When Derek Trucks made the decision to put the popular Derek Trucks Band to rest a few years ago to form a new band with his wife Susan Tedeschi, many loyal fans were left pondering what the future would actually hold for this young virtuoso guitarist. After all, Trucks' status has been steadily climbing since he joined the Allman Brothers Band nearly a decade ago, and the Derek Trucks Band was becoming one of the most popular acts on the jam band scene, so why end things now? Well, because he and Susan had a vision, and the culmination of that vision is Revelator, a stunning album that will certainly appeal to DTB fans, but without a doubt open up another entirely new fanbase to the skills of Derek Trucks.
Along with Trucks' scorching slide guitar and Susan's lovely vocals & guitar, the duo is joined by Brothers Oteil Burbridge (also a bandmate in the Allman Brothers Band) and Kofi Burbridge (longtime keyboardist/flutist with The Derek Trucks Band), drummers J. J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, trumpeter Maurice Brown, tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams, trombonist Saunders Sermons, and harmony singers Mark Rivers and Mike Mattison. Call them a 'rock 'n' roll big band' if you will, but the formula works big time, as the Tedeschi Trucks Band delivers a stunning mix of rock, R&B, funk, jazz, pop, blues, jam, and psychedelia, all wrapped up into one addicting and thoroughly enjoyable package.
Just wait till you wrap your ears around the funky clavinet & slide guitar driven "Come See About Me", the emotional yet catchy "Don't Let Me Slide" (featuring some wicked slide guitar from Derek and Susan's poignant vocals), or the sultry organ and horn driven groover "Bound for Glory", a tune with some irresistable hooks and of course some nasty slide licks from Mr. Trucks. "Until You Remember" is like a throwback to the glory days of Bonnie & Delany, with Susan's vocals soaring to the heavens, while "These Walls" has some wonderful sarod passages from guest Alam Khan that complement Derek's slide quite nicely. The band approaches the heavy rock/blues/funk of Beck Bogert & Appice on the raucous "Learn to Love", and the wild but brief instrumental "Shrimp and Grits" sounds like Trucks jamming with Miles Davis' mid 70's Around the Corner band. This leads into the equally funky "Love Has Something Else To Say", a bubbling cauldron of wah-wah licks, stabbing horns, and fat grooves. Tedeschi's vocals are confident, bold and brassy, and when Mattison joins in on the fun the results are outstanding. The eight minute closer "Shelter" mixes Allman Brothers Band southern rock with gospel for a grand finale, as the husband & wife team let their vocals & slide guitar rise to the occasion, before the song drifts into a psychedelic jazz jam to close things out.
With enough instrumental virtuosity to please the jam crowd, sizzling grooves to catch the attention of the blues, jazz, and funk loyalist, and hooks aplenty for all pop lovers, Revelator will be a 'revalation' to a lot of people looking for some 'feel good' music this summer that they can really sink their teeth into and enjoy. I see huge things in store for the Tedeschi Trucks Band in the very near future.
1. Come See About Me 3:49
2. Don't Let Me Slide 5:03
3. Midnight In Harlem 5:52
4. Bound For Glory 5:28
5. Simple Things 4:46
6. Until You Remember 6:11
7. Ball And Chain 3:57
8. These Walls 5:58
9. Learn How To Love 4:23
10. Shrimp And Grits (Interlude) 1:45
11. Love Has Something Else To Say 5:54
12. Shelter 7:58