Rock album review: Tedeschi Trucks Band’s I Am the Moon – Nothing if not ambitious

By Scott McClennan

Crescent He gives us the first five songs from I am the moon Suite runs about 35 minutes. Let me rephrase: It does about 35 minutes of music.

Rather than just releasing a new record, this week the band Tedeschi Trucks is embarking on an ambitious pledge to release new material across four albums, each accompanied by a film made up of visuals made for each of the new songs.

And this is no small bag of tunes written while the band members were in hiding during the pandemic. Instead, the new material is inspired by and related to the 12The tenth saga of the century The story of Laila and Majnun Written by the Persian poet Nizami.

and yes this he is The same “Layla” who was behind Derek and Domino’s masterpiece Laila and other miscellaneous love songsEric Clapton agonized over the desire of Patty Boyd, who happens to be married to his friend George Harrison.

and yes this he is The album was released on the day Susan Tedeschi was born and made by a short-lived band that included Clapton and Duane Allman that would eventually go under the name Derek Trucks as well as eventual guitar influences.

and yes this he is The album chosen by the co-founders of the Tedeschi Trucks band to perform entirely with guest guitarist Trey Anastasio at LOCKN 2019 was later released commercially in 2021, at a time when some new material for the band began appearing in a series of live performances produced for the live broadcast series. They are called Fireside sessions. (Art Views reconsidering)

Between the band’s performance Laila and other miscellaneous love songs And the Fireside Sessions, and during the pandemic lockdown when a tour wasn’t available, singer-songwriter Mike Mattison suggested that everyone in the 12-piece band read Nizami’s poem and think about (or think about, as mentioned in the album liner notes) all her sharp treatment of love far away. Manal, especially from Layla’s perspective, given that Derek and the Dominoes family have focused on her pain as the object of a maniac’s craving.

The end result is I am the moonthe first entrance which is CrescentWhich arrives tomorrow via the band’s YouTube channel on YouTube, accompanied by a film directed by Alex Lambert. Music will be available for purchase and streaming on June 3.

The entire work will consist of 24 songs, not a track beyond what it takes for a double CD release. But, due to the apparent precise intent of LOCKN’s performance thus far, the group is doing their best I am the moon About art, not product. If this is how TTB can slow down the flow and encourage listeners to immerse themselves in the project, so be it.

Crescent He gives us the first five songs of the suite and lasts about 35 minutes. Let me rephrase: It does about 35 minutes of music.

In this project, we hear TTB capture in the studio what she does well on stage, that is, engage every member of the 12-piece troupe in a beautiful, conversational way. Trumpets, vocals, keys, drums, bass, and guitars rise and fall and weave around each other. The goal is to subtly enrich the musical palette: not to flood the senses with ferocity, but to entice listeners to open up to diversity in this multifaceted and emotionally resonant work.

Opens “Listen dear” Crescent On a reflective note. The metaphors of being lost in the wilderness come directly from Nizami’s poem. Take pictures of someone with a beautiful tune from the playbook. Provides the song with a nice slow structure; It’s the kind of bend number the band specializes in. The band draws from many traditions without being beholden to anyone.

The Tedyshi Trucks Squad. Photo: Davis McAllister

The song “Fall In” uplifts the tempo and mood. Leading this spirited number, Mathison reveals devious words that swing on an inconsequential but somehow strike a chord (“The devil is just a point of view/Hide in the details, true/How they’ll remember you”).

“I’m the Moon” is an amazing number written by keyboardist Gabby Dixon. Dixon and Tedeschi sing along on this soaring track that captures the agony of Layla’s predicament: she’s aghast at the maddened frenzy and despair of their forced separation. Dixon joined TTB in 2018 on a temporary basis that turned into an unexpected full-time role following the death of keyboard founder Kofi Burbridge. With “I Am the Moon”, Dixon has shown he’s made the difficult transition: he’s shaping the band’s direction as well as preserving Burbridge’s legacy.

“Circles’ Round the Sun” is urgent rock, full of pent-up angst and peppered with choral chants and guitar fireworks. A tumultuous rhythm presses on the storm.

‘Pasaquan’ closes Crescent And the song is the great Derek Trucks masterpiece we’ve all been waiting for. During his time as a member of the Allman Brothers band from 1999 to 2014, Trucks played “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “Jessica,” “Hot “Lanta,” “Mountain Jam,” and “Les Brers in A Minor” enough times to understand DNA. For an instrument meant to take the listener on a powerful journey. “Pasaquan” is named after a sculpture park in Georgia created by outside artist Eddie Owens Martin (1908-1986).(also known as ST. EOM; its sound is heard at the tail end of “Circles”) around the sun”). The melody is credited to Trucks, drummers Tyler Greenwell and Isaac Eddy, and bassist Brandon Boone and Dixon. Each of these musicians contributes memorably to this 12-minute-plus jam. But the character of this song is all trucks, full of guitar lines that explore and soar and dig, moving in steps that pile into one another while also allowing everyone in the group to make the dynamic shifts needed to change the mood and feel of the track. Ultimately, Basakan comes out as the editor because of his soaring rhythms and sonorous melodies. But the challenges posed by the tragic story of Layla and Majnun – touching on the obstacles we all face on any given day – are evident in the performance.

I am the moon It is a promising start with Crescent. The saga continues with the movie premiere Boarding On June 28 the fall On July 26, and F.Fine On August 23. Musical releases will follow the Fridays after the YouTube premiere.

Scott McClennan Covered music for Worcester Telegram and Gazet From 1993 to 2008. He then contributed music commentaries and features to Boston GlobeAnd the Providence MagazineAnd the Portland Press Heraldand WGBH, as well as to Art Views. He also ran the NE Metal blog to provide in-depth coverage of the region’s heavy metal music scene.

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