Street Sounds: Tedeschi, Trucks get by on blues

The fourth album from the Florida based blues rock band Tedeschi Trucks Band is a confident blast of good vibes.

The fourth album from the Florida based blues rock band Tedeschi Trucks Band is a confident blast of good vibes.

Let Me Get By is the group’s first self-produced recording and the songs and performances push the jam band genre into a dignified environment.

Guitarist/bandleader Derek Trucks has stepped out of the long shadow of the Allman Brothers Band for full-time commitment to his own group, and it shows. Along with singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and their large 12-piece band, he’s written some adventurous material.

The album and songs make the most of the ensemble playing, and the result is a production with no sharp edges and the flow of a well-honed set list.

Tracks like Anyhow and I Want More are an unselfconscious ‘70s style departure from blues traditionalism. The band takes that era’s penchant for featuring extended tracks with tasteful playing and works it. In short, it grooves.

The albums character is remarkable for the distillation of the southern U.S. musical tradition, notably R&B, blues, rock and jazz.

TTB smoothes over stylistic differences to make a gumbo, and songs like Let Me Get By and Right On Time are examples of the group’s ability to absorb styles and connect the dots.

The difference of this album to the group’s previous work is the hint of revivalism and folk-blues sounds.

Just as a Stranger is an amped-up throwback to tent meetings and testimonials. The anchored rhythm and floating melody of I Want You and In Every Heart are a natural direction for the band to follow.

The blues and jazz inspirations of the band fits snugly into the songwriting of Tedeschi and Trucks, and songs like Get Over You feature their patented sunset-bound jams.

Let Me Get By is an album with no slack, and an inspired take on blues, jazz and rock.

Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews the latest recordings for The Morning Star every Friday.