Exclaim! - - WOOD, WIRES & WHISKEY -

Let Me Get By

It’s tough for great live bands to use the stu­dio to their ad­van­tage. The Grate­ful Dead pretty much never fig­ured it out, and the All­man Brothers were only spo­rad­i­cally suc­cess­ful. Some groups just need the en­ergy of the stage, the volatil­ity of spon­ta­neous im­pro­vi­sa­tion, the thrill of step­ping into the wind on a high wire with­out a net. Then there’s the Tedeschi Trucks Band, ar­guably the best live act work­ing to­day, and com­pletely in com­mand of the stu­dio on this, their third stu­dio al­bum. Like a Venn di­a­gram of Amer­i­cana, the TTB op­er­ate at the in­ter­sec­tion of Delta blues, New Or­leans funk, Mem­phis soul, Texas coun­try and South­ern rock. It helps that th­ese top-flight mu­si­cians seem to be able to ace just about any­thing they touch, re­gard­less of genre. Though not ev­ery song on this over­long al­bum is a win­ner — if the band have a weak­ness, it’s in craft­ing en­dur­ing melodies — the bright, in­stinc­tive per­for­mances more than carry the thin­ner ma­te­rial. Check out the ma­jes­tic gospel groove of “Hear Me,” the deep midtempo sway of “Any­how” and the jazzy thump of “Right on Time.” Few bands cul­ti­vate such di­ver­sity over a ca­reer, let alone an al­bum. (Fan­tasy, con­cord­mu­sic­group.com/la­bels/fan­tasy) STU­ART HEN­DER­SON

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