The Derek Trucks Band – Songlines, Live 2006 (AVI)

The Derek Trucks Band – Songlines, Live 2006 (AVI)

Blues

The youngest guitarist to make it onto ROLLING STONE’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time list, Derek Trucks has been demonstrating his musical acumen since the age of nine, when he picked up his first instrument. Now one of the best slide guitarists on the scene, he has put together a band characterized by a broad range of talent and a proclivity for improvisation. This release marks the group’s first album in four years, and demonstrates the growth they’ve experienced while incorporating an eclectic mix of sounds, ranging from rock and jazz to Latin and world music.
**
This is an outstanding concert that was filmed at The Park West in Chicago on January 28, 2006. The music is very “soulful”, “jazzy”, “smooth”, “jam-oriented”, and “spontaneous and improvised” at times. The band is very talented and work very well together as musicians.
The line-up consists of: Derek Trucks on lead guitar(he plays excellent guitar work including slide guitar play), Todd Smallie on bass and vocals, Yonrico Scott on drums and percussion and vocals, Kofi Burbridge on keyboards, flute and vocals, Mike Mattison on Lead Vocals( He is an outstanding vocalist- his vocals flow along with the music just perfect),
and Count M’Butu on congas and percussion. The Band works together “like a well oiled Machnine”.
The set list consists of 20 songs (about 2 hours of music), some highlights include: “Joyful Noise”, “Key to the Highway”, “I’d rather be blind, crippled and crazy”, “All I Do”, “Sailing On”, “Soul Serenade”, “For my Brother”, “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, “Voices Inside”, and “Anyday”.
The encore consists of two more songs. If you like “smooth”,”jam-oriented”, “improvised” “bluey-jazzy” music with excellent lead guitar work, you’ll enjoy this one. I highly recommend this concert dvd.
By Gary Covington.
**
Any fan of Trucks will want this recording, but also any fan of good music too. What I like about this guy and this band is their open and sincere and high approach to music and culture and us as listeners (shows in how they relate to the audience and how they price this DVD).
This recording is well if modestly done. Nothing flashy here, just 6 guys playing well together. I was a bit surprised to have the show start with a few short interviews introducing the band and their approach to the music. Then for the next 2+ hours we get the full uninterupted concert. And I loved the show! And I was also glad to have had the reminder of the intention behind it.
I’m a big fan of Trucks but was more impressed by the rest of the band as well, the varied selection of tunes, the skill they played and interplayed with, and the general way they approach their task. As Trucks says in the intro these guys play as it is their church, and that includes us and the collective intention of the best the world has to offer.
This is the way to approach music; from the sacred, with humility, playfulness, joy, inclusiveness, and the love of doing it right.
By Applewood.
**
Back in 2003 I picked up the latest offering by the Allman Brothers Band called Hittin’ The Note, mostly to hear Warren Haynes guitar wizardry, but also to check out this new slide guitar ace that every one was talking about – the Allman’s newest brother, Derek Trucks. If the name sounds familiar, it is because his uncle is one of the founding members and current drummer for the Allman’s, Butch Trucks.
I was so impressed with Trucks fluid and expressive guitar work, I rushed out and picked up his then latest release, 2002’s Joyful Noise. Although primarily based in the blues-rock genre like his uncle’s band, The Derek Trucks Band covers a wildly diverse range of musical influences including blues, rock, jazz, funk, R&B, Latin, and world music – sometimes all within the same song. For those coming from a strictly rock or blues background, this eclectic musical blend might take some getting used to, but Trucks phenomenal guitar technique will capture your attention immediately.
Trucks’ follow-up to Joyful Noise, Soul Serenade, was somewhat of a let down for me. Although released in 2003, Soul Serenade was actually mostly recorded back in 1999. It was a more laid back affair leaning more towards his smooth jazz and world influences. After 2004’s killer Live At Georgia Theater album, Trucks emerged from the studio this year with his finest album yet, Songlines, which is the focus of this wonderful DVD.
Songlines Live was filmed at the Park West in Chicago on January 28th, 2006. The performance was shot in high definition for a special HDNet program, and it looks spectacular. Ten of the songs featured are from the Songlines album, and the rest of the set is comprised of old blues standards along with a couple of songs from the DTB’s previous two studio albums. The main difference you will notice between the new Songlines material and Trucks earlier efforts, is the dominance of new lead vocalist Mike Mattison.
The DVD opens with about four minutes worth of interviews with Trucks and each of his band members. The genuine pleasure they all exude in playing this music and being in this band together makes it obvious why their stage chemistry is so remarkable. Trucks tells how he put the DTB together about ten years ago, when he was only fourteen years old, and how the current version features musicians born in three different decades and from all over the map.
