Customer Reviews: Made Up Mind
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on August 20, 2013
For their third recording, the Tedeschi Trucks Band have developed a sound all their own that only comes from musicians playing together as a true collective-everyone shares the same musical goal and the song is more important than the individual participants.

The band's 2011 release, "Revelator" was an introduction of the combined efforts of the Susan Tedeschi and Derek Truck's bands, at one time known as the Soul Stew revival. Songwriting was the key, and the band delivered with original, quality compositions.Last year's "Everybody's Talkin'" captured the group in jam band mode and every member-ELEVEN musicians-were featured on this double disc, especially Susan and Derek sharing guitar duties. "Made Up Mind" shows a band with more confidence, more comfortable as the leading contemporary soul/blues/rock band performing today.

The title track jumps out with Derek's driving guitar. Susan has shown unmatched growth as a lead vocalist over the years. When she started out, comparisons were made to Bonnie Raitt. This is a good thing, of course, but Susan has been showing her early start with Gospel. As a child, she attended African-American Baptist churches and sang in the Gospel choir at the Berklee College of Music. You can't help but BELIEVE her when she sings "sure as the moon and the stars gonna rise, I've got a made up mind".

"Idle Wind" is quite a departure for the group. Susan again is featured with a beautiful vocal, but the interplay between Derek's slide and Kofi Burbridge's flute is unexpected-and engaging. Burbridge is also featured on clavinet and B3 on "Misunderstood", while the dual drums of J.J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell drive the band. The horn section of Kebbie Williams/saxophone, Maurice Brown/trumpet and Saunders Sermons/trombone elevate the vocals of Mike Mattison and Mark Rivers. Trombonist Sermons is also a superb vocalist and duets with Susan on "Part Of Me".

The TTB has to feature some jamming, so we're treated to Susan and Derek burning it up on "Whiskey Legs". The feel good vibe from this tune abruptly changes with "It's So Heavy". Although a somber tune, the playing is lovely, especially Susan's pleading vocal enhanced by Derek's guitar.

"The Storm" is a work out for Derek and Kofi Burbridge on B3 (clever wordplay on this number at its conclusion). Bassist Oteil Burbridge, younger brother of Kofi was a founding member of TTB (as well as a member of the Allman Brothers Band); he left the band in October 2012 for family reasons. Four bass players were recruited for this project, and half of the tracks feature Pino Palladino, one of the premier in-demand players today (check out his sublime bass on "The Storm" as well as "Made Up Mind" and "Heavy".

The last track is the sparse, acoustic "Calling Out To You". Derek plays a soft slide and very gentle chords while Susan puts down one of her best vocals on record. This track, more than anything the two have recorded before, sums up what they're all about. These are two like-minded musicians who have managed to live happily in private AND in the spotlight, raise children, make great music and welcome their fans to enjoy the ride with them. "You got to do right by your woman and she'll do right by you." Ain't it the truth.
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on August 22, 2013
Derek and Susan and company are back with Made Up Mind, the follow up to the 2011 grammy winning Revelator. Fans saw a unique fusion of Derek Trucks' band and his wife Susan Tedeschi's band to create the Tedeschi Trucks band and Relevator delivered. While I did have a few minor complaints about Revelator I thought it was a solid album and was glad to see it do well. For those unfamiliar with Derek Trucks he is arguably the best blues player on the planet right now and in my opinion the best slide guitar player ever.

Having double digit members in your band has to be stressful in the creative process of writing an album but Made Up Mind does a good job of dispersing and showcasing the musical talent. Fans of instruments will feast on Made Up Mind as the album offers a plethora of horn, flute, percussion, piano, and guitar. Derek still steals the show as expected on songs like "Do I Look Worried" and the jam blues track "The Storm". I'm a huge fan of the longer instrumentals and extended jams that we all know this band is capable of, "The Storm" fills that void and I can't wait to hear it in a live atmosphere. Sadly my one main criticism of Revelator remains on Made Up Mind , where is Mike Mattison? The former lead singer of Derek's band is virtually nonexistent and is reduced to backup vocals which really is too bad. As enamored as I am with Susan's voice, I really would've like to see what Mike could do on a few of these tracks. I'm probably in the minority but I feel as if a powerful opportunity has been missed.

