Already Free - Derek Trucks Band
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest album for the nephew of the Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks features other blues artists such as Doyle Bramhall II, Oteil Burbridge, Susan Tedeschi, and Warren Haynes.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. By tapping into the limitless well of America’s musical traditions, Trucks has brought forth one of 2009’s first true gems and his best effort to date.
  2. Trucks' bluesy playing is excellent throughout, though he knows when to cede space to vocalist Mike Mattison or guest Doyle Bramhall II.
  3. Derek Trucks Band has produced its most commercially viable CD to date.
  4. This album is his best yet with his own band, a potent dose of rock and R&B instead of the lighter jazz and world music of past efforts.
  5. 80
    Mike Mattison's gritty lead vocals are fully functional, but it's Trucks' consistently mesmerising guitar and dobro that draw the ear. [Feb 2009, p.99]
  6. Derek Trucks could very well be the best guitarist of his generation, and his sixth studio disc is his band's most accessible blues-rock set to date.
  7. 40
    It’s hard to listen to Already Free without thinking: Visine. Need Visine. That’s how redolent of pot-smoke-and-jam-band mud fields this music is.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. RobertY.
    Jan 29, 2009
    I am already a fan ... but this is my favorite DTB album yet! This band is incredible to see live. They are incredibly diverse musically, playing everything from Delta blues, R&B, gospel, jazz fusion, Latin, soul, Pakistani qawwali ... have I forgotten anything? ... and continually reinvent the songs in they already play. The band is tight musically, and play off each other well in the extended jams and improvisations they are known for. The CD's they have released have been just as diverse. (Until now, Joyful Noise and Live at the Georgia Theatre have been my favorites.) In my opinion, Already Free is tighter, more polished, and more refined, than anything the band has done to date. (Significantly, this is the first album they have recorded in the new home studio at their leisure.) It has a throwback feel, down to the sound of an LP on a turntable leading into the title track. I read one review that described Already Free as a tribute to American music and its roots, and I'm inclined to think he's right. Right from the start, I loved the Bob Dylan remake "Down in the Flood", the gospel grooves of "Sweet Inspiration", the tamboura leading into the upbeat jam "I Know", and "Down Don't Bother Me" (a bluesy favorite of mine from live DTB shows). The more I listen to this CD, however, the more I love the whole thing. It is a rich, textured, subtle album, and a great platform for Derek's incredible guitarwork. Derek's slide guitar has a signature, clear, piercing sound that I originally thought was muted in this album. After listening to the CD a little, however, I realized that I was totally wrong. At times, Derek does sound more polished than usual, but always as a prelude to another awe-inspiring solo. Qawwali music is famous for starting simply and building to a high energy "in order to induce hypnotic states" (Wikipedia) among the musicians and the audience. That is one of the trademarks of DTB live shows that did translate to this album. Down Don't Bother Me is a perfect example (as is Down in the Flood). Down Don't Bother Me starts out much more polished than the versions I know (e.g., listen to the 2005 Gothic Theatre show in Englewood CO), but it ends with the sort of blistering slide guitar solo that made me fall in love with DTB in the first place. I could go on about how great the bass lines are in Sweet Inspiration, Mike Mattison's soulful voice, the usual outstanding professional sound of the band, or the welcome collaborations with Doyle Bramhall and Susan Tedeschi (Derek's wife). In the end, I'll just repeat that this is my favorite DTB album. You can't go wrong with this one. Buy it! Expand
  2. DanielB.
    Jan 14, 2009
    Excellent CD. Derek Trucks is undoubtedly one of the most talented guitarists around and is coming into his own. Derek Trucks has masterminded some amazing music since he was just a boy. However, unlike his pre "Songlines" days, in which most of his music was targeted towards a very narrow group of listeners, "Already Free" marks a continuation of what he has been doing since "Songlines" and that is making great sounding music that will appeal to a much greater range of music lovers. Expand
  3. PrithvideepS.
    Jan 23, 2009
    Derek Trucks has come out with his most commercially viable album to date but has retained the essence of the band, i.e. the soul that is present in all his past ventures. Hopefully this will give Trucks a much needed exposure to settle into the hearts of all audiences. Expand