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Tedeschi Trucks Band (from I Am the Moon — I. Crescent, II. Ascension, III. The Fall, IV. Farewell on Swamp Family Music/Fantasy Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
An ambitious undertaking, or so it seems initially, the four albums that encompass the song cycle of sorts titled I Am the Moon seems to bode the importance of celestial consequence. On the other hand, some might argue that it’s merely a cash-grab, given the fact that each entry contains on average half a dozen songs and that they could have been just as easily compiled as a double album instead. In fact, all the entries work well in tandem, and aside from an occasional jam or some occasional cosmic cacophony, the majority of the music finds a comfortable fit in tandem with Tedeschi Trucks Band’s general populist approach, mostly Bluesy ballads with a fair of amount of Boogie and bluster tossed in besides. Those expecting something out of the ordinary due to some celestial suggestion implied by the titles can be well assured that the band doesn’t really opt for any change in tact, but instead, asserts their usual MO with typical instrumental assurance.
That said, Susan Tedeschi is the player that provides the constant throughout, her evocative vocals and emotional engagement providing a key element in the process. So too, Derek Trucks’ able and assertive guitar provides the foundation for the band’s fluid delivery. There’s no doubt that the group has ascended to the highest rungs of the so-called jam band hierarchy, but like the Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, and other champions of Southern Soul, they’re not content to merely repeat the tried and true. Likewise, while no single song makes for a decided standout, that’s more a mark of the band’s consistency as opposed to any inability to provide anything less than absolute epic endurance.
Granted, the overarching themes suggest a certain overreach, but even so, taken in tandem, I Am The Moon is best described as the next best step in Tedeschi Trucks Band’s trajectory. Each volume represents a set of songs that displays a skillset that represents a certain drive and dexterity. “Playing With My Emotions”, “Hear My Dear”, “Somehow”, and “Last Night in the Rain” may be the songs that immediately come to mind, but that’s simply because they provide the opening salvo for each of their respective albums. More likely all 25 tracks will be judged in tandem, based on both effort and intrigue. Here’s proof then, that when the moon is the muse, it can be both illuminating and inspiring. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Tedeschi Trucks Band from AMAZON: I: The Fall, II: Ascension, III: The Fall, IV: Farewell
For more information and purchase options, please visit Tedeschi Trucks Band website
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