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If you have seen Gov't Mule recently, then you know new bassist Jorgen Carlsson has revitalized the band, invoking the thunderous bass style and aggressive playing of the late, great Allen Woody. 2009 has been an exciting year for the band, and now they are ready to move forward into a new era with By a Thread, the first studio effort with Carlsson, which comes out October 28th. You read about this exciting new chapter in the history of Gov't Mule in HTN Issue 61, and now it is almost here!

Recorded partly at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios, and featuring ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons on "Broke Down On The Brazos," this record has plenty of Texas flavor. Warren Haynes swears that Nelson's studio is haunted, and maybe the spirits added to the mystical flavor of songs like "Inside Outside Woman Blues" and "Monday Morning Meltdown."

The one spirit that comes through loud and clear on this record is Warren Haynes, singing and playing from his heart. Warren is one of the most versatile musicians around, and he gets to show every facet of his talent on By a Thread, which features some of his best songwriting, patented guitar licks, and most heart-rending vocals. With major help from his bandmates Carlsson, Matt Abts and Danny Louis, Haynes' soul is on full display here.

For a limited time, HTN customers who pre-order By a Thread will get a free copy of Hittin the Note Magazine issue # 61, signed by a member of the band. This special issue includes an in-depth cover story interview with Warren Haynes talking about the new CD in a track by track review along with comments about his 20 years with the Allman Brothers Band, playing with Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks and the Dead. Warren has also kindly offered to give away signed slides to three raffle winners drawn from the pre-sale purchasers at Hittin' the Note. So, get behind the Mule and click here to listen to song clips and to pre-order!

The temperatures have cooled off, summer is over, and Fall is officially here! That can only mean one thing - Magnoliafest is right around the corner! This annual ritual is one of the longest-running music festivals in the country, and this year will be the 13th gathering of the tribe, held from Oct. 22-25. To give you some perspective, when Randy and Beth Judy started putting on concerts at Spirit of Suwannee in 1996, Hittin' the Note was a modest black and white newsletter and didn't even exist!

Well, both HTN and Magfest have come a long way baby, and the 2009 festival promises to be one of the best ever! Among other special treats, this will be the first time since 2002 that Dickey Betts and Great Southern will appear at Magnoliafest. Their Friday night set will surely be one of the highlights of the festival, full of your favorite Dickey Betts classics. The New Riders of the Purple Sage, fresh off the release of their excellent album Where I Come From, are also appearing Friday, which should make for a great double bill!

Of course, the "Magfest family bands" will be there, including but not limited to Donna the Buffalo (playing all four days!), Peter Rowan, Jim Lauderdale, Blueground Undergrass, Col. Bruce Hampton and the Duhks. This festival always has such a wonderful vibe, it's no surprise that many of the greatest musicians around plan their Fall schedule around Magfest.

Other highlights include Moonalice, who plays both Friday AND Saturday, and you definitely don't want to miss the electric combination of the Lee Boys and the Travelin' McCourys! This meeting of the musical minds takes one of the best "sacred steel" ensembles in America, mixes it with the First Family of Bluegrass, and creates something entirely new and exciting. Those who were at Warren Haynes' Christmas Jam last year know what we mean!

Click here to buy tickets, and we will see you way down upon the Suwannee River!

We still haven't fully comprehended the incredible display of musical magic that the Allman Brothers Band and Widespread Panic created on their last tour, but we know one thing: We're ready for more! These road warriors and old friends will hit the South in October, with both bands playing full-blooded two-hour sets. If this tour is anything like the last one, expect lots of sit-ins, unique collaborations and musical cross-pollination. Since this tour takes place on home turf for both bands, it should be even hotter than the August/September run, if that is possible!

Of course, HTN will be running our front-row ticket giveaway for these shows, including the ones where Widespread Panic is closing. Those shows would be 10/3, 10/7 and 10/9, with the ABB batting cleanup the other nights. Be sure to stop by our booth early on those nights that the ABB is the first act and renew your subscription, or sign up a friend, and you will have a chance to move on up to the front row!

