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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 August 2013
As much as I love Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi and have listened to both for years, I find this album a bit of a let-down. This is a Susan Tedeschi Album with Derek Trucks playing on it. They are really just re-working the same formulas that they used before and IMHO it could have been a lot more. Would have been great to have some vocals other than Susan's. What about the amazing Mike Mattinson? His name is on the album but you can't hear him.

And I have to say the flute in Idle Wind is not good, the song sounds like 'TTB plays the Carpenters' or something.

There are however lots of good bits on the album and the band is as talented as ever, I just find myself fast-forwarding through several songs. Hence only 3 stars.

Perhaps getting in bed with Sony wasn't a good idea...
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on 21 August 2013
Solid and exuberant follow-up to the Grammy-winning "Revelator" finds the TTB in fine form. It's the usual winning blend of soul, blues, gospel, Stax and southern rock all immaculately performed and produced, but at the same time perhaps an opportunity or two has been missed along the way.

With a number of highly talented vocalists on board, once again it's a shame that the likes of Saunders Sermons and Mike Mattison haven't been allowed more of a front-line role. Sermons has a brief cameo vocal on "Part Of Me" but, frustratingly, Mattison's most noticeable contribution seems to have been writing the sleevenotes for the CD booklet. Splendid though Susan Tedeschi's vocals are (yet again), one can't help but feel that the album would have benefited from having a track or two led by a male vocalist (viz. the stunning contrast of "Wade In The Water" on last year's live release). It seems such an obvious waste of talent.

On the plus side, it's a strong and exciting set although at times one still longs for a bit of the avant garde touch-of-the-unexpected that made The Derek Trucks band such an exciting listen. Still, "Part Of Me" sounds worthy of being an old classic from the motor city and may well be destined to become one. The title track is one of those infectious songs that you find yourself humming at odd times of the day and can't get out of your head, while "It's So Heavy" is Tedeschi's real power ballad on this album, a vocal tour de force.

At certain times there's a nagging feeling that Derek Trucks' playing might just be a little too carefully practised and restrained but all such thoughts are firmly blown away by a rip-roaring and incendiary performance on "The Storm" in which he pulls out all the stops. It's without question his personal highlight on this particular record.

Elsewhere, only "Sweet And Low" misses the mark for me and is likely to tempt the skip button in future. But there won't be many better albums than this in 2013, and I can't wait to see them at the Royal Albert Hall in October.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 August 2013
Derek Trucks is almost certainly the greatest living slide guitarist, after producing some amazingly good albums with his own band he two years ago brought his wife Susan Tedeschi in and oh boy this is by far the best soul blues band there is. The first album Revelator won several awards and rave reviews. Following this with 2012's live double, again an incredible set with the band delivering an albuim that was diverse, some awesome playing and ST's superb soul based voice. Come 2013 and this new one and what a release it is. The quality of the songs is superb, the band hitting great grooves throughout, Derek Trucks just continues to up the anti as a player, just listen to the opening track the guitar cuts the rhythm gets into the groove before the vocals come in. Whether rockin' or pure soul songs, this album has it all. The band of eleven,yes eleven great musicians not only guitar and keys but a horn section as well. This is a band of real class, but one that's exiting and equally progressive at the same time. Tracks like 'Make Up Mind' and 'whiskey Legs' are rock blues and reaaly lift the rafters (get the next door neighbours to go out and turn it up )' 'Part Of Me' will be in the songs of the year come the fall. The closing 'Calling Out To You' is just Derek and Susan together with another cracker of a ballad song his guitar is so tasty here and her voice which I feel gets better with every release, is now one of the best around. All I will say is just don't miss tyhis wonderfully enjoyable set by a band that deserves success because they have vastly more true talent than many filling the airwaves these days, and this truly is an outstanding release.
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on 28 September 2013
It might seem a bit strange for me to say that this album contains some of the best guitar playing I have EVER heard, yet I have only given it 3 stars.

Having grown up listening to Duane, Dickey, Lowell George, Bonnie Raitt and persons of that ilk I am ready to concede that Derek Trucks is among the all-time greats. He "carries the torch" so to speak and it's probable that the best of his career is still in front of him. Some of the guitar breaks on this album are astonishing.

But then this isn't a Derek trucks album, it's a Tedeschi/Trucks album and here the difficulty lies. I respect Trucks too much to say anything negative at this point but what I WILL say, is that these are HUGE songs, and really need a singer with the projection and soul of an Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, or Joe Cocker. It would take a really great singer to "put these songs across".

Unfortunately what we have here is a very "straight" "middle of the road" type of Americana album. Hardly surprising, I suppose. But I guarantee that you will tire of this album very quickly.
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The track "Made up mind" carries on from where their last studio CD 'Revelator' left off - a swinging funky song with Susan belting out the vocals, Derek's wonderful slide guitar and the full band piling in behind them. "Do I look worried" is a more restrained song that slowly builds, with a great hook and some lovely guitar, were as "Idle wind" sounds like early Jethro Tull with its acoustic guitar and flute intro but that too builds with the brass joining the flute for some really nice lyrical ensemble playing. "Misunderstood" and "Part of me" are more mid-tempo funk tracks with riffing brass and wah-wah guitar, while "It's so heavy" and "Sweet and low" are slow-burning soul ballads and "All that I need" is a melodic song that is half way between a ballad and one of the mid-tempo funk work outs. "The storm" begins with powerful guitar from Derek and the track finishes with an extended solo where he mixes blues slide with Indian raga. The album finishes with the beautiful "Calling out to you" a duet with Derek's fabulous acoustic slide guitar and Susan delivering bucolic hippy lyrics.

