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Songlines by Derek Trucks Band

Wow! One thing that can be definitely said about this CD: It has attitude! The common threads throughout feature searing guitar riffs by the group’s namesake that are thick with distortion coupled with heavy backbeats and blues-drenched, raspy vocals. While the tempo never rises to that of, say, Led Zeppelin’s "Rock and Roll," it does have drive. Oh, did I forget to mention that the album is definitely not typical of anything smooth jazz? That’s right. I actually thought I was listening to the Allman Brothers blues-rock band. Well, I was a bit curious and did a little research. Guess what? For those of you who remember and were once into the Allmans (like me), Derek Trucks is actually the nephew of Allmans drummer Butch Trucks. Just a bit of trivia for those interested in knowing. Anyway, if you’re here shopping for smooth jazz, this one is not the stop to make. However, if you like southern-fried blues rock arranged in often interesting and unique instrument voicings and melodies, you just might want to listen to this one.

The CD opens with "Volunteered Slavery," a piece heavy on bluesy guitar riffs. It then simply plows ahead full force, stopping only once at track four, "Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni" (nope, no typos. You’re reading it right). This track is a rather strange (and long at 9 minutes) departure from the rest of the tunes, virtually defying classification. The rhythm and flavor of this one could probably paint an image of some faraway place (maybe Bahrain?) suddenly discovering that blues rock and electric guitar could totally redefine music as it knows it.

As mentioned earlier, this group can often remind one of some of the heavyweights of 70s/80s rock/blues. For example, track seven, "Revolution," is a hard-driving number reminiscent of some earlier Eric Clapton offerings. At any rate, while I certainly don’t feel that this is in the smooth jazz vein, if you’re into the blues rock scene, this CD probably has just enough "ummph" to keep you listening.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Derek Trucks Band
  • CD Title: Songlines
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Derek Trucks/Columbia Records
  • Rating: Two Stars
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