TTB’s New Album Is A Positive “Sign” For The Band

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Tedeschi Trucks band is coming to North Carolina this summer.  The band’s stops in “The Old North State” are in support if its latest full-length studio recording, Signs.  Released Feb. 15 through Fantasy Records, the 11-song record is a change of pace for the band in comparison to its previous album, 2016’s Let Me Get By.  Even with the change of pace that is notable throughout the course of the album’s 46 minute run time, it is still a positive effort from the group, which is fronted by its namesakes, the husband and wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in its opener, ‘Signs, High Times.’  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Still Your Mind,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another of the album’s additions that proves the record to be a positive new effort from the band.  It is hardly the last of the songs that shows Signs’ strengths.  ‘All The World’ is yet another work featured in Signs that shows the record’s strength.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the records eight remaining songs, the whole of Signs proves to be another successful offering from Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Band’s fourth full-length studio recording Signs is another welcome new offering from the band, which is made up of a number of veteran musicians and performers.  While maybe not the band’s best work to date, it is still a good effort from the band.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘Signs, High Times.’  The song’s funky, bluesy southern rock musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of The Allman Brothers Band, with whom Trucks also records and performs.  The keyboards, guitars, percussion and choral elements create a wonderful, welcome vintage vibe that is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That upbeat arrangement couples with the song’s seeming social commentary for a whole that is certain to engage and entertain audiences.

The seeming social commentary comes as Tedeschi, who has been the lead voice of TTB since its inception nine years ago, sings in the song’s second verse, “Might ain’t right…Everything’s in black and white.”  She goes on from there to sing in the song’s third verse, “Just realized there’s hatred in their eyes/can’t fool around with darkness for fun/Something tells me/Some people just ain’t worth saving/Got turned around/Following the sound/Of a heartbeat that’s been getting heavy/We’ve been here before/We were just getting ready.”  The seeming commentary is illustrated even more as she sings later in the song, “Better make up your mind/’Cause we gotta get it right this time/So much good at stake/Don’t give into the lies they make/Oh lord, how did we get here again?”  Yet again, here we have an example of what would certainly seem to be a specific statement from Tedeschi and company.  That is especially the case as she sings in the song’s final moments, “People, how long till your hand’s called?”  It’s as if she’s saying throughout that we as a people need to make sure that we know which side of the line we are on before our time is up.  That is of course just this critic’s own interpretation of these lyrics.  It could be completely wrong.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark, though.  If it is, then when it is considered alongside the feeling established through the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole becomes a strong start for the album and a standout addition to the album.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Still Your Mind’ is another of the record’s most notable works.

‘Still Your Mind’ stands out in the bigger picture of Signs in part because of its musical arrangement.  The song opens simply in its first few bars, with a gentle, flowing piano line that one can argue presents a light jazz feel, and even a certain modern classical element.  From there, the song takes a decidedly modern turn that actually, one could argue bears a mix of both modern and old school rock.  That mix is well-balanced throughout the course of the song’s almost five-minute run time.  Adding to the song’s interest is the song’s lyrical content, which couples very nicely with the gentility in the song’s arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Still Your Mind’ centers on the issue of self-pride and confidence.  Little doubt is left about that, as Tedeschi sings in the song’s lead verse, “Some days are grey for us all/Don’t wanna live or stay here for long/I say ain’t it good to know/That you’re not alone/So many people feel that low/But I’ll help you grow.”  She goes on from here to sing in the song’s chorus, “Still your mind and breathe/Close your eyes and see/Fill your hands and drink with me/Be here now/Lay your troubles down.”  This all comes across as a certain sort of reassurance for listeners who maybe are going through difficult situations.  That sense of reassurance continues as she sings, “Before the growth, the leaves have to fall/And I’ll lit you up so you can tear down the wall/Don’t let the darkness of the world enter your soul/You know the light of your smile is what makes me whole.”  Once again, here listeners have a subject who is sharing some very comforting words.  What is really interesting here is that when the lyrics and music are coupled, they really come across as a sort of lullaby.  It sounds odd, yes, but one could argue that sense when listening closely to the song.  That in itself justifiably makes this work another one of Signs’ most notable additions.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable entries, however.  ‘All The World’ is yet another of the LP’s strongest songs.

