Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Revelator

In April this year I was fortunate enough to see Derek Trucks and his wife Susan Tedeschi perform, they have recently joined their bands together and are working and recording as the Tedeschi Trucks band. Their first album together Revelator was released in June, one of the toughest challenges for a great live band is to reproduce that same energy in the studio. Revelator captures the emotional intensity and rawness of their live sound, Susan Tedeschi delivers with her trademark powerful bluesy vocal style. What is pleasing about the album is that Derek Trucks' playing is mellow and unobtrusive but still has that powerful slide sound that he has become so renowned for. Kofi Burbridge on the keyboard also stands out matching Trucks ability to not do too much but still have an impact.

There is nothing formulaic or bland about their approach to their music, even though the album is deeply rooted in soul and blues each song adds something unique, you never think that a song sounds the same as another. The band hark back somewhat to the rock and soul bands of the early 70's, think Bobbie and Delaney, Joe Cockers Mad Dog's and Englishman album, Derek and the Dominoes etc. The album kicks off on a funky note with Come See About Me with a typical punchy bassline from Oteil Burbridge. One of the most impressive tracks on the album is the gosepl styled Midnight in Harlem with a lilting keyboard melody that interacts with Truck's soulful slide playing. One of the songs that stood out at their live show was Until You Remember and it's a credit to Tedeschi's ability to deliver such a strong emotional vocal performance on disc as well as live. Her voice resonates with a raw intensity and an equal measure of laid back sultriness. A must by album. The gospel style feel continues with Bound for Glory, the band kicks up it a gear with the heavier funkier Learn How To Love. On the instrumental interlude Shrimp and Grits the band delve into a New Orleans style funk setting the scene for Derek to abandon the slide and play some straight down the line funky blues. This a must album period!

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