Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND

REVELATOR

2011-06-23

After numerous guest stints with each other’s bands and on each other’s discs, husband and wife team Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks have finally joined forces as the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Eleven members strong, the band features Tedeschi and Trucks on guitar, twin percussionists, a Wurlitzer and B3, as well as a large horn section and numerous harmony vocalists. With the abundance of talent sharing the sonic stage there was a danger of all the musical space being filled like one of the end of the evening jams at the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony where everyone is playing but the songs lose the punch that made them great in the first place. That isn’t the case here. Instead, Tedeschi and Trucks occupy the central role and the balance of the band uses its collective talents to add color and texture to the 12 original tunes found on this set. Tedeschi’s rich, soulful vocals are seldom short of sublime, alternately sensual and steel hard gritty. For his part, Trucks’ guitar work displays all the mastery that keeps him busy as a member of the Allman Brothers Band and as the first call guitarist for bands looking to add roots rock authenticity to their release. Like Clapton, with whom he’s shared the stage numerous times, Trucks can lay down a strong lead but his skill is revealed most when he circles around the groove, echoes the vocals or throws in a quick taste of an Indian Raga to add just the right color. His touch, tone and fiery fret work stands virtually unchallenged in the blues and roots rock world. While the disc is a treasure trove of hooks and musical magic, standout tracks include the simmering "Midnight in Harlem", the rocking "Learn How to Love" and "Bound for Glory" which starts with a funky B3 groove before giving way to Truck’s slicing guitar and a wailing horn section. Bluesy, soulful, funky and passionate, this is a compelling release that will get lots of spins. Make sure to check out the funky hidden track, Ghost Light. SMITTY

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