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The Derek Trucks Band - SonglinesThe Derek Trucks Band - Songlines
Columbia Records - 2006

Songlines is the first new studio album in nearly four years from the continually inventive young guitarist Derek Trucks and the soulful and eclectic ensemble that carries his name. The name for the album and the songs influences derive from a book Derek read about old world ancestors that used song as a way to communicate.

This review is to turn the heads of those who have not yet been turned on to Dereks’ bottleneck magic and one of this generations coolest free funk / blues-rock jam bands. The Derek Trucks Band has been a work in progress for over 10 years, blending jazz, rock, blues, Latin, Eastern Indian, and other world music into the sound that now defines the DTB. The band’s mission has been to assemble a group of musicians that share a passion for improvisation and musical exploration, and to develop a united musical vision by performing with this core group of players for an extended period of time. The focus of the band is an art form itself, despite the current trend of image-driven music on the scene today.

1. Volunteered Slavery – slick slide work that gives a call and response to everyone singing the refrain together – nice intro song, very cool!

2. I’ll Find My Way- Hammond organ driven jam that gets your heart pumping

3. Crow Jane- hippest version of this traditional slide blues song that gets funky

4. Sahib Teri Bandi / Maki Madni – great slide guitar mixed with old world Pakistani beats

5. Chevrolet- raw acoustic slide mixes well with raunchy soulful vocals

6. Sailing On- slide mastery mixed into a Jamaican reggae tempo with the subtle flute

7. Revolution- nicely arranged song with a hard driving beat, raspy vocals and perfectly timed Clapton like guitar work -background vocals sound great on refrain

8. I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled & Crazy- percussion and subtle slide and keys create a new age blend of jazz, roots and blues

9. All I Do- reminds me of a Jon Mayer song until Derek’s guitar work and the funky organ adds a little flavor and ends up being a six minute jam

10. Mahjoun- jazzy, trippy instrumental that puts you in a trance

11. I Wish I Knew- starts out slow and acoustic and ends as another tightly arranged upbeat creation

12. This Sky –soft vocals weaved into a spiritual yearn leaves you craving for more

The band is:

Derek Trucks -- guitar & dobro
Todd Smallie -- bass & vocals
Yonrico Scott -- drums, percussion & vocals
Kofi Burbridge -- keyboards, flute & vocals
Mike Mattison - vocals
Count M'Butu - congas & percussion

I give this disc 4.8 out of 5.0 on my STLBluesometer rating. This is music evolving into something special that cannot be classified or catalogued and was born from both old world and the new world. Enjoy-

Joseph "UJ" Miller
email :: uj@stlblues.net
The STLBluesometer
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