Overall Made Up Mind is an excellent album that adds even more credibility to the band's exquisite live catalogue. If as a blues fan you haven't had the opportunity to hear this band live I implore you to do so as the studio is a difficult place to capture the essence of what many call the soul stew revival. Find more reviews at [...]
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on August 20, 2013
The track "Made up mind" carries on from where their last studio CD 'Revelator' left off - a swinging funky song with Susan belting out the vocals, Derek's wonderful slide guitar and the full band piling in behind them. "Do I look worried" is a more restrained song that slowly builds, with a great hook and some lovely guitar, were as "Idle wind" sounds like early Jethro Tull with its acoustic guitar and flute intro but that too builds with the brass joining the flute for some really nice lyrical ensemble playing. "Misunderstood" and "Part of me" are more mid-tempo funk tracks with riffing brass and wah-wah guitar, while "It's so heavy" and "Sweet and low" are slow-burning soul ballads and "All that I need" is a melodic song that is half way between a ballad and one of the mid-tempo funk work outs. "The storm" begins with powerful guitar from Derek and the track finishes with an extended solo where he mixes blues slide with Indian raga. The album finishes with the beautiful "Calling out to you", a duet with Derek's fabulous acoustic slide guitar and Susan delivering bucolic hippy lyrics.

There is some wonderful playing on this record and once again Susan's voice is absolutely sublime throughout but for me the record doesn't completely deliver on the promise of their debut CD. It must be really hard to come up with material that combines all 11 members of the band and even though they write songs with outside help from Doyle Bramhall, Sonja Kitchell, Oliver Wood and John Leventhal amongst others I did feel that some of the songs were a bit average and stuck in a 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen tribute band' mode. Despite Susan's wonderful vocals I did really enjoy trombonist Saunders Sermons sharing the vocals on "Part Of Me" and I still feel that Mike Mattinson is wasted just as a backing singer and think that he could have been given at least one song to sing.
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on August 30, 2013
...while it may be the best yet from this power couple (and the extended family they have gathered to play with) it also seems formulaic, and a bit disappointing for this. These guys are all great musicians and when I saw them on the Revelator tour in 2012 it was very much the same kind of music (song format, musicians and playing), AND the best concert experience I have ever had (in 40 years that have included some classic shows large and small). They have found a good thing, but it also seems to me, at times at least, to restrict and constrain them, or at least Trucks.

I enjoy Susan's band leading, but it's Derek's soloing that I really come here for, and only a few times on this one did I think "Wow, that's a solo! I like where he's gone." (like on The Storm). And I remember thinking this alot more often when he played with his own band or with the Allman Brothers. Part of this is just the change of time and circumstances (he is growing up after all), but I can hear an almost Clapton-like comfort settling into his playing, and this makes me think he's not exploring and taking the musical risks that made me first love his style and sound, and where at least I think his slide playing really needs to go to shine and fulfill it's potential.

Anyway, I totally understand and support what they are doing, but I also miss something, and hope someday to hear Trucks branch out and take his music in new creative directions (solo guitar pieces perhaps?). Till then I will come here for smooth and skillful pop-rock-blues-R&B-soul tunes with a healthy dose of tasty licks, and get my more creative needs met elsewhere.
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on August 20, 2013
The talented husband and wife duo with their band Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB) is back with their third album titled 'Made Up Mind' (11 tracks). It's a great follow-up to their 2011 critically acclaimed debut CD 'Revelator' and the well received 2012 live recording collection CD 'Everybody's Talkin''. The CD has a great rich sound (horns/piano/guitar combination as in the title track "Made Up Mind") or violin/orchestral sound as in the tracks "Do I Look Worried", "Idle Wind" and "All That I Need". Together with the great guitar works by guitarist Derek Trucks and wonderful vocals by Susan Tedeschi make the album feel well rounded or whole. The southern soul influence is evident in the tracks "Part Of Me" (quite similar to songs that made Aretha Franklin famous), "It's So Heavy" (incredible tender ballad, beautiful melody that lingers in my head for long along with great guitar and vocals) & "All That I Need".

