Tedeschi Trucks Band- Made Up Mind

[rating=9.00]

Made-Up-MindWhen Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010, it was cause for celebration. On a personal level, the married couple would no longer have to endure separation during long tours. Musically, the new band maximized the strengths of each while downplaying their weaknesses. Trucks, whether playing in his own band (The Derek Trucks Band) or with the Allman Brothers Band, had long been known as a slide guitar virtuoso. His albums, however, were always plagued by a lack of melody and structure.

Tedeschi established herself as one of the top singers in the blues scene with 1998’s hit Just Won’t Burn, but her albums always suffered from middling guitar work. Revelator, the 2011 debut by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, solved both problems and won a Grammy for Best Blues Album. Two years of nonstop touring later, the eleven-piece collective returns with their sophomore release, Made Up Mind.

There aren’t a lot of surprises in Made Up Mind. The album is basically everything that worked the first time around, but with more of an emphasis on the band as a whole than on showcasing individual talent. Scorching slide guitar solos? Check. Husky, soulful vocals? Check. Heavy doses of blues and funk rhythms? Check.

As with Revelator, the band plays loose yet structured throughout. Unlike its predecessor, here Trucks’ guitar often takes a step back so other elements — the horn section or dueling drums by Tyler Greenwell and J.J. Johnson — are emphasized. It can be easy for a band made up of eleven great musicians to devolve into extended jam sessions, with intertwining solos and a general loss of focus. That never happens here. The songs are loose enough to let the musicians breathe — a Trucks slide solo here, a Kofi Burbridge keyboard flourish there — but they never meander and always maintain forward momentum.

“Misunderstood,” with its wah-wah funk riffing and frenetic beat, gives listeners a hint that if the Tedeschi Trucks Band ever did decide to be a jam band, they would be the best in the genre. Conversely, the midtempo blues ballad “Do I Look Worried” works on a more subtle and visceral level. There are plenty of moments that show off either Trucks’ guitar chops (“Whiskey Legs”) or Tedeschi’s vocal prowess (“It’s So Heavy”), but Made Up Mind succeeds because it’s not about filling its running time with those moments. Trucks is no longer trying to prove that he’s a guitar hero and Tedeschi is no longer over-singing while trying to channel her inner-Janis Joplin. Both artists are now content to play to their strengths as they fit into the context of each song. The result is another triumphant album that deftly combines each of the influences of its band members, from Motown to Muscle Shoals and beyond, in a way that is fresh, interesting, and unique to the Tedeshi Trucks Band.

 

Related Content

2 Responses

  1. I LOVE THIS ALBUM , ALL THE TRACKS HAVE MERIT OF THERE OWN , LOVE TO GO SEE THEM OVER HERE IN LONDON ENGLAND , .. OR MAYBE EUROPE SOMEPLACE , OR THERES MY BACK YARD , PLENTY OF REFRESHMENTS GUYS …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide

Twitter