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Tedeschi Trucks Band: Let Me Get By

Tedeschi Trucks Band, let me get by, bird, flying, jazz, music, album

It’s too bad this album was released in the dead of winter. “Let Me Get By”, the new release by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, their first on Fantasy/Concord, is windows open, top down, good news blues. The kind best served on a summer day, ridin’ down the higway, or just out crusing.

The ten tracks, all original compositions by varying combinations of band members, range from country, blues, roots and R&B, with seasoning from Memphis, New Orleans and Jacksonville (their home studio), and places you’ll conjure up both real and imagined.

But what’s most important, you’ll be bobbin’ your head, clapping your hands, tappin’ your feet…smiling, humming and maybe…even singing through the entire 58 minute experience.

The 12 piece band, led by the husband and wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks opens the set with “Anyhow”, an uptempo country declaration of change.

Most of your emoting will come on thumpers like “Don’t Know What It Means”, which comes complete with funky horns and handclaps. And “I Want More” with Tim Lefevbre echoing the bass hook of “Knucklehead”, a late ‘60’s Bar Kays flip side. Susan’s vocals will also evoke memories of Motown’s Chris Clark, the first white artist to be featured on that legendary label.

Kebbi Williams on saxophone, Maurice Brown on trumpet and Saunders Sermons on trombone back Tedeschi’s vocals with a horn section reminiscent of Chicago, Tower of Power, The Memphis Horns and the aforementioned Bar Kays.

There are several captivating changes of pace like “Laugh About It” and “Right On Time”, a duet written by vocalist Mike Mattison and Trucks, with Mike and Susan singing about the complexities of love and relationships. On “Hear Me”, Susan sings of a love she can’t let get away, accentuated with Trucks’ acoustic lead and strings by Jonathan Dinklage and Anna Wood.

The title track features the versatile keyboard of composer Kofi Burbridge who stretches out on the Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer electric piano and a clavinet.

While the guitar of Trucks and the drums of J.J. Johnson with percussionist Tyler Greenwell are constant and consistent companions throughout, all reach their zenith with Tedeschi’s vocal on “Just As Strange”. When add Derek’s play on the acoustic guitar and Burbridge’s clavinet to the mix, for this listener, it is truly the highlight of the album!

Mattison returns to lead “Crying Over You/Swamp Raga, the latter the name of their recording studio and the former about a decision to move on. I’m not sure about the connection (if there is any), but Trucks guitar and Burbridge’s work on the mini moog are worth the price of admission on the back half of “Crying”.

The journey ends with Williams, Brown and Saunders opening the spiritual and rousing “In Every Heart”.

Let Me Get By, by the groups admission is an album of many firsts. New label, all music composed by the group and it’s the first Tedeschi Trucks Band release produced by Derek Trucks.

Let Me Get By, made the sunshine in the middle of my winter…I can’t wait to open the windows and put the top down once again.

Bill Daughtry
Host of Friday Afternoon Jazz & The Blues Hour

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