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Tedeschi Trucks Band: Layla Revisited (Live At Lockn') - Album Of The Week Club review

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks bow to fate's inevitable plan as the Tedeschi Trucks Band faithfully perform Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs on Layla Revisited (Live At Lockn')

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Layla Revisited (Live At Lockn')
(Image: © Fantasy Records)
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Layla Revisited (Live At Lockn')

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Layla Revisited (Live At Lockn')

(Image credit: Fantasy Records)

I Looked Away Bell Bottom Blues Keep On Growing Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out  I Am Yours Anyday Key To The Highway Tell The Truth Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? Have You Ever Loved A Woman? Little Wing It’s Too Late Layla Thorn Tree In The Garden (studio)

Tedeschi Tracks Band's Layla Revisited (Live At Lockin') was recorded on August 24, 2019 at the Lockin' Festival in Arrington, VA, during the second of two sets performed by the band.

The set was a run-through of Derek And The Dominos' classic album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the band joined onstage by Phish mainman Trey Anastasio and guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, who previously collaborated on several albums with Derek & The Dominos man Eric Clapton.

As fate would have it, the original album was released on November 9, 1970, the day Susan Tedeschi was born. 

To amp up the synchronicity, back in 1979 Dominos fans Chris and Debbie Trucks paid homage to the album by naming their newborn son Derek. They would play the album for young Derek as bedtime music, sowing the seeds for the musical path that lay ahead. Derek Trucks would go on to enjoy a fifteen-year stint as a member of The Allman Brothers Band - whose founding guitarist Duane Allan played guitar on much of Layla - and tour extensively with Clapton.

And now? The serendipitous circle is complete. 

Every week, Album of the Week Club listens to and discusses the album in question, votes on how good it is, and publishes our findings, with the aim of giving people reliable reviews and the wider rock community the chance to contribute. 

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Other albums released in July 2021

  • At the Gates - The Nightmare of Being
  • Born of Osiris - Angel or Alien
  • Jimmy Barnes - Flesh and Blood
  • Mayhem - Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando
  • Barenaked Ladies - Detour de Force
  • John Mayer - Sob Rock
  • A Place to Bury Strangers - Hologram
  • Powerwolf - Call of the Wild
  • Wavves - Hideaway
  • Wizardthrone - Hypercube Necrodimensions
  • Dee Gees - Hail Satin
  • David Crosby - For Free
  • Descendents - 9th & Walnut
  • Jackson Browne - Downhill from Everywhere
  • Yngwie Malmsteen - Parabellu
  • Blues Traveler - Traveler's Blues
  • Creeper - American Noir
  • Dee Snider - Leave a Scar
  • Yola - Stand for Myself
  • Bernie Marsden - Three Kings
  • Laa Aaron - Radio On!
  • Various Artists - NWOCR: The Official New Wave Of Classic Rock Volume One
  • Velvet Insane - Rock 'N' Roll Glitter Suit

What they said...

"While more doesn’t always equal better - especially when there are now four guitars, two drummers, three horn players and four singers recreating the once relatively stripped down music - the result is impressive. No one can match the longing and passion in Clapton’s voice as he pined for George Harrison’s wife on what was an album long love letter of sorts to her. But the always exciting Susan Tedeschi and the three other TTB singers that trade lead vocals, infuse variety and diversity, if not intensity, to these blues rock gems." (American Songwriter)

"Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs is a showcase of a band that is at the top of its game. Even those these songs are theirs, Tedeschi Trucks Band plays the set like they wrote and arranged every one. That’s some serious talent. In the hands of a lesser band, this would be a nice vanity project but this sits seamlessly with their incredible catalogue. At times, the band is so good, you forget that this is a live record you’re listening to and not a studio recording." (Entertainment Focus)

"Diehards will forever cling closely to the original but TTB, the best band playing this kind of music today, more than does it justice. In many moments they exceed the intensity of the original, a feat we long thought was impossible." (Glide Magazine)

What you said...

