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Keep On Trucking,
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This review is from: Already Free (Audio CD)
The most exciting electric slide player since Ry Cooder returns with another strong set, and given his tender age it won't be a surprise if he eventually surpasses the master. But, disappointingly, Trucks' trademark amalgam of blues, rock, jazz, eastern and world music and fusion has this time been distilled into a far narrower and much more conventional blues/r&b workout which, whilst delivered as competently as usual, consequently lacks the sheer exhilaration and panoramic outlook of its predecessor, Songlines.
The democratic decision to showcase the band ahead of its leader results in Trucks sometimes sounding like a guest on his own album, so laid back and restrained is his performance on some of the tunes. And, for this reviewer, there are far too few of those 'makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck' moments that characterised his previous albums. Best tracks are "Down Don't Bother Me", a tasty and highly soulful slow burner, and a gutsy reinterpretation of Dylan's "Down In The Flood".
Following 'Songlines' was always going to be difficult. A couple of extended instrumental workouts and some of Kofi Burbridge's sadly-absent flute would have earned the album at least one extra star.