Tedeschi Trucks Band
Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks of the Tedeschi Trucks Band (photo courtesy of Shore Fire, PR)
Let Me Get By
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Make room, because the Tedeschi Trucks Band is back with Let Me Get By, their third studio album and fourth outing overall. Coming two and a half years after the last effort, Made Up Mind, Let Me Get By is the first album involving Trucks since the 2014 breakup of the Allman Brothers Band, in which he was a member of for their final fifteen years.
Let Me Get By runs on all cylinders, showcasing the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s trademark musical gumbo of Southern rock, blues, soul, gospel, jazz, funk, and progressive rock. Boasting a full horn section and a handful of backing vocalists, the 12-piece band continues its evolution on this new album. Gloriously exhilarating songs like “Anyhow” and “Laugh About It” are lifted up by the combination of Tedeschi’s powerhouse vocals and the brass section.
The New Orleans-inspired backroom blues of “Right On Time” conjures up a junkyard jazz reminiscent of something out of Tom Waits’s world. This song features Mike Mattison sharing lead vocals with Tedeschi, whose considerable ability on guitar can be heard on “Don’t Know What It Means.” Mattison steps back in on lead vocals on “Crying Over You/Swamp Raga For Holzapfel, Lefebvre, Flute And Harmonium,” an eight minute track which goes from soulful jam to a meditative, Indian melody. Afterwards it segues into the gorgeous “Hear Me.” The album’s jazzy title track gives keyboardist Kofi Burbridge an opportunity to stretch out on Hammond organ and his talents on flute are on display in the coda of “I Want More.”
Let Me Get By is largely produced by Trucks alone, with help on three selections from Doyle Bramhall II, who also plays on the album and has a hand in some of the songwriting. It’s the first studio album from the Tedeschi Trucks Band where Trucks handles the lion’s share of the production himself. He gives this album an enveloping warmth that is new, yet very familiar.
Let Me Get By attests that the Tedeschi Trucks Band are more than just another group on the jam band bus. They are a diverse ensemble, comfortable with that point where songcraft and complex, musical expression go hand in hand. The album’s songs are perfectly crafted to showcase the band’s considerable chops without meandering off into overindulgence, yet they are ripe for expansion in a live setting.
At no time does the Tedeschi Trucks Band falter on Let Me Get By; instead, they thrive to the extent where you realize there isn’t anything they can’t do.