‘All The World,’ like ‘Signs, High Times,’ comes across as another contemplative social statement.  The difference between the two songs is that the prior song’s musical arrangement is more upbeat than that of this composition.  This work is a deeply contemplative piece, even in its musical arrangement.  It flows so gently, with its keyboard and guitar lines serving as its collective backbone.  The noted approach to the song’s musical arrangement makes the song’s almost three-and-a-half-minute run time feel longer, but in a positive fashion.  It also serves to help illustrate quite well, the emotion in the song’s lyrical content.

Speaking of the song’s lyrical content, Tedeschi sings here, “So many times I lay here thinking/We may never stand up and rise again/Then I hear the voices singing/Everything must burn before hope can live again/All the world is bleeding/I can feel it/And I’ve seen it/But while our hearts are beating/We can heal it/If we mean it.”  There is such a melancholy about this verse, that carries on through the song’s second verse.  Tedeschi sings in that second verse, “So many places I have gone/But the song remains the same/So if we could please listen to what they say/The walls could crumble and wash away.”  Again, there is such a bittersweet emotion here.  That feeling is enhanced even more as Tedeschi returns to the chorus along with the equally bittersweet emotion in the song’s arrangement.  When that emotion is coupled with the emotion exuded in Tedeschi’s words and vocal delivery, the whole therein creates a powerful impact for listeners.  In turn, the song proves without doubt why it is another important addition to Signs.  When it is considered along with ‘Signs, High Times,’ ‘Still Your Mind’ and the eight other songs not directly noted here, the end result is a record that in whole is another welcome new offering from Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Band’s fourth full-length studio recording Signs is a positive new offering from the collective of veteran musicians and performers.  That is evidenced musically and lyrically throughout the course of the almost 50-minute record.  The songs’ musical and lyrical content make that obvious from the record’s opening to its end.  Between the lullaby-esque work that is ‘Still Your Mind’ to the celebratory ‘Walk Through This Life,’ which is an upbeat song about the power of love, to the personal, introspective ‘Shame’ to the contemplative ‘All The World’ and beyond, this record offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  All things considered, the musical and lyrical content presented throughout the record makes it the year’s first great overall album.  Audiences in North Carolina will get to hear plenty of songs from Signs on July 7 and 9 in Charlotte and Raleigh respectively.  Fans can purchase tickets for those and the rest of the band’s current tour dates online now while also getting updates on the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DerekandSusan

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DerekandSusan

 

 

 

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Yates’ New Record Could Put Her On “The Other Side” Of Country Music Stardom

Courtesy: Awaken Love Music/Press Junkie PR

Courtesy: Awaken Love Music/Press Junkie PR

Country musician Crystal Yates released her latest recording this past May.  The record, The Other Side, is an offering that any country music fan should hear at least once.  This is the case even with the record boasting a grand total of five songs.  Those five songs will move listeners deeply in so many ways over the course of the record’s twenty-one minute run time.  That is thanks to the combination of the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  From one song to the next this record offers plenty for country music fans to appreciate.  By the time the record ends it leaves listeners with quite the impression.  It is an impression that will leave listeners agreeing that Yates’ could be one of the next big names in the country community.

Crystal Yates’ new record The Other Side is a record that any country music fan should hear at least once.  That is because through the combination of its musical arrangements and lyrical content, it shows her to potentially be one of country music’s next big names.  One of the songs that best exemplifies this is ‘Already Yours.’  This song stands out on Yates’ new record in part due to its musical arrangement.  The song starts out very tentative and slow.  Over the course of its four-plus minute run time it gradually picks up a little more; not so much in its tempo but in its confidence.  Yates’ own soulful vocals echo the power in the song’s musical arrangement, too adding even more power to the arrangement.  The song’s gentle opening and its gradual growth is a direct mirror so to speak to its lyrical content.  That is noted as Yates sings in the song’s opening verse, “If you’re feeling down/And you’re all alone/Then I’ve got a hand you can hold/Put your hand in mine/Let me walk you through/There ain’t nothing that/I wouldn’t do/Don’t you even think/Just call/You ain’t gotta ask at all/If you want my love/It’s already yours.”  McKenzie Smith keeps a solid tempo on the drums, showing that truly talented drummers don’t always have to have machine gun speed beats.  Sometimes it is the ones who play slower and with control who show true skill and talent.  Yates’ gentle approach continues in the song’s second verse.  Though, it is clear as the verse progresses that so does the power in both her Bonnie Raitt meets Susan Tedeschi style vocals and the song’s general musical arrangement.  Ultimately it culminates with that gentle reminder from Yates, “If you want my love/It’s already there.”  All things considered here, this song proves to be one of this record’s best compositions if not its outright best.  It is just one of the songs that proves why Yates could potentially be one of the next big names in country music.  ‘Made To Last’ follows ‘Already Yours.’  It is another of the record’s most standout compositions.

