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Tedeschi Trucks Band – Signs

April 29, 2019

I am a long time fan of Derek Trucks – since his days as a young buck when he and Warren Haynes revitalized the Allman Brothers. Trucks’ several solo albums are great, but his work in the Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB) is even better. Susan Tedeschi was an established solo artist when she and Trucks (a married couple) decided to also merge their musical talents in 2011 and form the TTB. Their debut album is one of my all time favorites.

This is their fourth studio album. They are a big band (12 piece) that plays blues rock in the tradition of the Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt and Delaney & Bonnie.

For fans of analog music, this an outstanding sounding LP. Per their web site:

The album was recorded at Derek and Susan’s home studio, Swamp Raga, on two-inch analog tape giving it a warmth and richness that recalls the ambience of the best vintage recordings. Vinyl mastering and lacquers were cut from the analog master tape and pressed on 180 gram black vinyl for highest sound quality. Vinyl mastering and lacquers cut from the analog master tapes by KEVIN GRAY at COHEARENT.

The band is not mining new ground here, just continuing to craft high quality and perfectly executed blues rock as they have on their previous live and studio albums. If you miss the Allman Brothers, this album will fill that hole.

The main features of the TTB are Trucks channeling his inner Duane Allman, Tedeschi channeling her inner Bonnie Raitt (including slide guitar) and a jamming big band with double drummers, horns, vocalists, etc. It is a well oiled machine that effortlessly pumps out the jams.

Derek Trucks is a special kind of guitar-god: his solos are always in service to the songs. Signs is classic Trucks supporting songs with his gorgeous slide guitar. Like Raitt, Susan is standing on the shoulders of previous generations not as an imitator, but as an innovator.

TTB is a slick and tight outfit – imagine if Steeley Dan was a blues band. The recording is pristine and the arrangements are sublime.

TTB is not just a guitar god and great rock vocalist, this is a band. TTB is a fresh dose of classic rock. If you like classic rock, but are tired of the same old war horses, this is the album for you.

P.S. the vinyl edition comes with a nice little bonus: the final song, “The Ending,” is issued as a seven inch single. The song is dedicated to the great ones who recently passed that inspired the TTB. The album morns, in a joyful way, the passing of Allman Brothers Gregg and Butch (Derek’s uncle), BB King, Colonel Bruce Hampton and Leon Russell. The day the album was released (2/15/19) TTB longtime keyboardist and flautist Kofi Burbridge passed away after a battle with heart issues.

The B-side has a cool image of those fallen heroes etched into the wax:

A coda to Signs is the TTB’s 2019 Record Store Day Release: High & Mighty a 12-inch special edition vinyl release with three unreleased tracks culled from the Signs sessions along with a live version of “Shame.”

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From → Music Reviews

One Comment
  1. Good piece Axl. If I wasn’t already a fan you would have sold me. They just keep pumping out good quality music. They must be doing ok if they can sustain a big band like that.

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