Roadsongs (Jpn)


aec.imt1160657.2 6/29/10 New

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    Roadsongs (Jpn)

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Review Text This double-live album by the Derek Trucks Band may end up being the last for this version of the group -- at least for a while. Trucks and wife Susan Tedeschi joined forces in 2010 as the Derek Trucks-Susan Tedeschi Band. Some of the players come from Trucks' organization: Kofi Burbridge and singer Mike Mattison with bassist Oteil Burbridge, and drummer J.J. Johnson, among others. Which brings us to Roadsongs. Recorded in support of 2009's Grammy-winning Already Free, this set contains over 100 minutes of music from across his recording career. For starters, this is the most sonically satisfying live record Trucks has released to date. It's full of dynamics, beautiful separation, and warm, present sound while capturing the raw, spontaneous energy the band plays with live. The material ranges from five tracks from Already Free (four of which appear on disc one), including a burning "Down in the Flood," a swinging "Get What You Deserve," a sparse "Days Is Almost Gone," and an open country lope in "Already Free." Disc one is bookended by the woolly opener "I'll Find My Way," and a 14-plus-minute "Afro Blue" to close (the latter with gorgeous flute work by Burbridge). Disc two opens with "I Know" from the previous album and then takes off into originals and covers that include live standards such as reworked versions of Bob Marley's "Rastaman Chant," and "Key to the Highway" (both have incredible drum and percussion work by Yonrico Scott and Count Mbutu, respectively). The blazing horn section on "Down Don't Bother Me" makes it (arguably) the greatest existing recorded version (it's easy to hear in Mattison's deeply moving vocal how empathically Trucks responds). The medley of "Get Out of My Life Woman/Who Knows" begins as a shimmering, big-band Chicago blues that gives way to a slippery, in-the-pocket James Brown-style funk jam. The set closes with a transcendent nine-and-half minute "Anyday." If this is the last record we get from the DTB band for now, it's a fine -- if temporary -- send-off, full of fire, grit, and jaw-dropping musical performances. ~ Thom Jurek

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