Thursday, February 21, 2019

Album Review: Tedeschi Trucks Band - Signs

Tedeschi Trucks Band
***and 1/2 out of *****

The 12 piece Tedeschi Trucks Band have established themselves as one of the top touring acts, delivering vibrant, soulful, roots rock and roll. The group retreated to the band leading husband and wife's home studio Swamp Raga to record their fifth studio record, Signs, live, directly to analog tape. The result is a controlled mix of soul, blues and more restrained songs then some of the bands past efforts; at this point the band is confident in doing exactly what they do.

The album solidifies lyrically around themes of moving forward from loss while putting aside differences and coming together for love and the greater good. Tedeschi's vocals have always been strong and the recording style enhance her warmth, as do the pitch perfect backing vocals. The group has their funky good time rock locked down at this point in their career. Tracks like the opener "Sign, High Times", the grooving "Walk Through This Life" and the climatic "Shame" all already fit gloriously into their live set and these versions work strongly on record. 

The studio allows the outfit to settle down as well, "Strength What Remains" is acoustic based with a Kofi Burbridge flute solo and "The Ending" wraps up the record with just Trucks and Tedeschi duet on a memory tune about past performers with palpable intimacy. The best of the slowed down numbers is the violin draped "When Will I Begin" which increases instrumentation but is based around some of Tedeschi's most emphatic vocals on the record. 

The outfit gets everyone involved on the easy rocking Americana of "Still Your Mind" but all of the players seem a bit more invested in the swaggering southern rocking numbers like "Hard Case" and "They Don't Shine" both of which cook with southern fried fat.

While the group has yet to craft that knock out song which would elevate them even higher, they continue to do what they do with grace and ease. The statement song which coalesces Signs overall theme is "All The World" with gospel vibes straining through the organ, strings and gorgeous vocals. The Tedeschi Trucks Band are professionals who make the music they love for others to enjoy both on record and onstage.

(Edit: This review was written before hearing of Kofi Burbridge's untimely passing. Jambase has compiled musicians reactions and RtBE echoes those.)
RtBE are fans of this outfit. Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

No comments:

Post a Comment