On overall, the band Tedeschi Trucks Band has a great album in 'Made Up Mind': great sound and production. I'm sure the fans will have a ball of time when the band hits the road and dish out these tracks live. A recommended CD listening.

Suggested download is the track "It's So Heavy".
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on August 22, 2013
This followup to 2011s searing debut, Relelator is no let down. My first pass of the CD on a road trip to LA had me playing cutts over and over again. The soulful Sweet and Low, R & B / big band Made up Mind, and Susan belting it out in Do I Look Worried. Not a dud in this line up of gems. Derek as expected was flawless in his performances. Not enough can be said about his slide work with alittle more Zydeco (Sonny Langreth like, but still original) rasp to his sound this time. If you liked round one of the husband wife team JUST BUY THIS CD and dig in.
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on February 14, 2015
Made Up Mind is a fantastic album. No two ways about it. The arrangements are exceptional as is the interplay between the band. The musicianship is stellar which is a must if you are a success on the jam band circuit. However, two things separate them from the pack: 1. Susan Tedeschi is an excellent singer and 2. The high level of their songs. The highlights are many as "Part of Me" plays like a classic with its horn lines and backing vocals while "Idle Wind" is a strong ballad with some tasteful flute playing. "All That I Need" has an instantly memorable melody and an even better chorus. Derek Trucks' solo during the outro is very melodic as well. I can see the band really branching out with this song if given the chance. "Sweet and Low" and "It's So Heavy" are very reminiscent of Carole King in their sense of craftsmanship and space. "Misunderstood" is very funky while "Do I Look Worried" starts out as a slow blues before the horn lines bring a lot of class and drama. "Whiskey Legs" and "The Storm" brings the band's musicianship to the forefront especially in the long jam on the latter. The title track and "Calling Out to You" are also great tracks. In short, everything works. I would recommend this album to anyone. How are they not the biggest band in the world right now?
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on September 5, 2013
I have most of the solo albums from both Trucks and Tedeschi - I like Tedeschi's better than a lot of the Derek Trucks albums (I was not a big fan of his world music mixed with blues). This album is just great, it is so easily listenable, the songs do not require you to study them to appreciate the musicianship like a lot of Derek's albums. The bigger band fills out the sound so well that it really sets a great stage for Susan's vocals. The sound is much richer than her solo albums. Compared to Revelator this album is just better - better songs, better production, and it just sounds to me like it was recorded by a really tight band having a lot of fun. I like most of the songs, but from me the stand out is All That I Need - just awesome. If you like blues fronted by a soulful female voice and backed by great slide guitar, horns, and an awesome rhythm section then this album is for you.
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on August 23, 2013
From start to finish this is one beautiful piece of work. There are no dead spots or let downs in this collection...just one great musical piece after another. TTB is the best rock blues band on the road right now and if you haven't bought their stuff yet, get to it. You won't regret it and make sure to see them live in concert; you'll be blown away by the tremendous talent by everyone on stage. Thank you TTB for sharing your talents with us!
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on September 20, 2013
I love this band of Derek Trucks and wife Susan Tedeschi and band. Just as good as their first collaboration together on Revelator. One of the best contemporary guitarists, Derek Trucks has had his own band in addition to being guitarist for The Allman Brothers Band. Susan Tedeschi has had success in the past with her solo career and merging the two together with a band comprised of horns has added richness to the sound. The sound is blues based. Title track, Made Up Mind starts the album off with a beat that just makes you want to get up and dance. The second song, Do I Look Worried slows the beat down to a slow, bluesy tone and Tedeschi's voice just shines. Misunderstood has a funky, blues kind of beat. Calling Out to You, the last song on the album, is a beautiful slow tune of loving trust in a relationship. These musicians are so talented that there just isn't a bad song on the album. I highly recommend it if you enjoy the blues and roots based kind of music. You will not be disappointed!
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