Thursday, June 16, 2011


Huge favourites in my hometown of Fredericton, with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival crowd. Having seen this couple perform, it's a joy to finally have them on disc. Wives and husbands aren't supposed to work together, according to conventional wisdom, but it's just too perfect. They compliment each other on stage, with Tedeschi happy to handle the lead vocals as well as the odd solo, while Trucks seems better off slightly out of the spotlight, better to blow us away with a lead break when he does stop into the centre spot.

It's a massive, 11-piece organization they've put together for this album, which I imagine will sound awesome on tour. On disc, it's not a free-for-all, and the parts are doled out carefully for this very soulful disc. First came a bunch of well-crafted tunes written by Tedeschi and Trucks in various combinations, with pros such as Jayhawk Gary Louris and John Leventhal and bandmates including Mike Mattison. Then the silky-smooth tracks are built, with the rich grooves, the keyboard fills, horns when needed, and ever-so-tasteful Trucks and Tedeschi leads. On top comes Tedeschi's ultra-cool vocals. She doesn't have as strong a voice as the great 60's soul singers, but they couldn't play like her, and Tedeschi's pretty darn close in vocals department. She's certainly hitting all those great mellow notes.

If anything, she's hurt like so many others by following in Bonnie Raitt's very long shadow. Such is Raitt's complete ownership of this style, a woman can't pick up a guitar near soul-fired blues without another unnecessary comparison (like this one). But, Tedeschi deserves every accolade, and if anything, this is her album far more than Trucks. The huge ballad Until You Remember is a triumph, updated Stax and Otis Redding, and already one that's giving me goosebumps on second and third listening. But while we forget about Trucks for awhile, in he pops with a smart and scintillating solo. Plus, he's the co-producer along with Jim Scott, so it's not like he isn't pulling his weight. It's just that in this perfect band setting, Tedeschi blows me away.

No comments:

Post a Comment