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The Derek Trucks Band has grown into a finely-tuned big band, adding the guitarist's wife, singer Susan Tedeschi, to the masthead and front lineup, resulting in a fresh sound that eschews every blues and soul cliché that could be feared from such an ambitious project. All of the principles bring with them a loam of experience that informs every molecule of this music. Guitarist/vocalist (and fellow Allman Brothers Band alum) Warren Haynes, on his Man In Motion (Stax, 2011), has basically done the same thing with less memorable results. All walk the path of The Butterfield Blues Band, Electric Flag, and Blood, Sweat and Tears, in beefing up their sound and musical firepower.
Opening with the intricate and driving "Come See About Me," Revelator draws inspiration from the dual-drummer format of the Allman Brothers Band to lay down a layered thickness of rhythm and beat à la the late Richie Hayward, from Little Feat. Trucks contributes a slide guitar line, upon which Tedeschi paints on the soul, while the horn section fills in all of the blank spots, giving the performances great depth. Playing in an open tuning, Trucks demonstrates that only Sonny Landreth can play slide guitar comparablybut, while Landreth is technically near-perfect, he lacks the fire that Trucks consistently summons from the spirit of Duane Allman.
Personnel: Susan Tedeschi: guitar, vocals; Derek Trucks: guitar; Kofi Burbridge:
keyboards,flute; Oteil Burbridge:bass; Tyler Greenwell:drums,
percussion; J.J. Johnson: drums,percussion; Mike Mattison: background
vocals; Mark Rivers: background vocals; Ryan Shaw: background vocals;
David Ryan Harris: background vocals; Kebbi Williams: saxophone;
Saunders Sermons: trombone; Maurice Brown: trumpet; Alam Kham:
sarod; Aeric Krasno: acoustic guitar.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.