‘Already Yours’ is one of the key compositions included in Crystal Yates’ new record.  That is thanks to the obvious attention paid to detail both in regards to its musical content and its lyrical content, and how the two elements work together.  The end result is a song that is possibly one of the record’s best moments if not its best.  Keeping that in mind, it is not the record’s only key composition.  ‘Made To Last’ follows ‘Already Yours.’  It is another of the record’s key compositions.  Unlike ‘Already Yours,’ this song is a full-on country song.  Its musical arrangement harkens back to the likes of Reba McEntire and Martina Mcbride (the latter of whom Yates has shared the stage).  That is clear not only in its upbeat arrangement but also in Yates’ own vocal delivery.  It presents such a positive vibe from beginning to end.  That alone is more than enough to make this song another hit for her.  The song’s lyrical content is just as certain to make it a hit.  It directly echoes the upbeat energy of the song’s musical arrangement.  This is made clear as Yates sings playfully in the song’s lead verse, “That cat has started getting’ on your nerves/I can’t stand your Nickelback T-shirt/But that’s how it goes/And don’t you know/Falling is the easy part/But when times get hard is when the real thing starts/Real love is not a chance we take/It’s a choice we make/Each and every day/But then what happened happens/I want a love that’s made to last.”  The playful yet straightforward commentary about real love here is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face.  And that line about hating a guy’s Nickelback T-shirt will undoubtedly get more than a few laughs, too.  This is just the start of the positive vibes in the song’s lyrical content.  She goes on to sing, “When people get as close as you and I/You can bet that we butt heads sometimes/But makin’ up/Can sure be fun/You might never clean the dishes up/I’m gonna be have a few bad days each month/But letting go/is how we’ll grow/Falling  is the easy part/But when times get hard/It’s when the real thing starts/Love is not a chance we take/It’s a choice we make/Each and every day/But then what happens, happens fast/I want a love that’s made to last.”  Yates’ reality check goes on from here dispelling the myth about the long white dress, the house and picket fence, etc.  She notes again that what is most important about a good life together is a love that (again) lasts.  It is a statement that rings loud and clear from beginning to end.  When coupled with the song’s upbeat musical arrangement, the song in whole proves to be another great addition to Yates’ new record.  Together with ‘Already Yours’ it is yet more proof of why Yates could potentially be one of country’s next big names.

‘Already Yours’ and ‘Made To Last’ are both key additions to Crystal Yates’ new record.  Both songs stand solidly on their own merits.  This includes both their musical arrangements and lyrical content.  While both songs stand out in their own right they are not the record’s only standout songs.  The record’s closer, also its title track, is one more of its most notable compositions.  This song stands out from the record’s other tracks just as much as they do from one another.  In regards to its musical content, it is a solid, blues-based gospel tune that once again echoes those hints of Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi.  Yates’ vocals are just as powerful as the song’s musical arrangement.  She sings here about getting to “the other side.”  It is clear here that she is singing about going to Heaven here.  That is especially clear as she sings, “I know we’re gonna pass…to the other shore/Oh, we’re gonna see the lord/I said oh, we’re gonna see the lord.”  She goes on to sing, “Ain’t gonna let nothin’ stop us/From the other side.”  It’s a classic gospel style song at least in terms of its lyrics.  In regards to its musical arrangement, that is not an entirely original approach.  But it is one that is rarely taken by any artist.  The only name that this critic in particular can come up with when thinking of blues-based gospel, is the Blind Boys of Alabama.  To that end, this song is yet another standout composition for Yates’ new record.  It shows just as much as ‘Already Yours’ and ‘Made To Last’ why this young singer-songwriter could very well be one of country music’s next big names.  That is not to ignore the record’s other two songs, ‘Leave Me Alone To Die’ (which is actually about a kidnapping that she personally experienced at one point in her life) and ‘Hell On My Soul.’  Those two songs offer up their own interest to this record, too.  All things considered, this new record may only boast five songs and run twenty-one minutes but it is still a record that any country music purist should hear at least once if not more.  That is because it could be the next step in making her one of country music’s next big names.

