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Tedeschi Trucks Band – I Am The Moon

September 26, 2022
I Am The Moon box set

My favorite album of 2021 was the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s (TTB) take on Layla. TTB has now doubled down by creating over two hours of original songs inspired by the Layla’s source material: the “eastern Romeo and Juliet” Layla and Majnun by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjav. For more details on the album background see David Fricke’s essay on the TTB website.

If you are not a fan of TTB, think of them as the successor to the sophisticated blues rock of the classic rock era: Clapton, Allman Brothers (where TTB guitarist Derek Trucks served for many years), Bonnie Raitt, etc. They are a “big band” – 12 pieces including two drummers and a horn section. The main features are Derek Trucks’ tasty slide guitar and Susan Tedeschi’s vocals (and she is no slouch on slide either). There are multiple songwriters, vocalist and soloists. Although, songs get stretched, TTB doesn’t sound like a jam band – the sound of this band is more deliberate.

I Am The Moon is a 4 LP set (24 songs). It was released digitally in four chapters over the summer and is now available in physical formats (CD, vinyl and a sold out vinyl deluxe box set). Each chapter has an accompanying film/video. The videos did nothing for me and I feel bad for the band wasting the money on them.

The music is great. No significant departure from their other material, but a more ambitious and cohesive work. It highlights everything that I love about the band:

  • Multiple songwriters and vocalists
  • Great vocal harmonies
  • Elaborate horn arrangements
  • Complex rhythms
  • An ambitious narrative
  • Jammy toe tapping blues rock
  • A unique vocal stylist in Susan Tedeschi
  • A once in a generation slide guitarist in Derek Trucks

At first I was annoyed the band trickled out the album in four installments. I have come to appreciate it as I was forced to fully chew and digest each bite vs rushing through such a large and rich meal. Now that I have digested the whole thing, I am in shape for the marathon. I suggest you approach the album in the four courses and don’t rush through it. Savor!


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