It goes without saying that Suaan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are two of the most well known and respected names in the music industry. Trucks really came to fame when he joined southern rockers, The Allman Brothers Band. Susan Tedeschi has made her own identity through her career with soaring vocals that could rival those of Bonnie Raitt, and equally impressive guitar work. So it came as no surprise when this husband and wife blues duo joined forces to release their debut album under the Tedeschi Trucks Band moniker in June of this year.
The pair’s first teamup has produced quite the musical offspring. Trucks brought along longtime Allman Brothers Band bassist, Oteil Burbridge. Burbrige’s brother–who also happens to play with the Derek Trucks Band–Kofi also came along for the ride. Together with a host of other musicians, the group has brought a multitude of influences, and infused them into the record to make what is one of the year’s best albums overall.
Most of the songs on “Revelator” are about either love gained or love lost. In short, the lyircal theme of each song is one of romance. But the album’s music more than makes up for that. Not all of the songs instantly grip audiences. But that’s actually a good thing. Rather than simply hitting audiences on the first listen, “Revelator” grows on listeners each time it’s played. That’s the sign of a great album. That slow growth is thanks to the variety of influences from the variety of artists who came together on the album. One of the songs that best exemplifies that slow growth is ‘Until You Remember’. Now given, that song is another love song, lyrically. But the music behind the song really gives a certain feeling to the lyrics. Tedeschi sings on this song, “Every night I pray/that you’ll come back today/and hold me like you used to do…I’m sleeping wide awake/you know I can’t think straight about you…I’m burning with a love that’s turned blue”. It goes without saying that it’s a song of lost love. But the music makes up for the sappy lyrics by really giving life to those words. It can also be said that this song is one on which Tedeschi’s vocals really soar.
Of course, while songs of love gained and lost are all over the album, there’s also a gospel style piece in ‘Bound for Glory’. It’s such a catchy song, that it makes a person want to start clapping, like he/she was in church. For those who want something more bluesy, “Revelator” offers plenty of that too. Look no further than: Don’t Let Me Slide’, ‘These Walls’, and the album’s opener, ‘Come See About Me’. And for those who are really patient, “Revelator” offers an argument for owning the physical object over the digital in a hidden bonus track after the album’s closer, ‘Shelter’. Audiences don’t have to wait long after ‘Shelter’ ends, either, for this track to start up. And unlike the little instrumental break of ‘Shrimp and Grits’, it offers fans a full length blues instrumental song.
Whether it be for that bonus song, or the outstanding mix of song styles brought together on this opus, fans of both Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks have been given quite the musical treat with “Revelator”. Mainstream success or not, it goes without saying that this album is one of the top albums of 2011. And it’s one of the best blues albums to come along in a very long time.