16 Jahre auf Tour, zahlreiche erfolgreiche Alben, den Grammy für "Already Free" - die The Derek Trucks Band hat eine beeindruckende Karriere hinter sich und Derek Trucks zählt bereits jetzt zu den größten lebenden Gitarristen. Daher hielt Trucks den Zeitpunkt gekommen, neue Wege zu gehen. Zusammen mit seiner Frau, der Sängerin und Gitarristin Susan Tedeschi (die bereits mehrere Solo-Alben veröffentlicht hat und auch auf "Already Free" zu hören war) gründete Trucks 2010 die 11-köpfige Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Ihr Debut-Album "Revelator" besticht mit bluesigen Rocksongs und ergreifenden Balladen. Die Songs sind kompakter als die der Derek Trucks Band, lassen jedoch genügend Raum für Tedeschis großartige Stimme und Trucks' unverkennbaren Slide-Gitarrenspiel. Produziert wurde das Album von Derek Trucks zusammen mit dem mehrfachen Grammy-Gewinner Jim Scott (Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Im Sommer kommt die Tedeschi Trucks Band nach Europa auf Tour.
As husband-wife couples go in the world of music, it is a challenge to find a duo as well-fitted and naturally prolific as that of singer / guitarist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks. They are both heavily steeped in the blues tradition, yet open to far-ranging influences including rock, gospel, jazz and World music. Each has produced recordings that share a sensibility best described as a swampy mix of rootsy, rockin’ American music. The two have guested on each other’s albums, toured together intermittently, and last year they each received individual Grammy nominations in the category of “Best Contemporary Blues Album” for their 2009 albums, Tedeschi for Back To The River and Trucks for Already Free (which he won). As well, they often perform together with the Allman Brothers Band—with whom Trucks continues to play as co-lead guitarist.
In fact, it was during an Allman Brothers tour in 1999 that the two first met. They fell in love, married in 2001, and began a family in Trucks’s hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. By early 2010, with two children in grade school and both of their careers in full-swing, they made a vow to put their individual musical projects on hold and devote themselves to a new joint ensemble they would co-lead, what Trucks then described as a “collective that will allow everyone in the band a chance to shine. We’re not sure yet what it will sound like exactly – we’re just going to let it come together and not force a vision on it.”
A year-and-a-half process followed, during which Trucks and Tedeschi minimized their live commitments to such high profile events as Eric Clapton’s Crossroads, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Fuji Rock Festival, and a noteworthy collaboration with legendary jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock. The couple’s primary focus through most of 2010 held fast to the goals of assembling a new band, writing new material, and recording an album of performances true to their new musical approach.
Trucks recalls stepping into the process but with no set deadline in mind. “We spent a whole year putting a band together with different lineups, different approaches, different mindsets, and during the same time began songwriting. After about six months we had over 30 songs to choose from.”
On June 7, Tedeschi Trucks Band will release its debut recording Revelator, the result of eighteen months of dedicated musical focus. True to Trucks’s promise, the album is a confident yet unforced triumph offering a cohesive vision: an idyllic, musical world in which the echoes of so many great traditions— Delta blues and Memphis soul, Sixties rock and Seventies funk—flow together naturally, blending with an entirely original, modern sensibility.
And true to a title that suggests both the gospel-flavored intensity and stunning, soulful impact of its twelve original tracks, Revelator includes smoky, blues-dipped rockers and heart-stilling ballads that show off, respectively, the gutsier and softer side of Tedeschi’s vocal ability, plus a series of emotive, story-telling solos shaped by Trucks’s uncanny agility on slide-guitar. With its focus on tighter song structures and lyrics rather than extended improvisations, the album serves as dramatic leap forward for Tedeschi and Trucks—one which makes sense in looking back.
“This album is an evolution of what we’ve all been doing before,” says Trucks. “Before with what Susan and I were doing, those were live bands that charged down the road, playing constantly and occasionally finding time to record. Now with this album, everything’s been thought out a little deeper, figuring out the music and what the tunes mean—more time given to the whole process. I think my album Already Free in 2009 was the first step in the direction of working with professional songwriters who take their craft as seriously as instrumentalists do.
“Revelator is the first true realization of that process, in which the sum of the parts—the songs, the band, Susan and myself—were greater than just the parts themselves.”
More than any other recording project, Revelator found Trucks taking on the role of bandleader, lead guitarist, songwriter, and producer—spending equal time on either side of the glass in Swamp Raga, the recording studio he built behind their house in Jacksonville, Florida. “It’s relaxing being at home but it can’t just be sitting there. You have to live up to what the studio is, and with this level of musicianship, and with this gear, it forces you to be on your toes.”
