Blues Rock Review

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Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind Review

Pure gold.  If it is possible to describe Made Up Mind, the latest album from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, in two words, ‘pure gold’ is the only possibility.  Once again, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi have managed to captivate audiences with an album that is dense enough to quench the thirst of the most discriminating musician or critic and yet accessible to the humblest musical layman.  Once again, Trucks and Tedeschi have woven gorgeous melodies through intricately designed harmonic progressions, but talk of the technical aspects of their music only seems to defile the unadulterated beauty of this album.

Nobody in the world plays like Derek Trucks.  His tone is unique, and his sense of melody is as good or better than any other musician’s on the face of the earth.  To attempt to choose which of his solos are the most moving and most enjoyable is to make a somewhat arbitrary decision, considering that he has reached a level of musicianship where it probably requires a substantial amount of effort on his part to play something that is not moving and enjoyable, but, for this listener, “It’s So Heavy” and “The Storm” stood out as especially impressive.

While we’re singing praise for Derek Trucks, let’s not forget Susan Tedeschi’s powerful pipes.  She is simply a delightful vocalist.  She has some of the earthiness of Bonnie Raitt, but a sound that is altogether her own.  And let’s also not forget their songwriting.  Harmonically, they are light years ahead of most of the blues world, and yet their music is still accessible to the untrained ear.  Part of that is due to their instrumentation.  They aren’t afraid to strip things down to acoustic guitar (or dobro) and vocals, like they do on “Calling Out to You,” and they aren’t afraid to try tunes with flute, horns, and two different drummers, like they do on “Idle Wind.”

Because of who they are, they will always have some of the Allman Brothers sound in their music, but they are by no means restricted to one genre.  Elements of 1960s Stax Records, acoustic blues, jazz, soul, and funk all come together into a style that is completely unique and original.  Even though all of those influences can be heard in their music, they never sound as if they are copying; they always sound like the fantastic musicians that they are.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band might be the best blues band – if you can cram their collective musical genius into one genre – in the world right now.  They already posses a well-deserved Grammy for Revelator, and they may soon add to that collection.  The bottom line is that this band is simply amazing, and it would be a disservice to not enjoy the latest fruits of their labor.

The Review: 9.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Made Up Mind
– Idle Wind
– It’s So Heavy
– The Storm
– Calling Out To You

The Big Hit

– Made Up Mind

Review by Nik Rodewald

5 thoughts on “Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind Review

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