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January 16, 2009

"Already Free" Plants A Seed

Okay, so I've had the new Derek Trucks album for a few days now and have been digging into it.

What was I thinking, saying that there wasn't any blistering slide? There is, but you have to look at the songs in isolation. The CD actually hits you in the face with the 'hot' songs right up front, then mellows out, leaving you in a calm, tranquil place. It's not that the fire isn't there, it's just quenched by the 'down-homey-ness' of the second half.

It's actually interesting to me that whilst Derek and the boys injected huge variety into their previous CDs by making then genre- and globe-spanning in their styling, here the variety is actually 'within' a style, using instrumentation. And when I say 'instrumentation' I'm primarily talking in terms of the variety of guitar sounds that Derek's experimented with... or at least, as a guitarist, that's what I hear.

Derek's 'classic' sound kicks in on Track 1, "Down In The Flood", transforms itself into some funky chops on "Something To Make You Happy". By the time you get to Track 4, "Sweet Inspiration", which has an unashamedly gospel vibe, Derek actually sounds like he's taken inspiration from 70's Clapton and is using what I call a 'quack' tone for the rhythm groove. If you listen to the extended jams from the Layla sessions you'll see what I mean.

After a brief sojourn into 'jump' then laid back 70's pop/rock we set our course southbound, heading for the Delta, taking it home for the title track, "Already Free".

I told you I'd love this CD in the end. It's not as accessible as some and I'd still recommend that anyone wanting a glimpse of 'the real band' should just head out and see them play live. That's the way this band rolls.


The Derek Trucks Band with Susan Tedeschi will be headlining the Southern-State Ball at the inauguration of Barack Obama! Unfortunately, I don't think that's one of the balls that our friends who are attending got tickets for! Oh well!

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