on 9 June 2011
After reading the other reviews I wasn't going to bother, but I've been playing it all day and this record is so good. There is no filler - just music that hits your soul from beginning to end. I don't do track run downs but a couple get special mention, at least for today. It will be others tomorrow. 'Midnight in Harlem' should become a classic. I could listen to it forever and will never tire of it. Susan's voice is sublime on this, and Derek's playing as good as everything he does. And the rest of the band are no slouches. A fantastic ensemble piece. Then there's Learn How To Love. Really dirty guitar that put me in mind of Hound Dog Taylor at the start, then riffs Jimmy Page would only aspire to. I say that because you could imagine (well, I could) Led Zep having a crack at this, but Robert Plant would never reach into the soul like Susan Tedeschi does. But this is no guitar rock album. It's blues and rhythm and soul. Wonderful stuff.
on 8 June 2011
This is the recording debut of the new, 11-piece band formed by slide guitarist Derek Trucks and blues singer Susan Tedeschi, who are also husband and wife. Both musicians have been fronting their own bands for over a decade and Trucks is also a member of The Allman Brothers Band, playing with his uncle, drummer Butch Trucks.
The band features a 3-piece horn section along with 3 backing vocalists and the photo of all 11 musicians lined up in the photo on the cover can seem a bit intimidating. So you may think of a new, big, soul-rock groups like Delaney & Bonnie and Friends and Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and expect "Revelator" to be a big, brassy, soul-shaking rave-up.
But that's not what we have here. The sound is much more restrained with the emphasis on songwriting and singer rather than jamming and shouting.
The album opens with "Come See About Me" (not The Supremes hit) and its mid-tempo funky, southern-fried groove sets the tone for what's to come.
Tedeschi's vocal style is similar to Bonnie Raitt's, but a touch grittier and Trucks' guitar-playing is straight out of the Duane Allman school of slide.
The horns section sounds a bit buried in the mix on the first two tracks but they get to shine later in the piece.
The album really kicks into gear with track three. "Midnight In Harlem" is a mellow, bluesy ballad, driven by Kofi Burbridge's beautiful Hammond B-3. Trucks' slide guitar joins in and Tedeschi lays down one of her finest vocal performances, restrained and emotive. This sounds like it could be the companion piece to Tony Joe White's "Rainy Night In Georgia".
"Bound For Glory" follows (again, not the Neil Young tune, they're all originals here), with a punchy horn chart, funky bass line and a great chorus.
It's followed by a number co-written with The Jayhawks' Gary Louris, a reflective country-soul number called "Simple Things".
Then comes "Until You Remember". Co-written with John Leventhal, it starts out with a New Orleans-style horn part before slipping in to a soulful ballad that recalls Otis Redding classics like "Try A Little Tenderness" and "These Arms Of Mine".
Trucks adds the icing to the cake with another stunning slide guitar solo.
Not all the tracks are successful. "Ball & Chain", with Oliver Wood, sounds a bit undercooked and there seems to be an over-abundance of mid-tempo tracks.
There are a few production flourishes that keep things interesting, particularly the use of table and sarode on "These Walls".
The band starts to pick up steam with the riff-heavy "Learn How To Love" and really gets cookin' on "Love Has Something To Say", which gives the horn section some room to show off.
Things wrap up with the much quieter "Shelter" where Derek Trucks gets the opportunity to let loose with one last slide solo. M. Duda
on 12 June 2011
Husband and wife combine forces and respective backing bands, creating a mammoth eleven piece musical conglomerate. It could have been a disaster. Happily, it's a triumph.
Susan Tedeschi's last solo album "Back To The River", with husband Derek Trucks guesting on a few tracks, provided some early clues as to how this collaboration might turn out, and it's safe to say that "Revelator" comfortably meets expectations.
What has characterised Trucks' career to date is his refusal to stand still or tread water, witness the remarkable journey he has made since his earliest instrumental world-music jam band outings. Far from the indolent family love-in that in other hands it could easily have turned into, this new album never seems anything other than a natural and logical progression.
