The '70s were the heyday of the live rock ‘n roll album: Band of Gypsies, Live at Leeds, The Doors Absolutely Live, Steppenwolf Live, and the Woodstock soundtrack all were released in 1970 alone. And the trend continued throughout the decade, to the extent that the “double live album” became a '70s cliché.
You may not have realized they still make albums like Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Everybody’s Talkin’. In this age of Auto-Tune/brick wall limiting/Pro Tools, it’s rare to encounter a live recording that doesn’t sound aridly vacuum-packed and digitally enhanced to the point where you can practically hear the ones and zeros whizzing past your ears. From its title to the cover songs to the performances, Everybody’s Talkin’ is a throwback in all the best ways, a warm-sounding concert document, a “record” we would have called “organic” back in the days when people still used words like “ecology” and politicians pretended to care about it.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band (aka TTB) would have thrived in the bygone glory days of the live album. One of Everybody’s Talkin’s direct antecedents is 1971’s At Fillmore East, the double live album that put The Allman Brothers Band on the map, eventually going platinum. That epic set allowed the band to stretch out on the extended blues-influenced jams that cemented guitarist Duane Allman’s place in rock immortality (Its album jacket also depicts Duane hastily concealing the smack he’d just scored, putting the rest of the band in stitches). Derek Trucks—nephew of Allman’s drummer, Butch Trucks, and himself a member of the Allmans during the '90s—is already established as one of the finest slide guitarists of our time. This album will only enhance that reputation.
Everybody’s Talkin’ marks the TTBs first anniversary with a two CD (or three l.p.) set, recorded last October while the band toured behind their Grammy-winning debut album, Revelator. Although this is technically a new group, Susan Tedeschi (guitar and vocals) and Trucks, who are wife and husband, each fronted bands of their own and, together led Soul Stew Revival, a mashup of both their bands.