I’m using the baby boomer terminology for one’s love buddy since this is (and I hate to say it) adult music. In no way, shape, or form are teenagers consuming this music unless they have uber-righteous parents who brought them up proper on a strict diet of cheese grits, black-eyed peas, and a heapin’ mess of southern soul smothered in gravy. (What? Why “gravy”? We’re in the South, bubba. Your question should always be “Why not gravy?”)
This is old-fashioned, gospel-inflected blues rock, but it doesn’t sound particularly old-fashioned even though nobody makes this kind of album anymore. It’s funky and sexy, but it’s comfortably funky, just dirty enough; it’s Al Green sexy with a Barry White bite, at times. This is a “take your kids to your mother’s house for the evening, come back and light some candles” kind of record. Baby-makin’ music.
It’s definitely not the fiery southern blues of the early Allman Brothers, more of a slow burn; not so much Eric Clapton’s Derek And The Dominos but rather Eric Clapton’s solo years. I wasn’t kidding about the funk, though, so don’t get the idea this is a sleepy record just because it makes you want to sip a cold beer on the porch as the sun starts to slide away over the horizon–as opposed to drinking a fifth of Jack and trashing your hotel room.
The songs have a little sting in them, too, courtesy of a modified Gibson USA SG 1961 reissue with a modified tailpiece and an additional ‘stopbar’ tailpiece connected to a 1965 Fender Super Reverb amplifier with four Pyle Driver MH1020 speakers. And a custom-made antique glass bottleneck slide. Oh, and the dude playing it.
Any striking similarities to their forebears reside primarily in the Trucks half of the band. Derek Trucks may be the living reincarnation of Duane Allman with the lost blues spirit of Clapton. Strong words, you say? Them’s fightin’ words? Then clearly you’ve never heard Derek Trucks play the electric slide guitar — like ringin’ a bell, motherfunker (you know that’s not what I wanted to write, but I like to keep it clean…for the children).
So drop the needle, turn up the wattage, and get yer clock cleaned!
But let’s put a bookmark in that groove for a moment. In the interest of full disclosure, Trucks has actually played with the Allmans as a full-fledged member since 1999 (at age 19!) as well as working with his own band, the creatively monikered Derek Trucks Band. He and his wife, Susan Tedeschi (who’s been making her own albums since 1995 on her way to racking up five Grammy nominations), formed this musical conglomerate so they could spend more time together (more time together rockin’!) in the studio and on tour (more time together adorable!). We now return you to your regularly scheduled groove…
The band starts to get a little more down ‘n’ dirty towards the end of the album and Trucks begins to cut loose (Footloose!) with some mean guitar but before you know it, the party’s all over. The water from the tub has sloshed out half the candles, Bull Durham-style, and it’s time for you and your other to go pick up the kids. But you’ve got a knowing smile on your face as you walk out the door, and you’re thinking a big bowl of grits sounds mighty good right about now. Here’s some gravy for ya…