The merger does wonders for Tedeschi too, a supremely expressive vocalist anyway, often referenced alongside the likes of Joplin, Raitt et al. Here she appears completely liberated, her voice at times soaring with raw power, at others with real tenderness. The synergy between the spouses is often breathtaking, never more so than on the album's standout track, the loping "Midnight In Harlem", a Mattison / Trucks collaboration that might just prove to be the loveliest new song you'll hear this year.
And spare a thought for Mike Mattison, relegated from lead vocalist in the DTB to backing singer in the expanded family firm having watched his boss promote the missus over him. Nepotism in the workplace; the bane of the working man's lot the whole world over. But, judged purely on results, there can be few objective complaints here.
Trucks plays with all of his trademark beauty and economy, Tedeschi sings better than ever and crucially the giant band never gets in the way; there in all its glory when needed, but pared down and kept on a leash whenever the demands of the music require.
Yes, a lot of it sounds as if it could have been recorded in the 1970s but there's no harm in that. This is rich, meaningful, intelligent music recalling at once the heyday of Memphis soul along with some of southern guitar rock's finest days.
Other highly notable tracks include "Come See About Me", boasting a guitar riff taken straight from the Lowell George manual, "Don't Let Me Slide" (a somewhat ironic title, wouldn't you say) and the sarod-driven "These Walls", recalling the eastern influences of the early DTB records.
They should make this compulsory listening for a generation force-fed on reality-TV music.
A healthy dose of the Blues with funk and jazz thrown in for good measure add in the talents of husband and Wife paring of Slide Guitarist Derek Trucks and the unique voice and guitar playing of Susan Tedeschi, backing vocals from the equally unique voice of Mike Mattison, and a band made of the best of Derek Tucks band and Susan's own solo band, Eleven members in total and you have a proper rock and roll stew.
There is a danger with a band so big of cluttering up the sound with too many people paying at once, This band however do believe that less is more and there is space aplenty for all and even when they all join in on songs such as `Love has something to say' it's to the benefit rather than detriment of the song.
Throughout the album there are nice acoustic touches, the closing song `Shelter' for instance.
Great blues and funk songs throughout, `Midnight in Harlem', `Ball and Chain', `Shelter', and even the Hidden Track `Ghost Light' all being particular standouts.
As I listen to the album I think this is very much a consolidation of what the Derek Trucks Band were doing before this family union, and that this is the starting point for something more. Fans of the Derek Trucks Band, The Allman Brother Band, Scrapomatic and Susan Tedeschi will love this album.
on 2 July 2011
Simply one of the best albums of any genre at any time. Quality songwriting, impeccable playing and lovely singing from Susan Tedeschi. The Derek Trucks Band are superb (check out their other albums - especially Songlines) but the inclusion of Susan Tedeschi really takes it to another level.
What really comes through is that this music is made out of the love for it and that makes it a pleasure to listen to and you actually feel good that they have taken the time and effort to make this amazing music.
Highly recommended whatever music you are normally into - this is from the heart and soul of those involved and it really shines through.
on 24 May 2015
I was stunned by this record. I'm a musician, and my four kids are too, three of them are producers, players, writers. I bought four more copies for them, and they all said they played it for a week and my grandchildren also love it! I had a 'moment' watching TT at the Royal Albert Hall. Jumped out of my seat in a guitar solo,.. I felt a message from God - You see what we can do when we work together? There is a unique ethos behind this music. Hard to define, but there is a patience to put together songs and arrangements that sound like they've always been in our heads, and to let things unfold in the performance as if we have all the time in the world. Glorious.
Oh, by the way,.. If you know anyone else playing with the style authenticity, diverse musicality and technical control of Derek Trucks - let me know please!
As a fan of both Derek and Susan I was a bit dubious about them combining their individual bands into this extended 11-piece band. However, from the first track "Come See About Me" they hit the ground running - starting out with an acoustic slide intro before settling down into a blues-funk groove featuring Susan's wonderful vocals, Derek's peerless slide guitar and Kofi Burbridge on clavinet. The rest of the CD is of a similar high standard, with great songs, marvelous playing that is full of emotion but is also very subtle. The large line up is used wisely, the album doesn't feature the full band on every track and there is lots of space but the different elements add variety when necessary.
