Let Me Get By is the fourth album from the Florida based Tedeschi Trucks band, the finest purveyors of southern rock n soul around. Led by the inimitable soul drenched vocals of Susan Tedeschi and the ferocious guitar playing of Derek Trucks. Let Me Get By is their most coherent and consistent studio set with a more organic approach, where their previous album Made Up Mind featured outside songwriters their new record is self written and self produced by the group at their Florida studio. Above anything else it sounds like the band are having fun again, embracing their own musical vision. Tedeschi Trucks are never a band that plays it safe, rather than sticking to the formula of southern rock they continue to refine it, flourishes of jazz and gospel adding to the depth of their sound.
Anyhow is a plaintive take on what it means to take stock and find a moment of clarity. It's a theme that connects the songs on this album, there is a reflective sense of resignation but also a feeling of strength and defiance.
Running from a bitter taste
Took a rest from all the chase
Feeling something anchored on my soul
Played the game by all the rules
Learning lessons no one gets to choose.
Laugh About It is a funky blast of raw blues, with Trucks giving a pulsing solo. His guitar work on this album is more pensive but there are moment when those notes just wail into the ether. There is more space for the horns on this album which give it a more New Orleans style feel on many of the songs. Don't Know What It Means also pushes for a sense of clarity, the world moves too fast and it's often difficult to stop and take a breath.
When the sun comes shining through
Lighting up what's left of you
And you put it all aside for another day
Pick it up and rearrange it
Though you know you won't change it.
Cuz you've always been a stranger anyway.
Right On Time has Mike Mattison on vocals and it's a standout track, sounding like it was recorded at the tale end of a boozy jam session in some New Orleans speakeasy. Let Me Get By is classic southern rock with some pumping organ work from Burbridge. Just as Strange is stripped back with a deeper blues feel to it.
I Want More is a strident funky declaration to give and gain as much from this life as possible, the possibilities are endless with an open heart and mind. Trucks as always builds a slow build solo, but the guitar solo is very mellow and restrained. There is some masterly flute work from Kofi Burbridge that gently unwinds alongside Trucks' guitar.
The wistful In Every Heart has an optimism and sense of acceptance that permeates through the album,
In every heart there's a name
Under the perfume and all the blame
In every heart
In every story a heart
It won't ever leave you, so dream away
In every heart.
Let Me Get By is a work that shows a band maturing in their songwriting approach and avoiding the pitfalls of just being a southern rock staple. This album has great diversity and a very natural feel, their playing is always precise but this album feels like it opens up more space for the rest of the band.