Layla Revisited

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Concord, 2021

REVIEW BY: Max Kaplan


Derek and The Dominos’ Layla is known worldwide to guitarists, singers, rock lovers, and the like as one of the genre’s defining records. The album mixed iconic guitar performances from Duane Allman and Eric Clapton with world class songwriting, musicianship, and singing. The album featured the hit song “Layla” as well as an album’s worth of at-times genre-blending music. Elements of soul, rock, and blues are all mixed effectively and heavily throughout.

Nearly 50 years later, the Tedeschi Trucks Band enlisted a little help from their friends Trey Anastasio of Phish alongside former Clapton guitarist Doyle Bramhall II to craft a live album entitled my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Layla Revisted. The album was recorded live at the LOCKN’ Festival in 2019 and contains every song from the original Layla, but this time with some new elements.

To begin, Derek Trucks is a monster. He is the obvious choice for the job of emulating both Clapton and especially Allman’s guitar parts. What separates Derek Trucks from other guitarists of the genre is that he still manages to find new ground to break despite the extensive amount of work that’s been done in the rock-guitar department. Every time he touches the instrument, an inventive tone arises. This is displayed poignantly on “Keep On Growing,” “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad,” and “Little Wing,” with help from Anastasio, Bramhall and Susan Tedeschi matching him lick for lick.

At this point in their illustrious career, the Tedeschi Trucks Band has developed their own unique sound both in terms of dynamics, instrumentation, and performance. The soulful, laidback, yet at times heavy as hell sound that brought hits like “Midnight In Harlem” is on full display throughout this energetic album. The decision to present this as a live record rather than in-studio was smart, as it allows for the musicians to mirror the audience’s energy in their playing. The addition of horns, a fuller harmony section, and more prominent organ parts gives Layla Revisited a fresh and modern sound. The songs are played almost as if they were written by the band themselves, rather than a band covering songs they love. The joy that was obviously felt by each participant when they first heard Layla is made evident in their fantastic representation of each part of the album.

Layla Revisited is dripping with deep, soulful vocals and guitar playing, and features one of the tightest bands in the world currently. For fans of rock, blues, and soul, this is a worthy addition to a legendary collection of classic albums.

Rating: A

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