The Tedeschi Trucks Band consists of husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi and a band of nine other musicians. As a collective, they create great original music steeped in the Southern blues rock tradition. Trucks is the nephew of Allman Brothers founding member Butch Trucks and was a member of The Allman Brothers before forming his own band and then The Tedeschi Trucks Band with his wife in 2010. The Allman Brothers influence can certainly be heard in Made Up Mind, but then so can gospel, traditional blues, a sizable dose of soul, and Bonnie Raitt.
Susan Tedeschi is often compared to Bonnie Raitt and that is a good thing. Tedeschi is a strong lead singer, capable of fronting such a large and talented group of musicians. Listen to her passionate vocal on the title track, backed by Trucks’ pounding guitar. Then listen to the yearning vocals on “Idle Wind” and the deeply touching “It’s So Heavy” to see how Tedeschi is growing into her voice, gaining maturity with each passing year.
“Idle Wind” also features great slide guitar from Trucks and flute from Kofi Burbridge. Other horn players in the band, Kebbie Williams on saxophone, Maurice Brown on trumpet, and Saunders Sermons on trombone, are joined by dual drummers J.J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell (with Burbridge on clavinet and Hammond B3) to create a wall of sound for the funky “Misunderstood” which is straight out of the Muscle Shoals tradition. Sermons later duets with Tedeschi on the soul groove “Part of Me,” which evokes Motown at its best. “Whiskey Legs” is a clever jam tune which allows Tedeschi and Trucks to burn it up.
As for the rest of the album, it shines on every track. From the blues-infused “Do I Look Worried?” to the rocking “The Storm” to the poignant “Sweet and Low” and gentle, acoustic, “Calling on You” with Trucks’ sensitive slide guitar and Tedeschi’s melting voice making this simple arrangement an album standout. These songs round out a collection that proves that The Tedeschi Trucks Band is carrying on a strong tradition of Southern blues rock and soul in stellar style. It is a must-have for the collection of any fan of the genre.