Although there are obviously similarities with both Derek and Susan's previous work, they have collaborated with others such as Jeff Trott, John Leventhal, David Ryan Harris, Sonya Kitchell, Oliver Wood, the Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Soulive's Eric Krasno to bring in some outside influences to the songwriting. Nevertheless, Mike Mattison's "Midnight in Harlem" (as featured in Clapton's Crossroads DVD) is one of the best songs here. The record was recorded in Derek and Susan's home studio in Florida and sounds great, it's also possibly the reason that Susan sounds so relaxed. I think that up to now she has never made an album that has really shown her true potential but I think that this one definitely does - she goes from a whisper to a scream and really sells every song, an outstanding vocal performance.
The album is so consistently good that I find it hard to pick a favourite track, although "Midnight in Harlem" is right up there, as is the restrained "These Walls" where Derek's guitar counterpoints Alam Khan's sarod. I also really like "Learn How To Love" - one of the album's most bluesy tracks - and also the slow soul burner "Until You Remember", with beautiful restrained brass and Stax-style backing. There isn't as much of Derek's guitar on this album as on his own band records but his contributions are, as ever, absolutely superb- lyrical and sinuous but with real bite. My one regret about the album is that the wonderful singer Mike Mattison is relegated to a backing vocalist, surely they could have let him sing lead on one track? I'm really looking forward to seeing the band at the Shepherd's Bush Empire at the end of June!
on 18 July 2011
Just by chance I heard the track 'Shelter' on the radio. Looked up the playlist online. I had never heard of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Took a chance & bought the album. Its great when you find a band thats new to you. This Album is the best I have heard for years. I just can't stop playing it. Susan Tedeschi's vocals are outstanding, when shes belting them out or slowing it down, the guitars are second to none. I try & catagorise the music but its impossible. Rock, blues, touch of country, touch of some funky stuff. Stand out tracks I.M.O. are Shelter, Midnight in Harlem & Bound for Glory but thats doing a disservice to the rest. Check out Midnight in Harlem on youtube & buy the album. You will not be dissapointed.
on 9 August 2011
This album finds Derek Trucks, and his wife Susan Tedeschi finally coming together in what turns out to be a masterful collaboration. The band isn't small, as is borne out by the front cover artwork showing an 11 piece ensemble. The coming together of Tedeschi's voice, and Trucks' guitar playing on some fine compositions make for stellar results. Her voice has more than a passing resemblance to that of Bonnie Raitt, which in my book is no bad thing. There are shades of various well known bands in here, Little Feat being one significant one, and the Allman Brothers being a notable other, but it doesn't stop there. The opening song has a strong groove backed up by a very distinctive slide riff from Trucks, and powers along nicely. Don't Let Me Slide, the second track finds Tedeschi singing in a "testifyin'" style, over a gentle but muscular vibe from the band, the singing has a pleading quality to it, and is confidently delivered. For my money, the jewel in this particular crown is track 3, "Midnight In Harlem" which has a gentle yet sublime vibe, and crescendos beautifully with Trucks' slide solo at the end. Perfect for a long summer's day. "Bound For Glory", as the title suggests, has a gospel vibe, and manages to reach for, and get to euphoric heights. "Simple Things" finds the band hitting a confident stride, with an impeccable groove augmented by Oteil Burbridge's very tasty bass playing. "Until You Remember" finds the band backing up Tedeschi's voice to excellent effect, another song which builds in it's intensity in a very masterful way. I haven't mentioned every track, there is more to say, but it's all in the positive, and I suspect that you have already got the idea that I endorse this album...it's one you'll go back to again and again, and not grow quickly tired of, making it a hotly recommended record.
on 27 June 2011
If you like 'southern' blues you will LOVE this album - best I've heard in a very very long time