Alex Hayes: In last week's review, I made vague allusions to an overly long, and filler laden, album that begins with the letter 'L'. Despite it's 74 minute duration, I definitely wasn't referring to Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & The Dominos. I'm actually a big fan of that album. Alongside 'the Beano album' and some of his work with Cream, I consider Layla... to be quintessential Eric Clapton. By God, we got off on the wrong foot initially though.

I first experienced Layla... on CD, roughly 30 years ago and whilst in my late teens. Early CD copies of that album are notorious for their appalling sound quality, caused by excessive tape hiss. I know that now, but didn't then, and was so disgusted at the abominable audio quality that I shoved the CD in a drawer and refused to listen to it again for a couple of years. Get outta here!

Of course, I later stumbled upon a higher quality mix of the album, Layla... has been reissued several times down the years after all, calmed down, and grew to love it. Such great songs (Bell Bottom Blues, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?, its covers of Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out and Little Wing, that title track), such great musicians, and such a warm, laid-back vibe to the whole thing. This is a highly critically rated album for good reason.

With the best will in the world though, irrespective of which anniversary Edition of the album a person may own, Layla... is never gonna be celebrated for it's musical hi-fidelity. It's not an album that audiophiles are ever gonna rave about. If that actually ever did happen, it would be missing the point somewhat. That does make Layla Revisited (Live at Lockn') a very interesting proposition though.

A live recording from 2019, starring the Tedeschi Trucks Band and ably assisted by Phish's Trey Anastasio, Layla Revisited is a modern day homage to the original album that simply shines. It excels through it's use of superior recording techniques and by showcasing a group of musicians who really know their stuff. These folks are seriously talented, and not shy in using that live environment to jam and improvise, occasionally pushing the boundaries of some of the tracks out even further.

This willingness to explore stretches the album's run-time out to over 90 minutes. It's best listened to in more than one sitting for me. Easy done, just divide it into two halves, akin to the original. Take a break between Key To The Highway and Tell The Truth and you'll be fine.

I appreciated the new, studio rendition of Bobby Whitlock's Thorn Tree In The Garden also. No version of Layla... is quite complete without it.

I enjoyed this. It will never measure up to the original Layla... for me, but that really isn't the point here, is it? I'm pretty sure that one-upmanship was far from the intention of everyone involved in this album's creation. Here we have a modern day interpretation of Layla... that's been crafted with love and respect, and that's good enough for me. 8/10.

Gary Claydon: I see absolutely no reason for any long-winded evaluation of this one. It's a beautifully played cover of (or tribute to, if you like) a very popular album. How much you enjoy it may depend on how much you liked the original (some people get very precious when it comes to their favourites being re-interpreted). I wasn't a massive fan of the original but have enjoyed listening to this. 7/10

Bill Griffin: I started listening and liked what I heard but quickly decided there was no point to this record. If I want to hear this album, I'll play the original.

Kevin Miller: I just couldn’t make it through this one. I’m not a fan of jam bands, and the couple of songs I skimmed felt like I was watching the last song of an awards show where everyone just gets on stage and plays while staring at each other to figure out what to do next. It also felt like it was recorded from way in the back of the crowd.

Roland Bearne: At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, this is a covers/ tribute album. Is it therefore possible for it to be in and of itself a real "Classic Rock album". Derek and Susan TT and co are absolutely consummate. Wonderful musicians at the apex of (slightly smug ) classic Blues/ Rock. Is this beautifully interpreted? Yes. But it is an interpretation. Having said that, very few moan at the latest orchestral release of Bach or a new production at the Royal Shakespeare Club of the Scottish thingy. It's good, it's really good but if I found this and the original on the same rack in a record shop, I'd buy the original. Actually, knickers I'd probably buy that Priest album I'm missing!

John Davidson: Tedeschi Trucks band have been around for a while and are led by Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi; two of the finest current blues artists on the circuit. Their first two albums together (Revelator and Made Up Mind) are superb and Made Up Mind in particular is one of my all time favourite albums, but they have rather lost their way since then (or at least diverted from my tastes).

