Derek Trucks Band Joyful Noise

Instead of going for the hard rock blues bravado that most strive for (and usually don't succeed in reaching, since the best has seen the light years and years ago), wunderkind guitarist Derek Trucks (sometimes of the Allman Brothers Band) goes straight for the soul and spirit of music making. Across the landscape of this album one will find the groovy jams that any rock guitarist has cut their teeth on, but quickly things change into wonderful and saturated Eastern spiritual-influenced melodies that cut into near-progressive jazz/blues flowing into meditative sub-tribal bliss. The guitar playing of Trucks is nothing short of phenomenal - no wanking, just genius. Also noteworthy is the ultra-organic production of Craig Street, known for making Chris Whitley's guitar sound like the common man. Derek Trucks, on this album, is laid back but gently fierce; he overpowers without needing to be loud, and he allows all the musicians to be on top throughout; a magician, no less. (Columbia)