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Hittin’ The Note

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Have you ever had the experience where an album seeps into your bones?

Here’s how it usually works: You pick it up and right away you think, “this is good.” Then you listen to it some more and you think, “Hey, this is even better than I thought.” Then maybe you listen to it some more and you think, “Okay, yeah, it’s good, but I’m a little tired of it now.” You set it aside. But within a day or two, you want to hear something from it again. You put it back on, and you say, “Holy crap. This is even better still.”

If you don’t like blisteringly hot and complex percussion work, swirling keyboards, intricate guitar work that moves between carefully restrained and rivetingly intense, all punctuated with astonishingly soulful singing, this isn’t for you. Ditto if you aren’t interested in subtle, multilayered arrangements of top-notch songs. A rich, textured, steaming jazz/blues/folk/soul/jam gumbo isn’t for everybody I suppose. But let me tell ya: you don’t know what you’re missing.

If, on the other hand, that sounds even a little appealing to you, Hittin’ The Note is probably going to be your album of the year. It’s already mine. Such a rich, textured, multilayered blues-based, hard-rocking jazz album doesn’t come along every day. It really doesn’t.

Oh, and by the way: although some will be tempted to call this album “southern rock,” anyone who does so should be shot. This is a fabulous jazz and blues rock album. One of the best in years. Go buy it. It’s really good.

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About Dean Esmay

  • Eric Olsen

    Dean, I am astonished to hear this is so good, just proves you NEVER know. Thanks!

  • Eric, it’s easily the best thing the Allmans have recorded in 30 years. I’ve heard their entire catalog. Over the last decade or two they’ve come out with some good stuff, some clunkers, and all points in between.

    This is exceptional work. It really is.

  • Dean, I was already thinking of getting this, and I think you just sold me. There is a story in Guitar World Acoustic about the Allmans and their now Dickie-Betts-less guitar duo, but it sounds like the new combo of Haynes and the young Trucks is more than good enough.

  • Dickey Betts is a fantastic songwriter and a wonderful guitarist. But he was asked to leave for a reason, and in the meantime, young Derek Trucks is simply amazing. He provides a stylistic counterpoint to Haynes that’s sublime.

    Bottom line: you have excellent songwriting, probably the best rhythm section on the planet, stellar guitarists and great vocals, in a band that clicks as tight as any of the great Blue Note jazz combos of old. This is a winner, it really is.

    If you don’t like it the first time you hear it, you’ll be in love with it by the tenth time.