Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Signs (2019)


Released February 2019

I am familiar with several of Susan Tedeschi's albums, but this is the first I have heard of the four she has done with her hubby, the aptly-named (for such truckstop blues fare) Derek Trucks, who has played guitar for a later incarnation of The Allman Brothers Band. There will be other reviewers who are familiar with their earlier albums and are able to compare this one with those. I am, at present, only able to comment on this one, so my comments are from a slightly uninformed viewpoint. To me, it is an impressive, invigorating mix of blues, soul, rock with a few funky bits thrown in.


1. Signs, High Times
2. I'm Gonna Be There
3. When Will I Begin
4. Walk Through This Life
5. Strengthen What Remains
6. Still Your Mind
7. Hard Case
8. Shame
9. All The World
10. They Don't Shine
11. The Ending                                

"Signs, High Times" is a horn-driven punchy blues rocker with Susan taking vocals in typical gritty style and three other singers taking vocal parts. Susan's voice is by far the best. "I'm Gonna Be There" is a country-ish slow burner with a soulful, gospelly vocal from Susan and some killer guitar at the end. "When Will I Begin" continues in the same soulful mode, while "Walk Though This Life" has an absolutely sumptuous, irresistible bass line underpinning it. The horns are once more upbeat and muscular, as, of course is Susan's voice. There is a superb bass/drum/guitar funky-ish break on this track.

"Strengthen What Remains" is a fetching, quiet, non-blues rock number - a nice piece of country rock balladry. "Still Your Mind" has, for me, some hints of sixties baroque psychedelic rock beneath the surface. There is an intoxicating feel to its staccato rhythm. "Hard Case" has a funky undertone to it and also features some enticing wah-wah guitar parts. "Shame" finds Susan delivering a solid soul vocal, sounding almost like Stax legend Mavis Staples at times. It is a perfect mix of powerful rock and gospelly soul, something this band appear to do quite well.

"All The World" sounds like an Otis Redding ballad. The vocal is again delivered perfectly. "They Don't Shine" comes blasting out of your speakers with a real Stax punch. Great stuff. You can't go far wrong with this. It kicks your rear end. "The Ending" is a sparse, acoustic number with Susan on top vocal form in a tribute to the band's mentor, Bruce Hampton, who passed away in 2018. I didn't know this initially. It makes it sound all the more poignant. Good album.


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