To the left you will also see the latest addition to the Jeff Wood 40th Anniversary series of ABB/WSP posters. There are a limited amount of these signed and numbered posters so be sure to order now before they are gone! Please click here or on the poster image to see a larger version and to order!

Speaking of the ABB/Panic tour, we have all the August shows available on CD, and we should have the September shows from Chicago and Colorado any day now. Smoking hot stuff! Lots of great guest appearances and sit-ins, and the ABB has never sounded better. Click here to get yours today.

Since we are in update mode, you will be happy to hear that our first shipment of Beacon Run CDs is at the manufacturer! This batch includes both nights with Eric Clapton (3/19 and 3/20), the 40th Anniversary show on 3/26, and the fantastic 3/14 set with jazz legends Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker and Lenny White. We will keep you posted as we get shows in stock, and we expect to have them all by the end of October.

However, since the Beacon Box Set will have some assembly required, we probably won't begin shipping those until mid to late November. Once we have them ready, we will contact those of you who placed a deposit on the Beacon Box about your remaining payment. We hope you understand, and thanks again for your patience!

Last but not least, we will have CDs of all the shows on the October tour within 4 weeks of the show date and we will be producing a 2009 Summer Set Box that will compliment the 2009 Beacon Box in both style and design. There are plenty of great live ABB concerts still to come in 2009, and we look forward to seeing you on the road!

For years the Sarasota Blues Festival has been one of the best local music festivals in the U.S., drawing world-class talent like Gregg Allman and Buddy Guy and creating a fun, laidback atmosphere. This year promises to be another great one, with the legendary Little Feat heading up the bill! These veteran jam-rockers bring the heat every time they play, and they will have plenty of support this year, with master blues stylist Duke Robillard and fiery guitarslinger Larry McCray also appearing.

Gregg Allman and Friends fans won't want to miss a rare chance to see Floyd Miles and Bruce Katz play a special set together. These very special Friends have been part of the backbone of Gregg's touring band for years, and G.A. fans know they are the real deal. It will be great to see them get the opportunity to shine in the spotlight in Sarasota.

Click here for tickets and details!

The first thing that hits you is the voice, worn around the edges and full of the heartbreak that comes with life and love. As Michael Allman wails through "If Dreams Were Money," his world-weary vocals bringing up inevitable comparisons to his famous father, and the sheer power of the music seeps into your soul. Soon it hits you, and you realize this is the real thing.

If Michael's evocative singing was the only attraction Michael Allman and Hard Labor Creek had to offer, it would still be worth hearing, but there is a lot more going on than that. Some of the most gifted musicians in Georgia, from young slide guitar phenom Tony Tyler to Motown alumnus and keyboard legend Ike Stubblefield, contribute to the overall sound of this remarkable record. Tyler and Stubblefield are essential parts of the sound of Hard Labor Creek, adding just the right touch without overpowering the song. Stubblefield really kicks serious butt here, showing why he is a first-call session player, and his production is one reason this CD sounds so darn good. Soulful backing vocals by Atlanta local favorite Diane Durrett flesh out the songs, and the one and only Col. Bruce Hampton makes a memorable cameo appearance.

Still, the spotlight is firmly on Michael, who wrote four of the songs on the CD, and delivers each tune with the kind of thoughtful approach that squeezes the inner meaning out of every word. His playing on "It Ain't Me" reveals him to be a solid keyboardist, and the lyrics in songs like "Runnin'Alone Again" and "Circus Full of Clowns" address universal topics like love and loss in a way that any listener can relate to.

While Michael Allman and Hard Labor Creek stand on their own merits, he isn't ashamed of his heritage, and there are several references to his famous father. "Laid Back" was inspired by Gregg's landmark album of the same name, while "If Dreams Were Money" was actually written for Gregg years ago.

Click here to order this instant classic!

Join us at as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band all year long!

The Staff at Hittin' the Note magazine and merchandise!
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