Revelator (Sony Masterworks), the long-awaited, song-oriented debut album by the husband-wife team of singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks, will be released June 7. Filled with smoky, blues-dipped rockers and heart-stilling ballads that show off, respectively, the gutsier and softer side of Tedeschi’s vocal ability, plus a series of emotive, story-telling solos shaped by Trucks’s uncanny agility on slide-guitar, Revelator also serves to introduce the couple’s new, 11-piece ensemble—Tedeschi Trucks Band.
A dramatic leap forward for two of the music world’s most dynamic performers, Revelator is a confident yet unforced triumph offering a cohesive vision: an idyllic, musical world in which the echoes of so many great traditions—Delta blues and Memphis soul, Sixties rock and Seventies funk—organically flow together, blending with an entirely original, modern sensibility.
In addition to the combined weight of Tedeschi and Trucks’s equally renowned abilities, Revelator benefits from an impressive circle of talent that the two brought together. Trucks co-produced the album with multi-Grammy-winning engineer Jim Scott, whose genre-bending credits include popular albums by the Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Both Tedeschi and Trucks co-wrote the album’s eleven new songs with an impressive list of experienced songwriters, including Jeff Trott, John Leventhal, David Ryan Harris and Sonya Kitchell; Gary Louris and Oliver Wood—of the Jayhawks and the Wood Brothers, respectively; and old friends like guitarists Doyle Bramhall II and Eric Krasno (of Soulive), and band members Mike Mattison, Kofi Burbridge, and Oteil Burbridge.
Most notably, Revelator features the newly formed Tedeschi Trucks Band, an eleven-member ensemble overflowing with talent and musical familiarity. Brothers Oteil Burbridge (noted for his years as bassist with the Allman Brothers Band) and Kofi Burbridge (longtime keyboardist/flutist with the Derek Trucks Band) have joined forces with a pair of drummers J. J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, trumpeter Maurice Brown, tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams, trombonist Saunders Sermons, and harmony singers Mark Rivers and Mike Mattison. (Additionally, Ryan Shaw and David Ryan Harris supplied harmony vocals to various tracks on the album, and Alam Khan adds his masterful sarod playing to “These Walls”.) The fact that this aggregation includes so many musicians related by experience—and blood—clearly adds to the notion of Revelator as a true group album, the product of a musical family.
“These songs are all life-adventure stuff,” says Tedeschi, whose gospel-trained voice brings them all to life. “Whether soul-searching or love-searching, looking for shelter, or hope, or just a break. That’s what’s truly different about this album for Derek and myself. Rather than extended solos like he’s done in the past, Revelator is about storytelling through songs—songs with nice musical structures, with beginnings, middles and ends, a lot of content that people can really dig into.”
The album’s focus on songs, according to Trucks, means all the more focus on his wife’s voice. “I’m super-proud of the work that Susan’s done on the record – at the end of the day it’s her voice and she has to carry it. We really tried to catch different parts of her singing—not just the belting thing that she’s known for, but the sweet side too. She’s really laying it all out there.”
Trucks exclaims his anticipation and pride in their new collective. “I’m really looking forward to hitting the road and letting things grow until each show feels like an event. It’s nice having all these new songs but also having that looseness and spontaneity that comes with a great group of musicians. There are few bands that do that—hold on to that element of surprise. One moment could be a train wreck but the next, it’s church.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band plans to tour the U.S. and Europe on the heels of the release of Revelator, performing the music from the album as well as old favorites.
View a performance from the Tedeschi Trucks Band in Atlanta courtesy of Jim Beam.
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND TOUR DATES:
Tues, May 17 - Colorado Springs, CO - Armstrong Theatre
Wed, May 18 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kingsbury Hall
Fri, May 20 - Sonoma, CA - Sonoma Jazz Festival
Sat, May 21 - Dana Point, CA - Doheny Blues Festival
Sun, May 22 - San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
Tues, May 24 - Redding, CA - Redding Convention Center
Wed, May 25 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Thurs, May 26 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
Sat, June 4 - Aspen, CO - Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Fest
Sat, June 11 - Richmond, VA - The National
Sun, June 12 - Durham, NC - Durham PAC
Tues, June 14 - Savannah, GA - Johnny Mercer Theatre
Thurs, June 16 - Hampton Beach, NH - Casino Ballroom
Wed, June 29 - London, UK - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Fri, July 1 - Vienne, FR – Jazz a Vienne
Sat, July 2 - Montreux, CH - Auditorium Stravinski (w/ Santana)
Sun, July 3 - Montreux, CH - Auditorium Stravinski (w/ BB King - Derek & Susan only)
Tues, July 5 - Stuttgart, DE - Jazz Open Stuttgart
Thurs, July 7 - Paris, FR - Le Trianon
Sat, July 9 - Rotterdam, NL - North Sea Jazz Fest
Sun, July 10 - Bonn, DE - Museumsplatz
Fri, July 22 - Bridgeport, CT - Gathering of the Vibes
Sat, July 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Pittsburgh Blues Festival
Sun, July 24 - Sylvania, OH - Centennial Terrace
Sat, July 30 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Sat, Aug 13 - Fort Collins, CO - Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest
Wed, Aug 17 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion (w/ Steve Earle)
Thurs, Aug 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre (w/ Steve Earle)
Sat, Aug 20 - Cockeysville, MD - Hot August Blues Fest
Fri, Aug 26 - Minneapolos, MN - Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater
Sun, Aug 28 - Wichita, KS - The Cotillion