When I saw this come up I wondered why anyone would remake a classic. Then I remembered. I didn’t actually enjoy Derek and the Dominoes' most famous album very much. The original suffers from the curse of the supergroup. They’re all brilliant, but they don't seem to gel as a band performing the songs and title track apart there is no oomph at all to the recording.

None of that can be levelled at this vibrant live re-recording of the album.

Trucks and Tedeschi, ably assisted by Trey Anastasio of Phish and their excellent backing band, deliver a warm and joyous reinterpretation of the songs, imbuing them with a liveliness and soulfulness that the original failed to deliver.

I'm honestly astonished. What could have been sacrilege or worse, a pointless note for note copy, is instead a benchmark for how to do a covers album justice .

At 96 minutes it does, perhaps understandably, flag a little towards the end. With Have You Ever... and Too Late bearing the brunt of my fatigue as a listener.

Penultimate track Layla inevitably suffers from over familiarity and while Susan Tedeschi does a fine job on the vocals this is the closest to reverential the guitarists performances get and it loses something as a consequence.

Overall this is a masterful display of soul infused blues played out in homage to an album which shaped the genre that both Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi have made their own. 8/10.

Mike Canoe: The good news is I like it better than the original. The bad news is I didn't like the original all that much. It's a very good live recording but I have no idea how it compares to the rest of what the Trucks Tedeschi Band does. I never really got into Trucks or Tedeschi separately, so I never really checked them out once they became one.

I do know that if you told me this was a vintage live recording of Little Feat or the Grateful Dead or Johnny Winter or someone similar I would believe you because the musicianship is very good and because I am that unfamiliar with the original Derek & the Dominos album (never went back after Jan. 2019) and even more unfamiliar with dozens of other bands from the late '60s and '70s. Which, honestly, is why I joined the club in the first place.

Cameron Gillespie: This is an incredible replication of what is already an amazing album. Derek Trucks playing cuts through the mix like a hot knife through butter. His playing is clean and mean packed with punch. The glistening voice of Susan Tedeschi accompanies the songs in such a beautiful way I never thought was possible, I had my doubts, but Woah! My favourite track would have to be Layla. It is by far the best live rendition I have ever heard, his unique slide and picking technique breathes new life into the solo and soars through the songs coda. I can't not mention how tight the whole band is as well, they all work so well together and every component is just important.

The only thing that brings this down for me is, it's the same songs in the same style as the original album, there's almost no reason to buy / listen to it over the original. Unless, you are like myself and enjoy and are passionate about covers and listening to different variations alongside the original. Admittedly I have added this version of Layla to my regular listening playlists. So for me it is an 7.5/10.

Justin Edward Griffin: It is fucking amazing. It won't replace the original album but it is an excellent companion piece. Speaking in terms of fidelity these songs have never sounded so crystalline. So, so good

Erik Mooney: You know what, that was actually really good. Definitely need to stop and listen to the whole thing so I can really appreciate it and take it all in. An excellent tribute to a classic album.

Keith Jenkin: Surely if you cover something you have to either re-invent it or make it better? To my ears this does neither. Yes it's well performed, and some may well enjoy it for a few listens, but I promise them in six months time they will be back to Clapton's version and this one will already be gathering dust at the back of their filing systems.

Dave Ferris: In 2006, Rolling Stone had put out a list of great new guitarists to look out for. On the cover, they had John Mayer, Derek Trucks and John Frusciante (RHCP). There was a sidebar article in that issue that Clapton had been performing the Layla album in its entirety because Derek Trucks had been touring with Clapton. This excited me because of my absolute love of the album. 

When it was announced that the band would be releasing a live album of this classic album, I was excited yet again. Listening to the original Derek and the Dominos version or this live performance is like having a conversation with an old friend. 

Some will criticize the old vs new versions. For me, it's exciting to hear this album performed live because of the short life that Derek and the Dominos originally had. I love listening to the excitement of the live show plus (as a drummer) I want to play along and I long to find a way to be a part of a band that could play all of the songs.

Final Score: 7.16⁄10 (61 votes cast, with a total score of 437)

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