Album Reviews

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Let Me Get By

Artist:     Tedeschi Trucks Band

Album:     Let Me Get By

Label:     Fantasy

Release Date:     01/29/2016


Everybody’s talking about Tedeschi Trucks Band. When Derek Trucks was a teenager two decades ago, guitar heads were falling all over themselves raving that he was among the greatest ever. He is.

With his own Derek Trucks Band, and through 15 years playing guitar in the Allman Brothers Band, Trucks continuously refined a singular, inexplicable dexterity and timbre. Singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi was a celebrated blues-rocker and emerging soul chanteuse when she married Trucks in 2001. Guesting with each other’s bands for seven years, their musical merge happened gradually. Soul Stew Revival was born in 2008, and that band quickly grew in numbers and quality, becoming Tedeschi Trucks Band two years later.

See TTB live these days and you’ll be amazed at the way these 12 players, including an inspired six-piece brass/backing vocalist ensemble, do so many different and exciting things individually, yet perform seamlessly as a band. This, their third studio album, bears that out, advancing from the second considerably more than the second did from the first. All ten songs by various couplings of members and close associate Doyle Bramhall II were obviously carefully thought-out, but appear to the ears as unaffected as can be.

You can hear family in these variety-packed, soulful expressions. Blues, R&B, all kinds of rock, soul and jazz…you name it, TTB synthesize an amazing sound from every corner. Perfect’s a rare word to use in a review, but there isn’t a song I can do without.

From the super-smooth but powerful rocker “Anyhow” that opens it, the entire album captivates, and every song becomes a comfortable, familiar friend. But in so many places, you’ll be blown away. Such as when a curlicue of brass introduces a penetrating Trucks guitar solo in the hand-clapping, group-sing-along funk of “Don’t Know What It Means.” Or, throughout the drunken Bourbon Street lope of “Right On Time,” and in the organ-grinding, playful romp of the title song. Trucks inserts his guitar unassumingly, but fabulously, everywhere. Listen as he whips around some joyful “woo-hoo-hoo’s” in “Crying Over You,” singer Mike Mattison’s showcase, presumably cut with Stax in mind. Tedeschi’s voice is a marvel to behold. Her interaction with the backing vocalists makes for endlessly fascinating harmonies, especially in the uplifting “Hear Me,” one of her finest vocal moments ever—especially with Trucks lighting up her lines with his.

And so it goes. Let Me Get By plays well anytime, anywhere, and with any company. Nothing at all got in the way of these premier musicians reaching for the stars and hauling a constellation of them down to earth.

—Tom Clarke

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2 Responses

  1. “In Every Heart” is a complex masterpiece of word and playing that transcends the boundaries of almost any description. Listen for a guitar played as to resemble the violin, hear the harmony of voices and the flute. Horns all sound so directed and inclusive, just a joyous end to an excellent collection of players that let their own love of their craft shine through the music making.