Backyard JAX, Eagle Overhead

Backyard JAX, Eagle Overhead

David Fricke of Rolling Stone has been jamming out to Derek Trucks’s latest release, Already Free.

The record was made at Trucks’ new studio, behind his home in Jacksonville, Florida, and features songs Trucks wrote there with fellow Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes, and guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, Trucks’ bandmate in Eric Clapton’s touring group over the last two years. Bramhall also sings and plays on the album. The Trucks-Haynes acoustic hymn “Back Where I Started” is a geniuine family affair: Trucks’ wife, singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi, is the featured vocalist, Trucks plays the Indian sarod in a striking Delta-blues bottleneck style and Trucks’ brother Duane plays cardboard-box percussion.

Fricke, who is the consummate music critic, says this new album has hints of Dixie Chicken by Little Feat and Brothers and Sisters by The Allman Brothers. The album opens with what Fricke calls “a crunchy cover of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes song ‘Down in the Flood.'” I don’t know if crunchy is the word that comes to mind. I’m listening to the track now, and it’s sultry, yet nourishing like the humid air of north Florida.

The second track, “Something to Make You Happy” could easily have been the title track. It’s classic DTB. Vocalist Mike Mattison delivers the soul, the band brings the funk and Derek tears it up.

After Songlines, DTB fans had to wonder if the band could ever rise that high again. It’s too early for this fan to say, but the fact Already Free is a contender out of the box is saying a lot.

[MP3 Offering] “Something to Make You Happy” by Derek Trucks Band

More 2008 Music

More 2008 Music

I’m pretty proud of my Best of 2008 Mixtape that I sent out to nine friends today (see previous post). But Merge Records is giving me a run for the money with their own 2008 Sampler.

Here’s the lineup:

1. Slipped Dissolved and Loosed by Lambchop
2. Life Like by The Rosebuds
3. Dark Leaves Form a Thread by Destroyer
4. All the Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco by American Music Club
5. Cape Canaveral by Conor Oberst
6. I Don’t Feel Young by Wye Oak
7. Warm Rising Sun by Radar Bros.
8. Auctioneer by The Broken West
9. Some Small History by Portastatic
10. She’s Fetching by Big Dipper
11. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? by She & Him
12. Majesty by The Music Tapes
13. Jingle Bells by Julian Koster

You can stream these songs on Merge’s site or register and receive the album as a free download. Offering the download is a smart move by Merge, as the Conor Oberst and Wye Oak albums are the only ones we currently own. After this new sampler sinks in a bit, I’m sure we’ll be tempted to pick up more of these ’08 releases.

Bonus tracks for download here: Lazy Susan and Living in Sin by Oakley Hall (another Merge recording artist, but one that didn’t release an album in 2008. These tracks are from 2006.)