Crystal Yates could very well be one of the next big names in the country music community.  She has already made quite the impact with two previous recordings.  Now with her latest record The Other Side she is that much closer to actually making that become true.  That is because over the course of this record’s five songs and twenty-one minutes, she offers audiences so much to appreciate.  Each song stands out from the others both musically and lyrically.  And each one is just as entertaining as the others, too as has already been noted.  From a powerhouse blues-based gospel closer in its title track, to a fun, upbeat song about the realities of marriage, to an equally moving piece about a person’s (likely a woman’s) love for another, and beyond, there is plenty to appreciate about this record.  All things considered, The Other Side could very well be the record that takes Crystal Yates to the “other side” of music stardom.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via Yates’ official website at http://www.crystalyatesmusic.com/merch/.  More information on The Other Side is available online now along with all of her latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.crystalyatesmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crystalyatesmusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/crystal_yates

 

 

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Lickety Split Rocks Its Way Into The Year’s Best New Records List

Courtesy:  Blue Note Records

Courtesy: Blue Note Records

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are back.  And they are back in grand fashion on their first album in three years.  The new record, Lickety Split is one of the best new records of 2013, hands down.  This twelve-song musical masterpiece mixes lots of fun anthems with some more subdued pieces and tosses in a pair of covers and a famous guest spot to make it an album that audiences will find themselves enjoying even more with each listen. 

Among the best of the album’s more full on songs is its opener, ‘Amped Up.’  This was the perfect choice with which to open the album.  It wastes no time at all getting listeners moving.  The energy kicks right into gear at one thousand percent, making listeners want to pump the volume on their stereos and iPods to eleven.  It’s just a fun, full on song that anyone will enjoy.  Randolph sings cheerfully, You’ve only got one life to live/So give it everything you’ve got to give/If anybody asks you why/Look ‘em in the eye and say/I’m about to get amped up/Everybody throw your hands up/Come on and get cranked up/Everybody get amped up.”  The energy from the lyrics mixes with the song’s music to easily achieve its goal at getting audiences amped up and moving.  Once the song ends, Randolph and company pull back, but not too much, in the bluesy/gospel hybrid ‘Born Again.’ 

‘Born Again’ isn’t as high energy as ‘Amped Up.’  But, it still has its own energy.  The song’s bluesy/gospel hybrid sound is just like something that one might actually hear in a church.  Ironically enough Randolph himself stated of the song that this song was originally a love song.  “It’s about finding the joy again,” he said.  “At first, it was more of a love song, about the sense you get when you find the right person.  Then as we were recording this new music with a whole new sense of direction and feeling free again it all came together.  It’s not a religious thing, it’s just new energy—which is really the old energy that I had at the beginning of my career.”   It’s interesting that he notes that it not only started out as a love song, but that it was also not a religious thing.  That’s because with its hybrid sound, it could just as easily pass for a song one might hear in a church.  Regardless, it’s a song that any listener will enjoy.  Vocalist Lenesha Randolph’s vocals are so strong throughout the song.  And the addition of a choir to back the band serves to make the song that much better.  It’s such an impressive follow-up to the album’s opener that by its end, some listeners might even find themselves out of breath and energy having danced their way through both songs.  Thankfully, the band pulls back just a little more on the next song, ‘New Orleans.’

New Orleans is even more pulled back than the first two songs on Lickety Split.  After all of the energy carried by those two songs, this seeming love letter to one of America’s greatest cities is perfectly placed in the album’s overall sequencing.  Again, Lenesha Randolph takes center stage, her vocals so gentle and calming.  Set again Robert Randolph’s slightly more upbeat sections, the two make for a wonderful juxtaposition celebrating Nola.  Lenesha sings fondly of the city, “I heard a sound/Sweet soulful sound/And a happy song/In my dreams/A marching band/Piano man/And that soul…/So sad and sweet.”  The tone in her singing instantly creates such a sense of nostalgia among listeners.  This includes even listeners who have maybe never been to New Orleans.  One can almost see images in sepia tone in their minds, everything of which she sings.  Robert Randolph’s counterpoint, on the other hand, brings everything into full color.  It helps to paint a massive, happy picture of a city that has done and meant so much to America.  It’s one more wonderful addition to an album that boasts so many high points. 

