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Issue 1088

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Review

TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND : LIVE FROM THE FOX OAKLAND

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9

5.9

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UK release date 17.03.2017

Described as the best Rock n Soul band in the world by Robert Elms I for one, tend to agree with him having witnessed their raw visceral power last year live.They really are a monster ripe for unleashing on the unsuspecting.Opener,"Don't Know What It Means" is a funky soul stomping stonker of a tune, with sassy vocals and wah wah guitar frenzy (both courtesy of SusanTedeschi) and it's not just her hubby who has all the chops no sir! It's a stoned out, sax led ending that morph's into Bobby Whitlock's Derek & The Dominoes classic, 'Keep On Growing' that Trucks leads out of the stable with his incredibly fluid and bluesy riffs and licks, one of the highlights on this double album and there are many, including the gospel Aretha inspired (Leonard Cohen staple),'Bird On A Wire' highlighting Susan Tedeschi's heart rendering and soulful deliveries that smatter this sterling platter.A real touch of class bolstered by a wash of backing vocals and stompy piano and good old church organ.

Trucks turns his guitar into a sitar (such is the master's capabilities) for his rendition of George Harrison's 'Within You Without You' a track that would have further impact if the heavy metronomic drumming wasn't there in the intro but it certainly works when the full beat kicks into the segue number 'Just As Strange' which tees up the excellent 'Crying Over You' from their excellent third album redolent with whoops and general funkiness that breaks out into a bar brawl between Trucks and his excellent organist, eventually giving way to the winner Trucks who takes the tune home to glory,gripping stuff,bright melodic and rocking with energy and vigour.

The Footstomping " Right On Time" a theatrical New Orleans styled original, kicks off side 2 and shows off the great horn section this band is lucky to have, leading into the two guitars entwined in the country funky blues of "Leaving Trunk".Susan gives as good as she gets, her telecaster sounds terrific! Adorned by a male vocalist who is off the chain gutsy and hardhitting this one is easily on par with Sly & The Family Stone,slowburning magic and Trucks' signature slide guitar wizzardy cuts the mustard on this 10 minute epic.

'Don't Drift Away' light as a summer breeze,offers respite from the guitar onslaught (well at least til the end as DT goes out Isley Brothers style) ,a simple soul tune based on three chords and the truth leading into a Stax /Sam And Dave like groove written by Doyle Bramhall II featuring possibly the longest guitar solo in years that builds to the heavens unfolding into a soft floaty flute solo which revives Trucks 'outpouring,(blimey he's off again!) Then around 13 minutes Santana's 'Soul Sacrifice' kicks in letting the two in sync drummers have some action too!

Sanity is restored in the guise of a Bobby Bland Classic "I Pity The Fool" a peach of a blues standard followed by the slinky wah funk of 'Ali' and ends with a classy 6/8 groove "Let Me Get By" the title of their titan 2016 album. A roaring organ wails Deep Purple style, as this jazz freak out tune closes this absolute hurricane of an offering highlighting the band's ace jamming qualities and swinging grooves.This has caught them at the height of their creative powers which I doubt will diminish for years and years to come, this is essential listening in anyone's book.
Words Emrys Baird

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