Revelator Tedeschi Trucks Band
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- 1Come See About Me03:48
- 2Don't Let Me Slide05:04
- 3Midnight in Harlem05:52
- 4Bound for Glory05:28
- 5Simple Things04:43
- 6Until You Remember06:11
- 7Ball and Chain03:58
- 8These Walls06:01
- 9Learn How to Love04:23
- 10Shrimp and Grits (Interlude)01:45
- 11Love Has Something Else to Say05:54
Info for Revelator
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)
Derek Trucks, lead guitar Susan Tedeschi, lead vocals, rhythm guitar Oteil Burbridge, bass Kofi Burbridge, keyboards, flute Tyler Greenwell, drums, percussion J. J. Johnson, drums, percussion Mike Mattison, harmony vocals Mark Rivers, harmony vocals Kebbi Williams, saxophone Maurice 'Mobetta' Brown, trumpet Saunders Sermons, trombone Additional musicians:Oliver Wood, guitar and vocals David Ryan Harris, guitar and vocals Ryan Shaw, harmony vocals Eric Krasno, acoustic guitar Alam Khan, sarod Salar Nader, tabla
Recorded at Plyrz Studios, Rong-Tai Studio, Studio P, Sausalito, CA; Swamp Raga Studios, Jacksonville, FL
Engineered by Jim Scott, Bobby Tis
Mixed by Jim Scott
Mastering by Bob Ludwig
Produced by Jim Scott, Derek Trucks
The Tedeschi Trucks Band
led by the husband-and-wife duo of guitarist and vocalist Susan Tedeschi and slide guitarist Derek Trucks — began as a summer touring unit known as the Soul Stew Revival. It was both a practical consideration for the pair to spend time together with their young family and a musical endeavor. Soul Stew Revival featured members of their own bands and numerous guest musicians, and the loose-knit cooperative band performed roof-raising shows full of soul, blues, funk, and gospel standards, as well as original material. After one of these tours, the pair decided to create a home studio to be better able to finance their own recordings. Tedeschi and Trucks performed a cover of 'Space Captain' on Herbie Hancock's Imagine Project, and solidified an 11-piece band from their own units, as well as horn players and percussionists. Renamed the Tedeschi Trucks Band, they signed to Sony's Masterworks imprint, recorded over 30 songs, and eventually pared the selection down to 11 tracks for their debut album, Revelator, which was released in June 2011 and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album. It was followed in the spring of 2012 by Live: Everybody's Talkin', a sprawling double-disc set which featured material from Revelator, alongside some carefully-chosen cover versions. August 2013 brought a second studio album, Made Up Mind, which featured co-writing credits from the Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Soulive's Eric Krasno.