For blues-rock fans, the decision by husband-and-wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi to combine their respective bands into one 10-piece supergroup verged on a revelation. Here's a big ol' band that embraces the jam ethic, and on its second studio album shows off a great songbook for good measure.
Tedeschi has a rich voice that can be, by turns, sweet or gruff, and it sounds at times not unlike Bonnie Raitt's. Her turn on the slow burn of "It's So Heavy" is flat-out beautiful. She's always been a fine leader and a rich focal point for her own band, but nowadays there's the guitar playing of her virtuoso husband added to the mix. Trucks infuses every tune with amazing work, often adding wah-wah or distortion to his slide playing, a jazzy, psychedelic hybrid that extends his range far beyond the realms of blues and rock.
"Misunderstood" builds up some serious funky momentum, and the band shines on R&B numbers such as "Do I Look Worried," "Part of Me" and "All That I Need."
They're not afraid of straightforward pop-rock either, as demonstrated by the ruminative "Idle Wind." It's a lovely showcase, and not only for the horn section and Trucks' eloquence. It also includes a flute solo that threads through the entire song and is not cloying.