Derek Trucks Band - Already Free

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I've been listening to this CD a couple months, wondering if my opinion would change. I often find that music which puts me off at first later becomes music I really, really enjoy (The Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin comes to mind). Conversely, some things that sound good at first lose interest.

In this case, I was worried that the latter might apply to DTB. Additionally, the CD sounds a lot like things I've heard before - Eric Clapton's No Reason To Cry comes to mind, particularly "Black Summer Rain" (a song which may only be average, but I love nevertheless). There's a friendly mood to this entire CD, possibly comforting or even joyous. It brings forth a variety of derektrucks styles - blues, gospel, soul, gritty rock - all of which shine with Trucks' slide guitar work.

Trucks is the nephew of The Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, a group that he has also played with (in addition to Eric Clapton, Santana, and many others). Recording a CD in a home studio may sound cheap, but this recording is flawless and the comfort level is obvious.

It begins with "Down in the Flood," written by Bob Dylan but otherwise not likely to be recognized as a cover. The band is tight, and the tone says that you're among friends. "Don't Miss Me" is a stomper, "Get What you Deserve" powers by with a slide riff, "Days is Almost Gone" almost becomes a sing-along (despite the noun-verb disagreement), and "Already Free" suitably closes the CD with a nostalgic hiss and pop of an old LP.

Trucks also shows on songs such as "Our Love" that the band isn't trapped by fan based expectations or self imposed limitations that guitar solos must dominate the music. In fact, for someone generally known to showcase guitar solos live, this CD is all the more richer as this sounds like a group project. Trucks may be the draw, but he uses the slide technique to the benefit of each song, allowing others (notably bass, brass, and acoustic guitar) to shine as brightly. There's no grandstanding here, although there are ample beautiful guitar moments, both featured or subtle.

Trucks has played live locally numerous times; I won't miss the next visit. Great stuff.

Recommended Songs: "Down in the Flood," "Don't Miss Me," "I Know"

Rating: 4 stars.

Apologies for the short intro ads to the videos:

1 comment :

  1. I have always felt that "Allman Brotherish" sense of family coming from Derek's music. It's as if you can come as you are, to enjoy it. His bottle neck really seems old school for such a young man. I actually purched a #5 Corsican bottle, because it looks so easy when "they" do it. It makes a great toothpick holder.

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