There is a monsoon outside. A monsoon. Rain, wind, cracks of thunder. I keep looking out the window expecting a cow to fly by…or at the very least a pig.
It’s summer on the east coast. Beach weather on Wednesday. End of Days weather on Thursday. And now I fully expect God knows what tomorrow.
Since I got in this morning, before the monsoon reached the calm shores of the Raritan, I’ve been listening to one album right after another, with the hopes that a particular album will drown out the sounds of impending doom that are bristling and booming from outside.
First I listened to that new A$AP Ferg joint, Trap Lord. It was my second listen and it turned out to be the better listen. My feelings have since evolved from mildly disinterested to mildly intrigued.
Then I stayed in the family and listened to A$AP Rocky‘s Love.Live.A$AP. I still prefer him to Kendrick Lamar.
After that, I needed some rock ‘n roll in my life. It was almost lunch time, peanut butter and jelly time. Peanut Butter and Jelly ain’t no Hip Hop music. It’s rock music. So with that in mind, I dialed up some My Morning Jacket– specifically It Still Moves, which was my introduction to the band back in the day. That is still a delightful album.
But where to after that?
Flipping through the latest Rolling Stone, I came across a review of the new Tedeschi Trucks Band album, Made Up Mind.
Success. A flat out success.
Take that inclement weather!
Made Up Mind is a wonderfully simple, down home, good-time having rock record. It’s soulful and joyful. It’s full of grooves, full of lushfully layered melodies and full of some wicked guitar playing by Mr. Derek Trucks. His guitar sneaks in and out of each song like an assassin. Tedeschi’s vocals have just the right amount of swagger and sass, perfectly complementing her tone and the ease in her style.
There’s eleven people in the band. Eleven! One member short of a band full of four power trios. There’s two drummers, a horn section and two people on “harmony vocals.” It’s an effin’ gang, man. A collective of rustic goodness. An album like this is so good it makes even a day like today, a day previously mentioned as involving a monsoon and the possibility of flying barnyard animals, chalk full of sun and good vibes.
What the eff, Songza? How have none of these songs appeared on one of your Backyard BBQ playlists? Is it because the whole album is a Backyard BBQ playlist? Possibly.
The album opens with the title track that kicks off with a foot-stomping riff by Trucks. From there, things go down a bluesy road, a jazzy road, more foot-stomping roads and then straight up, soul-bearing balladesque roads. It is an album of roads traveled and for traveling down said roads. The feeling of movement is so strong, that even sitting in one place while listening to Made Up Mind, you can feel transported. Transported down south, to the Mississippi Delta or to a Nashville night or overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or winding your way up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. The feeling of movement is infectious. As is the spirit and joy of the album.
So let the rain continue and let the barnyard animals fly recklessly through the afternoon sky.
Made Up Mind will combat it all.
And when the sun finally does come back, Made Up Mind will be perfect for that as well.
Band photo: Mark Seliger