The band starts the set with perhaps my favorite DTB song, “Joyful Noise”. You are immediately captivated by Trucks’ completely unique sounding guitar tone. Like many great guitarists before him who have been gifted with an instantly recognizable sound – Santana, Hendrix, Johnson, and Metheny are a few who come to mind – you know it is Trucks playing after only a few notes from his slide. Trucks plays the same Gibson SG guitar throughout the show, and he picks exclusively with his fingers, which lends to his unique tone.
From there, they run through nearly the entire Songlines album, excluding only “This Sky” and “Revolution”, which unfortunately are two of the albums’ strongest tracks. They interrupt the Songlines progression midway for a powerful performance of “Key To The Highway”. If Clapton dusts this one off on his current tour with Trucks, he should just have the sense to say “ladies and gentlemen, Derek Trucks”, and then head backstage for a beer. Well, I guess he could stay out and sing the thing. What I’m trying to say is that Trucks simply tears it up here, laying down a couple of astonishing guitar solos in the process. Mattison belts it out too, giving one of his most impassioned vocal performances of the night.
Trucks will certainly not be stealing Steve Vai’s flashiest guitarist award any time soon. Although his licks are plenty flashy, and speak for themselves, his stage presence is very understated. He stands in the exact same spot, same position, with the same concentrated expression on his face for the entire show, pausing only to give subtle cues to his band. The only time you hear him speak is to introduce the band. Mattison is a very versatile vocalist, moving between deep soulful growls, to gentle falsetto with ease. His style is still growing on me. While some of the time I find him amazing, other times I find his over the top expressiveness a little too Al Jarreau for some of this music.
This was the first time I heard the Songlines material, as I have yet to pick up the album. This album is probably a little more accessible than his previous two, but still features an amazing variety of style. “Crow Jane” is a grinding delta blues tune that hinges on Mattison’s light falsetto. “Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni” are basically Indian-blues, if you can imagine that. “Volunteered Slavery” is part gospel, part blues, and features some of Trucks’ finest non-slide work of the night. “I’ll Find My Way”, “I Wish I Knew”, “I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled And Crazy” and “All I Do” are all more standard blues-rock fare and really heat up the middle part of the show, as Trucks lays down several more mesmerizing guitar solos.
“Mahjoun” begins with Count Mbutu’s short conga solo before Trucks lays down a thick rhythm behind Kofi Burbridge’s flute leads, which along with the abundance of percussion give the song a distinct Middle-Eastern flavor. Trucks also brilliantly interweaves some classic “Greensleeves” riffs throughout the song. The upbeat blues of “Sailin On” is followed by the blues classic, “Chevrolet”, which I immediately compared to Robben Ford’s signature version. Trucks’ unique slide guitar approach makes for a killer rendition, but I much prefer Ford’s singing over Mattison’s on this song. One of the highlights of the set was “For My Brother”, which first appeared on the Live At Georgia Theater album, and sees Trucks take off the slide again to kick things off with some gentle jazz chords, before exploding the song into a stunning fusion of jazz, rock, and blues that brings the house down.
The band closes out the set with an inspired take on the Derek And The Dominoes classic “Anyday”, and then returns for an encore begining with Stevie Wonder’s “Maybe Your Baby” and surprisingly closes with a DTB rendering of the very old Rosetta Tharpe gospel song “Up Above My Head”. When I said this was an eclectic mix, I wasn’t kidding.
The superior production quality of this DVD puts most other recent buys to shame. Filmed with nine, high-definition cameras, the ultra sharp picture and brilliant colors will amaze you. The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround is as good as it gets, letting you hear every instrument with ultimate clarity and perfect balance. Camera angles come at you from everywhere, but are never obtrusive or change too fast. Trucks’ fretwork is captured magnificently with lingering close-ups from every angle.
The bonus features are excellent and include 20-minutes worth of band interviews, a discussion about Derek’s work with the Allman Brothers and Eric Clapton, and an inside look into the recording of Songlines. The performance lasts an impressive 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is much more generous than the 120 minute total running time that the DVD case lists.
Songlines Live is a superb DVD that showcases one of the best young guitarists (and bands) in the business. No guitar fan should pass this one up.
By Paul Roy.
**
Derek Trucks- (Guitar, Dobro);
Mike Mattison- (Vocals);
Kofi Burbridge- (Vocals, Flute, Keyboards);
Jay Joyce- (Keyboards);
Todd Smallie- (Vocals, Bass);
Count Mbutu- (Congas, Percussion);
Yonrico Scott- (Vocals, drums, Percussion).
**
01. Joyful Noise
02. Crow Jane
03. Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni
04. Volunteered Slavery
05. I’ll Find My Way
06. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)
07. Key To The Highway
08. I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled And Crazy
09. All I Do
10. Mahjoun/Greensleeves
11. Sailing On
12. Chevrolet
13. Soul Serenade
14. For My Brother
15. Feel So Bad
16. Let’s Go Get Stoned
17. Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)/Fat Mama
18. Anyday
Encore:
19. Maybe Your Baby
20. Up Above My Head
**


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