The joy of this album doesn’t end with its first trio of songs.  As soon as ‘New Orleans’ fades gently away, the party gets moving again with the aptly titled, ‘Take The Party.’  This piece brings back the energy of the album’s opener before easing into the more old school funk influenced ‘Brand New Wayo.’  The fun doesn’t end here, either.  Randolph and company keep listeners’ ears throughout the rest of this album. This is thanks in large part to the band’s continued talent and skill as musicians.  Credit will be given where credit is due here.  The people behind the boards are also to thank for this album’s fun factor, as well as guest guitarist Carlos Santana and trombone player, Trombone Shorty. 

Engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) and mixer Jim Scott (Tedeschi Trucks Band) deserve their own credit for the work behind the boards on this record.  It’s no wonder that Lickety Split bears significance to the Tedeschi Trucks Band with Scott on board.  If one didn’t know any better, one would think that one of the husband/wife duo of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks was in fact guesting, hearing the guitar work throughout the record.  Though having fellow legend Carlos Santana on board, helping with guitar duties doesn’t hurt, either.  That bonus, and the work of everybody else involved on this record makes Lickety Split a must hear for any long-time Robert Randolph fan and for anyone that is new to the work of this highly accomplished musician and his family.  It will be available tomorrow, July 16th in stores and online. Audiences can keep an eye out for it in the official Robert Randolph online store at http://www.robertrandolph.net.  Fans can also go here and the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/rrtfb and “Like” it to keep up with all of the latest news and tour information from the band.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.    

Black Crowes, Tedeschi Trucks Band Team Up For Summer Tour

The Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks Band are hitting the road together this Summer.  The bands will hit the road beginning July 19th.  The upcoming tour doesn’t give the members of The Black Crowes much time to relax as the band is currently on its “Lay Down With The Number 13” tour.  It’s the first tour for the band since ending its two-year long hiatus.  This current tour takes the band across the U.S.  It runs through June 2nd.  From there, the band will head overseas for the European leg of its tour.  The European leg of the tour will run from June 18th – July 6th.  It will include headlining shows, festivals, and a pair of stadium shows with “The Boss” himself, Bruce Springsteen.

The upcoming tour dates are in support of The Black Crowes most recent release, Wiser for the Time.  This release is a four-disc, eight-side gatefold vinyl release.  It contains 26 songs—15 acoustic and 11 electric—from the band’s 2010 five-night stint in New York City.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is currently touring in support of its most recent album, Revelator (2011).  The album won a Grammy for best Blues Album at the 2012 Grammys.  That album was followed up the live album, Everybody’s Talkin’ in May 2012.  The band’s next LP is expected to be released in Summer 2013.

The bands’ current slate of tour dates is available below:

Fri-Jul-19 Nashville, TN The Woods Amphitheatre at Fontanel Friday, April 26 10:00am
Sat-Jul-20 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Friday, April 12 10:00am
Sun-Jul-21 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre Friday, April 12 10:00am
Tue-Jul-23 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheatre Friday, April 12 10:00am
Wed-Jul-24 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion Friday, April 12 10:00am
Sat-Jul-27 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook Friday, April 12 10:00am
Tue-Jul-30 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion Friday, April 12 10:00am
Wed-Jul-31 Canadaigua, NY CMAC Friday, April 12 10:00am
Wed-Aug-07 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE Friday, April 12 10:00am
Fri-Aug-09 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center Friday, April 12 10:00am
Sat-Aug-10 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Friday, April 12 10:00am
Sun-Aug-11 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center Friday, April 12 10:00am
Tue-Aug-13 Indianapolis, IN Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn @ White River Friday, April 12 10:00am
Wed-Aug-14 Chicago, IL Charter One Pavilion Friday, April 12 12:00pm
Thu-Aug-15 Rochester Hills, MI Meadow Brook Friday, April 12 10:00am

 

To keep up with all the latest tour updates and news from The Black Crowes, fans can go online to http://www.blackcrowes.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Black-Crowes/8333596474.  And for all the latest from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, fans can go online to http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com or http://www.facebook.com/DerekAndSusan

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Robert Randolph Announces New Record Deal, Tour

Courtesy:  Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are back.  The band has signed a new deal with legendary jazz label, Blue Note Records.  This news comes along with the announcement of a new upcoming album due out this Summer.  The long anticipated new release will be the first from Randolph since 2010’s We Walk This Road.  Blue Note president Don Was recently commented on the signing, expressing his joy at having Randolph as the label’s newest signee.  “Robert Randolph is an American original…he has mastered what is, arguably, the most complex instrument in the world and developed a unique voice that is equal parts street-corner church and Bonnaroo,” he said.  “Robert’s new studio album finally captures the energy and excitement of his legendary live performances…we are honored that he has chosen Blue Note Records as his new home.” 

