fluid runs down the fretboard, however, and you'll know the man has spent years honing his craft. The former Allman Brother sat down for a conversation with HTN's Brian Robbins, and it was a chat that mirrored Jack's playing: simple and understated, but just like the notes from his guitar, not one word was wasted.
      Devon Allman has spent his career making his music his way. Being the son of Gregg Allman is something that Devon is proud of, but he clearly is his own man. After stints with Honeytribe and Royal Southern Brotherhood, Devon recently released an outstanding solo album, Ragged & Dirty, which he recorded in Chicago in order to capture the essence of the blues. As he noted to Frank Etheridge, Devon Allman is at good place in his life and his career, and he couldn't be happier.
      Buddy Thornton has lived an interesting life, to say the least. After working at NASA in the late-60s, Buddy took a job at Capricorn Studios in Macon, GA in 1971. Buddy eventually was hired by the Allman Brothers Band to mix their front-of-house sound, and he became a member of the group's legendary road crew. The ABB's reluctance to perform sound checks led to the formation of the Almost Brothers, a band made up of roadies, who took it upon themselves to handle sound check. Buddy played bass in the Almost Brothers, and in this exclusive HTN interview, he recalls how some tracks the Almost Brothers laid down forty years ago came to light in 2013, and those songs recently were released on a CD entitled A Band of Roadies. You'll surely enjoy Buddy's fascinating tale about the Almost Brothers and the halcyon days of the Macon music scene in the mid-'70s.
      Tommy Talton made his mark as a singer/songwriter/guitarist in the band Cowboy during the heyday of Capricorn Records, and four decades later, he hasn't lost his touch. Until After Then, his latest album, proves that Tommy has actually upped his game as a songwriter and instrumentalist. Joe Bell sat down with Tommy to discuss Until After Then, and it was an insightful exchange about the craft that Tommy has spent his entire life trying to perfect - just one listen to Until After Then will tell you that he is closing in on his goal.
      Umphrey's McGee has been a fan favorite on the festival scene for years, and they just released their eighth studio album, Similar Skin, on MRI, their own record label. The Chicago-based jamband is proud of the back-to-basics sound found on Similar Skin, and as Umphrey's keyboardist Joel Cummins shared with Tony Sclafani, the group is looking forward to finding out where the natural, organic evolution of their music will lead Umphrey's McGee.
      #83 also includes familiar favorites: Tom Clarke's "Compact Dreams," "In Tune" from Jamie Lee, the HTN "6-Pack" section and reviews of a dozen outstandingly eclectic CDs. Our "Photo Session" is dedicated to the night of October 28, 2014, when the Allman Brothers Band took their final bow at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. After forty-five years, the group went out with a show for the ages, and thanks to Dino Perrucci and Derek McCabe, we have amazing photographs that capture the spirit and passion of that epic last performance.
      That'll do it for this one. Looking ahead to 2015, Hittin' the Note will have Part Two of the Gov't Mule 20th anniversary feature, plus interviews with Jorma Kaukonen, Luther Dickinson, and much, much more. As for the Allman Brothers Band, in every end there is a beginning let's see what lies ahead. Rest assured, though wherever that musical road may lead the members of the ABB, Hittin' the Note will be along for the ride. Happy holidays to you and yours; as always, we thank you for your support.

                                                                                                     Until later,
                                                                                                     John Lynskey
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