Trucks also recruited Grammy-winning engineer Jim Scott, whose genre-bending credits include popular albums by the Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Trucks co-produced the album with Scott, about whom Trucks says: “It really mean a lot when Jim would listen to something and say ‘Now THAT sounds like a record to me.’ He has a great way of sensing and knowing when a song had arrived and that nothing else was needed.”
Most notably, Revelator features the newly formed Tedeschi Trucks Band, an eleven-member ensemble overflowing with talent and musical familiarity. Harmony singers Mike Mattison and Mark Rivers have joined forces with brothers Oteil Burbridge (noted for his years as bassist with the Allman Brothers Band) and Kofi Burbridge (longtime keyboardist / flutist with The Derek Trucks Band), a pair of drummers J. J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, plus trumpeter Maurice Brown, tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and trombonist Saunders Sermons. (Additionally, Ryan Shaw and David Ryan Harris supply harmony vocals to various tracks on the album, and Alam Khan adds his masterful sarod playing to ‘These Walls.’) The fact that this aggregation includes so many musicians related by experience—and blood—clearly adds to the notion of Revelator as a true group album, the product of a musical family.
The fact that the DNA of the Tedeschi Trucks Band includes so many musical couplings has a lot to do with it. “It has such strengths, everyone’s a great songwriter in this band and everyone’s so good at listening to each other,” Tedeschi says. “There are also lots of pairs in the band—like the drummers. They’re fabulous together, creating space for each other. Then you have Oteil and Kofi who have known each other since they were born—when those two brothers are locking in together, it’s amazing, like ESP taking over. And Derek and myself know each other so well and inspire each other.”
Trucks recalls that during the group’s tour in the fall of 2010, “It felt like everyone was trying to find their place. I found our New Years show in Jacksonville was the first time it all came together, it became very adventurous. We started playing with the realization that even with a big band, it can still turn on a dime.”
Tedeschi and Trucks plan to tour the U. S. and Europe on the heels of the release of Revelator, performing the music from the album as well as old favorites. Trucks echoes Tedeschi’s sense of anticipation and pride in their new collective. “I’m really looking forward to hitting the road and letting things grow until each show feels like an event. It’s nice having all these new songs but also having that looseness and spontaneity that comes with a great group of musicians. There are few bands that do that—hold on to that element of surprise. One moment could be a train wreck but the next, it’s church.” (derekandsusan. com)
,,Und das hat es in sich, denn neben den ganz in den Farben des Südens getauchten Bläsern verfügen der vielseitigste Slidegitarrist des Bluesrock und die weiße Soulröhre über gleich zwei Drummer, die dem erdigen Ton von Tedeschis Stimme richtig Druck verleihen und zum jubilierenden Bottleneck des Gatten groovende Akzente liefern." (Jazzthing, Juni-August 2011)
,,Feeling und Emotion sind die beiden Begriffe, die für diese Scheibe neben handwerklicher Qualität enorm wichtig sind – all dies haben Tedeschi & Trucks mit ihren superben Helfern im Studio richtig gut, homogen und organisch wie zugleich auch erdig eingefangen." (bluesnews, Juli - September 2011)
,,Diesem charmanten Album hört man an, dass die Beteiligten lässig und erfahren agieren und ihre Musik ihnen eine echte Herzensangelegenheit
ist. Auch springt das Debüt dieser fantastischen Truppe den Hörer nicht überfallartig an, sondern überzeugt vielmehr völlig unscheinbar durch hervorragendes Handwerk. Kurz: Tedeschi und Trucks erreichen das, worum es beim Musik machen eigentlich gehen sollte: um Leidenschaft." (Stereo, August 2011)
,,Das BIues-Paar setzt auf Understatement statt Jam-Gewitter." (Rolling Stone, Juli 2011)
,,Einerseits bleibt er seinem Laidback-Blues-Rock mit stark südlichem Einschlag treu, andererseits treibt die Rockröhre seiner Frau die Songs gnadenlos nach vorne. Was natürlich auch ein Verdienst der restlichen Band ist, die mit den Gebrüdern Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band / Derek Trucks Band), den beiden Schlagzeugern J. J. Johnson und Tyler Greenwell sowie der Bläserfraktion aus Maurice Brown, Kebbi Williams und Saunders Serrmons hochwertig besetzt ist." (Good Times, August / September 2011)
K. Reckert in gaesteliste. de: "Großartiges, sehr homogenes
Album - auch wenn "Already Free", "Songlines", "Roadsongs"
und vor allem "Live At Georgia Theatre 2003" in ihrer
Vielfalt unerreicht bleiben."