Although Revelator is the debut album from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and features brand-new music from two artists with deep musical roots stretching back to their early childhood days, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks performing together is anything but new, in fact the two have been married since 2001 and have two children.
Derek Trucks, nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks and a member of the Allman Brothers lineup himself is a renowned guitarist who is recognized as an exceptional slide guitar player. Susan Tedeschi, a Massachusetts native whom Trucks met during 1999 when her group opened for the Allman Brothers during their summer tour eventually toured together under the name Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival but decided to put things on hold in 2009, presumably to decide where they wanted their musical careers to take them. Revelator may well be the answer to that question.
Earlier this year, the couple announced the formation of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and also announced their forthcoming album which has earned them favorable reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone. The time the couple spent writing and collaborating in their home studio in Jacksonville, FL has certainly paid off.
Enlisting the help of an additional nine musicians to work with them recording Revelator has resulted in a soulful blend of smooth rock with jazz overtones that add a little edginess in just the right places.
Although I truly hate making comparisons like the one I’m about to make, where else can one draw from beyond one’s own experience? With that in mind, I was struck by how Susan Tedeschi’s soul-infused vocals reminded me so much of an up-and-coming young artist named Grace Potter.
At the age of 40, perhaps I should be comparing the twenty-something Potter to Tedeschi, but as a fan of Potter’s since 2008, the reason for the comparison upon hearing Susan Tedeschi for the first time is obvious.
Revelator is a pleasant listen from start to finish, with my only real complaint being that it’s a tad too mellow for my taste. It’s pace is pretty consistent throughout, although both “Learn How to Love” and “Love Has Something Else to Say” ratchet things up a notch or two. I found myself wishing they had decided to cut loose a bit more and include more up-tempo material beyond those two tracks. Lord knows they’ve got the skills.
“Learn How to Love” gets the nod as the standout track for me, and I’m hoping any new album that may be in their future will showcase their ability to rock things a little harder.