Already Free


dtbWith each album, the Derek Trucks Band just keeps on truckin’ — not only in terms of evolution but also each disc’s uniqueness: the improvisational jazz/blues of their self-titled debut; the Southern folk/blues bent of “Out of the Madness”; the Latin and fusion forays and expanded Indian influence on “Joyful Noise”; the mostly jazz leaning of “Soul Serenade”; and the melting-pot maturity of “Songlines.”

Undoubtedly infused with residual energy from Trucks’ recent tour with Eric Clapton, and recorded in the span of a year at his new Jacksonville, Fla., home studio appropriately named Swamp Raga (on the console that sat in Konk Studios for 30 years), “Already” marks the slide guitar master’s debut in the producer’s chair.

The jazz and world outings of yore have been traded in for a more greasy, electrified Delta and soul/R&B sound, à la Ry Cooder and the Staple Singers, respectively. It’s a logical settling down, afforded by the empathetic musicians’ years of experimenting with the aforementioned styles as Trucks forges on in his quest for aesthetic nirvana.

In retrospect, it also can be observed there’s not one instrumental on the disc, quite a progression for an ensemble that began as an instrumental outfit. Mike Mattison, who joined as the group’s first singer in 2004, handles vocal chores on nine songs, five of which he wrote with Trucks. Guest guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, who played alongside Trucks on the Clapton tour, sings two of three songs he wrote with Trucks. And Trucks’ wife, blues chantreuse Susan Tedeschi, sings a song Trucks wrote with fellow Allman Brothers guitarist and Gov’t Mule leader Warren Haynes.

The choice cover tunes are Bob Dylan’s “Down in the Flood” (from “The Basement Tapes”); Paul Pena’s “Something to Make You Happy”; Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn’s “Sweet Inspiration”; and an ultraobscure, original composition from a 1973 posthumous collection of unreleased Big Maybelle songs, “I Know.”gnm_end_bug

1. Down In The Flood
2. Something To Make You Happy
3. Maybe This Time
4. Sweet Inspiration
5. Don’t Miss Me
6. Get What You Deserve
7. Our Love
8. Down Don’t Bother Me
9. Days Is Almost Gone
10. Back Where I Started
11. I Know
12. Already Free

Total time: 55:05

External links
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