There is some wonderful playing on this record and once again Susan's voice is absolutely sublime throughout but for me the record doesn't completely deliver on the promise of their debut CD. It must be really hard to come up with material that combines all 11 members of the band and even though they write songs with outside help from Doyle Bramhall, Sonja Kitchell, Oliver Wood and John Leventhal amongst others I did feel that some of the songs were a bit average and stuck in a 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen tribute band' mode. Despite Susan's wonderful vocals throughout I did really enjoy trombonist Saunders Sermons sharing the vocals on "Part Of Me" and I still feel that Mike Mattinson is wasted just as a backing singer and could be given at least one song to sing.
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on 10 September 2013
I came to this album after seeing the largely excellent reviews - and came without the baggage or much knowledge of what these artists have done before.
I had worried that it would that it would be too samey (As some blues/country albums tend to be for casual listeners) but this album has enough variety and sheer quality to overcome narrow genre definitions of blues & americana - throwing in handfuls of funk and groove to keep things interesting.

Tedeschi's voice is captivating and she manages to alter her tone very well to fit the mood of the different songs. Truck's guitars are simply sublime and, again going against type, he playing serves the song rather than the song acting as a platform to show off his chops. The rest of the band are rock solid, playing with subtlety and vigour with equal panache.

Without picking through the song list too much I'd highlight "Made Up Mind", "Do I Look Worried", "All That I Need" and "The Storm" as the albums highlights.
Only one, the somewhat repetitive Sweet and Low has waned in interest after a few listenings.

All in all, this is real music played by musicians that care about their art and it's such a joy to discover them that I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 6 September 2014
The Tedeschi Trucks band was merely a name to me, often cited favourable in reviews, prior to hearing them preform live this summer. I'd have to say that even before they had completed their first number I was instantly converted and irrespective of whatever oeuvre you want to place their music in whether it is blues, jazz, rock, soul or even C&W, the results are extremely impressive.

I've now snapped up all three of their albums. The live double-CD may be a bit flabby in parts yet it is the album which truly captures the full potential on this band as well as given the musicians more room to stretch out and solo. In the studio the results are more concise and this second studio offering doesn't quite have the immediate impact of the original "Revelator" disc which was choc-a-block with great tunes. The opening title track was initially demonstrative of the rest of the album in that it was good but didn't quite back the punch of the other two albums. Ploughing my way through the CD for the first time nothing really stuck out until the penultimate "The Storm" which is a punchy blues with Truck letting rip on his guitar to that his allegiance to the music of the great John Coltrane is immediately apparent.
That said, this album is a real grower. It does get better with repeated listening and ultimately you realise that it isn't too far from hitting the highs of the previous recordings. The second track "Do I look worried" is terrific and I love the funkiness of "misunderstood." "Part of me" is a very good pop song which could have easily have strayed from some 1960's Soul review. Tedeschi's vocal's are a bit draw in the work of these recordings, but on this track she shares the duties with another singer who sounds a bit like Curtis Mayfield.

This disc probably sides more towards the soul and rock fields with the solos largely taken by Trucks amazing guitar. I suppose fans will have their particular favourites amongst the three records that have been released to date. However, there isn't really a great deal between them all and I am just pleased that there is a band as tight as this which can cover so many basses in a highly effective manner without compromising their own identity. All three discs are recommended.
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on 19 January 2014
All very well played. but where is Mike Mattison? I know it's the Tedeschi Trucks Band but please Derek and Susan- wise up. Does he only get on the tour bus because he wrote some of your most loved show stoppers? And we'll never know why Tod Smallie (and Yonrico in particular) gave up on such a successful venture to explore their own visions in music...
Don't get me wrong- live (Shepherds Bush Empire and more recently The Royal Albert Hall) TTB are absolutely stunning, that's no understatement, but come home from the gig in euphoria and which albums belly flop onto the old turn table? That's right- "Already Free" or "Song lines" etc. I've tried forcing "Revellator" and "Made Up Mind" down my throat in the car, but I can't get away from it. It's great music, bloody well played, but I miss MM big time. Back to wearing out "Already Free" then.
Despite what I've written, I know I'll be back for more with the next album and that sums it all up really, don't you think?
Three stars because you just can't get away from the sheer wealth of talent and material, but only 3 also because I miss the old outfit.
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on 28 December 2013
Susan Tedeschi has a beautiful & strong blues voice - sometimes compared to Bonnie Raitt, but sorry Bonnie, I think Susan has the better voice ! The band, lead by her husband, are excellent - but the only criticism of the CD is that it travels too wide a boundary of music. Covering the blues / rock / funk - and then some jazzy overtones. All in all a great CD - and a definite recommend.
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on 11 September 2013
Very speedy delivery....
Brilliant Album....
I wasn't sure at first, takes a few listens to get into, but now I love it....
Am hoping the perform some of the songs at RAH in October :o)
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