Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"This latest live album catches him at his best and is a must for any fan of the blues or the guitar... While it is grounded in the blues, he stretches it out to embrace rock, jazz, and even a little reggae. It is an album that builds with the first four songs, which find him becoming increasingly involved and the solos growing longer. By the time he reaches “Get What You Deserve” he is at the top of his game as one of the best slide guitarists alive today... one of the better live albums to be released during the last several years." -SeattlePI
"Derek Trucks may be young but he has ascended to the rare stratosphere of the top guitarists in the world. He received his first paycheck at age 11, sat in with Buddy Guy at 12, and formed his own band at 15. At 24 Rolling Stone included him on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time.
Today he continues to record and tour with his own Derek Trucks Band. He has also been a member of the legendary Allman Brothers since 1999 which his uncle, Butch Trucks, helped found. He has also toured in recent years with Eric Clapton as part of his backing band. Somehow in the middle of all this he managed to marry blues singer Susan Tedeschi.
During early April of 2010 he brought the Derek Trucks Band to Chicago for two days of live playing and recording. The result is the two-disc, just under two-hour set, Roadsongs. Derek Trucks has never produced a bad studio album but live his playing takes on new power and produces even more exciting textures. He uses a song as a taking off point for his improvisations and, as such, every performance is different.
This latest live album catches him at his best and is a must for any fan of the blues or the guitar. While it is grounded in the blues, he stretches it out to embrace rock, jazz, and even a little reggae.
It is an album that builds with the first four songs, which find him becoming increasingly involved and the solos growing longer. By the time he reaches "Get What You Deserve" he is at the top of his game as one of the best slide guitarists alive today.
Classics "Anyday," "Down In The Flood," and "Key To The Highway" all receive brilliant translations. "Afro Blue," at well over ten minutes, is a jazz piece in which he plays off a three-piece brass section. The reggae tune, "Rastaman Chant," is funky and joyous.
Mike Mattison is the lead vocalist here and his gruff vocals are a good match for Trucks' blues sound. Other group members include bassist Todd Smallie, drummer Yonrico Scott, keyboardist/flutist Kofi Burbridge, and percussionist Count M'Butu. In addition there is the aforementioned brass section, which is made up of Mace Hibbard, Paul Garrett, and Kevin Hyde.
Roadsongs is one of the better live albums to be released during the last several years. It's that good!" -BlogCritics
"Roadsongs is the new live album from The Derek Trucks Band. The album includes many of the best songs from DTB's catalog along with some covers such as "Key to the Highway," and "Anyday."
One of the great additions the band brings to this album is the use of horns. They really add extra flare to some of the songs, most notably "Days Is Almost Gone." The song has always been one of my favorites from the band, but the added horns really take the song to the next level.
As always Trucks absolutely rips on this album and in a live setting he can let loose more so than usual. One such track is "Afro Blue." This a fantastic track with so many great elements. The added horns and the clarino sound with Trucks' slide playing is really something.
Roadsongs is an excellent addition to The Derek Trucks Band catalog. Not to mention it's a two-disc set that lasts nearly two hours. And like the title of the album, it's great to listen to on the road." -bluesreviewblog
Personnel: Kofi Burbridge (vocals, flute, keyboards); Yonrico Scott (vocals, drums); Count Mbutu (vocals, percussion); Todd Smallie, Mike Mattison (vocals); Derek Trucks (guitar); Mace Hibbard (tenor saxophone); Paul Garrett (trumpet); Kevin Hyde (trombone).
Audio Mixer: Chris Shaw .
Liner Note Author: Mike Mattison.
Recording information: The Park West, Chicago, IL (04/08/2010/04/09/2010).
Photographers: Josh Mintz; Derek Trucks; Roger Skelly; Joe Roman; Michael Jozwiak; Charles Izenstark.
This double-live album by the Derek Trucks Band may end up being the last for this version of the group -- at least for a while. Trucks and wife Susan Tedeschi joined forces in 2010 as the Derek Trucks-Susan Tedeschi Band. Some of the players come from Trucks' organization: Kofi Burbridge and singer Mike Mattison with bassist Oteil Burbridge, and drummer J.J. Johnson, among others. Which brings us to Roadsongs. Recorded in support of 2009's Grammy-winning Already Free, this set contains over 100 minutes of music from across his recording career. For starters, this is the most sonically satisfying live record Trucks has released to date. It's full of dynamics, beautiful separation, and warm, present sound while capturing the raw, spontaneous energy the band plays with live. The material ranges from five tracks from Already Free (four of which appear on disc one), including a burning "Down in the Flood," a swinging "Get What You Deserve," a sparse "Days Is Almost Gone," and an open country lope in "Already Free." Disc one is bookended by the woolly opener "I'll Find My Way," and a 14-plus-minute "Afro Blue" to close (the latter with gorgeous flute work by Burbridge). Disc two opens with "I Know" from the previous album and then takes off into originals and covers that include live standards such as reworked versions of Bob Marley's "Rastaman Chant," and "Key to the Highway" (both have incredible drum and percussion work by Yonrico Scott and Count Mbutu, respectively). The blazing horn section on "Down Don't Bother Me" makes it (arguably) the greatest existing recorded version (it's easy to hear in Mattison's deeply moving vocal how empathically Trucks responds). The medley of "Get Out of My Life Woman/Who Knows" begins as a shimmering, big-band Chicago blues that gives way to a slippery, in-the-pocket James Brown-style funk jam. The set closes with a transcendent nine-and-half minute "Anyday." If this is the last record we get from the DTB band for now, it's a fine -- if temporary -- send-off, full of fire, grit, and jaw-dropping musical performances. ~ Thom Jurek