Tedeschi Trucks Band "Made Up Mind"

Think of The Tedeschi Trucks Band and the first things that come to mind are Derek Truck’s sizzling guitar work and his wife’s blazing vocals. The Tedeschi Truck’s are not a couple to hold back. Made Up Mind is a definitive title that suggests the no-holds-barred approach to this album.

Straight out of the gates the music burn with intensity, beginning with the title track. Trucks enters with fuzzed out guitar licks; Susan Tedeschi follows with vocals that are part church choir, part barroom rockin’ rhythm and blues. Pace yourself, if the tempo occasionally ebbs the passion and power doesn’t.

The pair pulled their band – ten regular members plus guests – into their Swamp Rag Studio to record the band’s second album. They enlisted Wilco collaborator Jim Scott to co-produce and recruited Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, Eric Krasno of Soulive, John Leventhal, Doyle Bramhall II, and Sonya Kitchell to co-write the songs. The mix of talents allows for an extraordinary mix of southern rock, soul, blues, and R&B. Gary Louris’ contributions offer two very different sounds. The first, “Idle Wind,” is one of the album’s quieter moments, an acoustic guitar and flute ballad.

The second is a rocking number heavy with muscular electric guitar and bass. Kitchell and Krasno team up for the funky “Misunderstood.” The pair team up with Trucks for the gospel inflected “It’s So Heavy.” The songwriting is consistently good throughout the album.

Susan Tedeschi is unparalleled in her ability to interpret a variety of genres with both accuracy and urgency. Derek Trucks is simply one of the best guitarists of southern roots/rock music – ever. TTB, as the band is known, can be counted on for superlative performance from every member of the group. Clearly this is a gathering of talented musicians who enjoy working with each other and share mutual respect. TTB won the Grammy Award for best blues album with their first release. Expect another nomination for Made Up Mind, and don’t be surprised if they take the winner’s spot again. This band is truly extraordinary.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)