Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tedeschi Trucks Band Made Up Mind Sony 2013

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is back with their finest release to date!
Brent Black / www-bop-n-jazz.com

Let's address the elephant in the room  first, Susan Tedeschi is a vocal dead ringer for Bonnie Raitt whose biggest career blunder may have been not taking over for Lowell George in Little Feat. This comparison could work favorably for Tedeschi or draw inherently unfair comparisons along the way. A prolific singer / songwriter and instrumentalist, Tedeschi can hold her own with anyone in the business. Derek Trucks is one of the finest guitarists of our time but is he deserving of a co-leader billing on this project? If you believe so you may want to consider calling Eric Clapton the Clapton/Bramhall experience. Oddly enough Doyle Bramhall II makes some rather important contributions to this effort as well as the bands first release Revelator.

Made Up Mind is well thought out, precisely executed and one of the better packaged "rock" releases to hit the shelves this year. While still maintaining an Allman Brothers meets Bonnie Raitt vibe that works incredibly well the myriad of influence that make up the bands signature sound are deep and more focused than on the prior two releases combined. The party kicks off with the title track "Mind Up Mind." This tune is a classic throw back to the hey day of album rock radio simply tweaked with a more contemporary edge. The ballad "Calling Out To You" could be a B side previously unreleased track from the previously mentioned Bonnie Raitt when considering lyrics and instrumentation. The flash fried funk-n-soul sound of Muscle Shoals leaps off the disc in perhaps the finest cut "Part Of Me."

Coming full circle taking the liberty to call this 11 piece small orchestra a band is reaching just a bit. Susan Tedeschi is the leader here and that is not a bad thing. Made Up Mind may take you a couple of spins to work past some of the minor issues mentioned earlier but you will be glad you took the time. The first two releases were seemingly all over the place in terms of style and with the live album, the Allman Brother like magnum opus presentations. Made Up Mind gets to the point quickly and seals the deal with flawless execution.

4.5 Stars!

Tracks: Made Up Mind; Do I Look Worried; Idle Wind; Misunderstood; Part Of Me; Whiskey Legs; It's So Heavy; All That I Need; Sweet And Low; The Storm; Calling Out To You.