Randolph also shared his thoughts on having signed with Blue Note, expressing just as much excitement at this next step in his career.  “Blue note is a true music label with a 75-year history of working with great musicians like John Coletrane, Miles Davis and Al Green and the head of the label is a real musician and songwriter,” he explained.  Randolph will self produce the album, which will also feature members of his own family once again.  It will be engineered by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) and mixed by Jim Scott (Tedeschi Trucks Band).

Randolph will hit the road this Spring and Summer in support of his as yet untitled album.  His tour is currently slated to kick off April 6th at the River Run Rocks Series in Keystone, CO.  It’s set to run through August 16th and will include a pair of performances in North Carolina.  The first of those dates is Friday, May 10th at Wilmington, NC’s Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.  The second of his North Carolina dates is Saturday, May 11th in Beaufort, NC at the Beaufort Music Festival.  Fans can get a full list of tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/rrtfb, http://www.robertrandolph.net, http://www.myspace.com/robertrandolph and http://twitter.com/rrtfb.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

“Everybody’s Talkin'” will leave everybody talkin’

Derek Trucks has made quite the name for himself, both as a solo artist and with the members of the legendary Allman Brothers Band.  His wife, Susan Tedeschi, has equally made her own place in the music world.  The two together have made one heck of a mark.  The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s debut album, “Revelator” earned a Grammy for Best Blues Album at this year’s Grammys.  And now, the band has followed up its award winning debut album with its equally impressive live release, “Everybody’s Talkin’.”

“Everybody’s Talkin'” is one more wonderful addition to the ranks of this young year’s best releases.  It comes across as one giant jam fest from the first notes of the album’s title track to the last tones of the cover of the Staple Sisters’ ‘Wade in The Water.’  Susan Tedeschi is a powerhouse, yet again, as she belts out tune after tune.  Her vocals could easily rival those of fellow blues legend Bonnie Raitt.  And husband Derek Trucks’ guitar work proves once again why he is one of the best guitarists around today.  He really gets his time to shine on the breakout jam sessions on ‘Learn How to Love’, ‘Bound For Glory’ and the band’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight’, which is arguablythehighlight of the whole compilation. This cover is one of the moments when the band’s brass section–Maurice Brown (Trumpet) and Saunders Sermon (Trombone)–really shines.  Saxophonist Kebbi Williamsand fellow Derek Trucks Band member, Kofi Burbridge also gets to showcase his talents.  He gets his moment on the live take of ‘Nobobdy’s Free.’  That’s another aspect of this release’s greatness.  Although the band is named after the husband/wife duo of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, the live performances included in this set allows the whole band its moment to shine.  And does it ever shine.  Every member of the band shows what makes TTB the amazing organization that it is.

Whether it be any of the aforementioned songs or any of the other amazing pieces included on this double disc set, “Everbody’s Talkin'” is hands down, one of the best records of 2012.  It’s one of the best live albums to come along in a long time, too.  Much like Miles Davis’ groundbreaking record, “Kind of Blue”, “Everybody’s Talkin'” is one of those releases that fans will be enjoying years from now.  It’s one of those works in which listeners could easily get lost in a good way.  That’s because it’s what one could call a “Multi-purpose record.”   What that means is that it’s one of those records that is perfect for a lazy summer day, relaxing in the sun (or in a sunroom), for a road trip, or a rainy evening.  It’s even great for a cold, grey snowy day to warm people’s moods.  Every song has a different mood that’s fitting for one situation or another.  It fits any situation and any type of day.  There simply is not one bad song on this live release.  That being the case, even as a live release, “Everybody’s Talkin'” is going to be one of those records that fans are going to remember years after its release.

The band is currently out on tour.  Fans in North Carolina will get to see the band live when it performs at the annual MerleFest next Saturday, April 28th in Wilkesboro.  For more information on the festival, fans can go to http://www.merlefest.org.  More information on the band and its tour is available on the band’s website, http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DerekandSusan and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DerekandSusan.

Tedeschi Trucks Band’s “Revelator” one of 2011’s best

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.