Mitchell: Veterans Tedeschi and Trucks step up for debut album
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Revelator (Sony)
Susan Tedeschi and Butch Tucks are wife and husband. She has a half dozen albums under her belt and three of those hit No. 1 on the blues charts while Trucks is a celebrated slide guitarist who plies his trade with the Allman Brothers Band where he is considered by many to be the equal of both Duane Allman and Dickey Betts.
Earlier this year Tedeschi and Trucks contributed a song to the big-selling Herbie Hancock tribute album to John Lennon, titled The Imagine Project—not forgetting that Hancock’s previous album won a Grammy for 2007 Album Of The Year as a tribute album to Joni Mitchell titled River: The Joni Letters.
Anyway, after the Hancock sessions hubby and wife met some new musicians who they took on the road as the Soul Stew Revival and this new album, Revelator, comes from that 11-piece band and represents the Tedeschi Trucks Band debut album.
This is a fabulous slice of new gospel-tinged blues with all songs written by the spouses that promises to be one of the best blues albums of this year. The couple are very happy and that comes across on this disc loaded with love (and sometimes lust) songs.
There is not a dud on this terrific album with the gorgeous slow jam of Midnight In Harlem, the serpentine gumbo of Love Has Something Else To Say and the gospel-informed Don’t Let Me Slide.
As mentioned, all dozen tracks here are originals but Tedeschi and Trucks tend toward classic titles such as Bound For Glory (not the Woodie Guthrie song), Come See About Me (not The Supremes song) and Ball And Chain (not the Janis Joplin vehicle).
But these are solid songs and it will be interesting to see how this couple will fit the success of this album in with their other activities.
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi: Rome (Parlophone)
This is a one-off collaboration between electronic artist and producer Danger Mouse and noted Italian film composer Daniele Luppi. Apparently this album was a long time in the making with both artists contributing while time would allow for busy careers.
But Rome is more or less a soundtrack album to a movie that has yet to be made, or may never be made. There is plenty of spaghetti western, wet, echoey guitar on Rome, while the collaborative duo were wise to hire high profile singers Norah Jones and Jack White, ex of The White Stripes, to sing these songs and add a little more pizzazz to the sessions.
Most of the musicians here are veteran and even senior citizens of the Italian film genre while most of the tunes are short.
The best song to my ears is the Euro-pop of the Jones sung Problem Queen while the feature tracks as stickered are the string-laden Black (the opening melodies reminded me of Hotel California) and the White sung Two Against One where White seems to channel a little Robert Plant.
I am not a cognoscente of Italian film scores but if you are interested in this semi mock up you will probably find some snippet to enjoy.
Jackie Evancho: Dream With Me (Columbia)
This album is sort of freakish for the massive talent of its 11-year-old singer Jackie Evancho. She actually looks younger than a young girl in double digit years and she did in fact wow the audiences and judges of America’s Got Talent a few years ago when she was only nine.
Evancho is decidedly a phenom with oodles of talent but you are just left scratching your head about how this huge voice can be coming out of such an unfledged, doll-like body.
Last year Evancho released a short, four-song Xmas album that came with an equally short DVD of her America’s Got Talent performances and it sold at No.2 in the USA. This full length album, I bet, will generate a ton of interest where Evancho seems equally adept at operatic arias, pop songs and show tunes.
The best of these are the two Puccini arias Nessun Dorma and O Mio Babbino Caro, along with a take of Sarah McLachlan’s pop ballad Angel and the show tune When You Wish Upon A Star.
Evancho even holds her own and more with Barbra Streisand on the West Side Story evergreen Somewhere (where the 60+ years in age difference makes the usual boy/girl duet seem do-able) and with Susan Boyle on the David Foster-penned and produced A Mother’s Prayer.
But my fave track here is the exotic, oriental-sounding Lovers as written by Shigeru Umebayashi that has some ambient electro leanings.
Again, Jackie Evancho seems freakishly accomplished from someone who almost looks like a toddler, yet I predict huge crossover success.
Ozzy Osbourne: Diary Of A Madman
I mentioned last week that the early Ozzy album, Blizzard Of Ozz, had been released as an expanded ‘legacy’ re-issue.
Well Ozzy’s second album has also been given the upgrade treatment but fans will be champing at the bit even more for this two-CD set.
Again, the original tapes were used for a brilliant remastering and restoration but the second disc here is a superb live concert that culminates in the Black Sabbath signature song Paranoid as well as the three hits off Diary Of A Madman with Over The Mountain, Flying High Again and You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll.
The 11-track concert material here makes this a must own for the big Ozzy fan.