Sound — 10
At the young age of about 18-19 years old, Mr. Derek Trucks recorded his second album entitled Out Of The Madness. The line-up of the band was different on this album than it is today (2010). There is an absence of keyboardist/flutist Kofi Burbridge, vocalist Matt Mattison, and percussionist Count M' Butu. However, just because the Derek Trucks Band had not yet formed and adopted the current members the way we hear them today, that does not mean it is not a good album. In fact, I find it to be quite impressive. The guest vocalists, guest guitarists, and Derek Trucks himself are all absolutely outstanding and at their very best. The way they interact with each other musically is dazzling and awe-inspiring. You can tell from listening to this album that the musicians appearing on the album had a blast recording and jamming with the band. It really shows through the quality of their music. This album is the only album where a secondary guitarist, Jimmy Herring, seems to appear as a full time member of the band and plays in nearly every song. Other than Jimmy Herring, there are three guest vocalists, 2 of which are also guest guitarists, that appear on the album: Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule), Matt Tutor, and Larry McCray (American blues guitarist and singer). In my opinion, there could not be a better set of guest musicians for this album. All three are incredibly skilled in the language of the blues, all three know how to rip out a raunchy blues tune with their voice, and two of them know their way around a guitar in a way that'll bring out emotion in you. The two main styles I have picked out from this album are blues and jazz, but it goes much deeper than that. Each song has its own individual style and feel to it. It's not like the band is repeating the same 12 bar blues song over and over again, just with a title change and key change. There is an electric, raunchy sounding blues song with outstanding vocals from Matt Tutor called Preachin' Blues. Jimmy Herring and Derek Trucks really show off their talents with the guitar on that track. There's a blues song called Fourty-Four that starts off with piano and gets into mourning or grieving sounding vocals sung by Warren Haynes. There's an upbeat, catchy, sexy sounding blues where Derek Trucks, Larry McCray, and Jimmy Herring are constantly swapping blues solos called Ain't That Lovin' You. That song is probably one of my favorites. All three guitarists really get into it and the result is completely stunning. There are also a number of jazz instrumentals that all differ from one another. There's a progressive jazz song called Pleasant Gardens that starts out with an aggressive bassline and leads into Jimmy Herring pulling out some very sophisticated, technical, and progressive guitar leads, as well as Derek Trucks with the slide. Young Funk, an instrumental jazz/blues jam is also another very impressive piece of music where Derek Trucks and Jimmy Herring hone their skills and really show off what they know. Kickin' Back, another jam song that starts out with a catchy bassline. It is a very laid back, somewhat latin sounding blues/jazz jam. Look-Ka Py Py is a cover from the famous funk band The Meters. Needless to say, this song is a bluesy, kind of laid back funk song. Another song, acoustic and instrumental, is called Deltaraga. It's hard to place a genre on this song, but I believe it would fall under the category of world-music as a genre. It sounds very exotic and somewhat foreign to what I would normally hear. It is extremely captivating and calming. There are so many other musical elements to this album, it would be impossible to name them all. Hopefully what I've listed so far has given you at least a slight idea of the way the album sounds and the way the musicians interact and play out with each other.
Lyrics — 10
About half of the songs on this album are instrumental, however, a few of them have vocalists and lyrics. Preachin' Blues, sung by Matt Tutor, is a song about finding religion and becoming a priest. The vocals are rough, ragged, but very powerful and controlled nonetheless. The way Tutor sings the song is the way the blues should be sang. I couldn't ask for anything more in a raunchy blues song such as this one. Matt Tutor also sings in the upbeat blues song Alright, which is about over-coming problems and looking to the future where Everything is gonna be ok. Just hang on tight, cause tomorrow will be another day. Personally, I'm very impressed with these lyrics. It's not a typical blues dialect, where it talks about losing the one you love. Instead, it has a happier, more positive message. Warren Haynes has always been an inspirational singer and guitarist for me and many others. I admire his work with Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead, and here with Derek Trucks. He has a certain rough, grieving quality to his voice which fits the style of blues music perfectly. As was mentioned before, he sings in a mourningful, angered, somewhat grieving way on the sluggish blues song Forty-Four. The lyrics are obviously about a .44 magnum (gun), and it mentions that he's going down to the valley, find where my baby gone. He plays guitar on the song Death Letter, and also sings it in the same fashion as he sang Fourty-Four. The lyrics are about getting a letter and finding the woman he loves dead. The style of the vocals fit the theme of the song perfectly. Warren Haynes is also a guest singer/guitarist on one more song on this album, Good Morning Little School Girl. The lyrics are very sexy, and suggesting, as well as the overall sound of the song. He sings it in a rough, but somewhat sensual way. It fits the theme of the song perfectly. Last but most certainly not least, American blues guitarist and sing Larry McCray is a special guest on only one song, Ain't That Loving You. The lyrics are about wanting to love someone who builds his hopes so high and lets him down so low, but it makes no difference because I wanna love you more and more. Very sexy voice to this song. Overall, it is a very sexy sounding song in my opinion. The singer portrays determination and passion in his voice. Once again, the vocalist fits perfectly with the theme of the song. Those are the only songs that have lyrics or vocalists. I could not think of a better blues group to sing them than Matt Tutor, Warren Haynes, and Larry McCray. The vocals and lyrics fit so perfectly together, no matter what the song was about. All of them are outstanding blues vocalists, and they do not disappoint with their appearances on this album.
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression of this album is that it was outstanding. I was shocked to find out that Derek Trucks was only an 18-19 year old kid upon recording it. That shows some real talent and potential at a young age, which is confirmed by his later albums and success in the present day/future. Although Derek Trucks has grown and progressed as a musician since the recording of this album, I still believe it compares very well to some of his more popular and well known albums. I was ecstatic about the guests on the album, and their appearances and performances did not let me down. In fact, they were even better than I had expected, and I expected it to be amazing from the start. The variety of genres and styles were definitely not limited. As was mentioned, there are many different types of blues and jazz, funk, world music, some instrumental, some with lyrics, some are just jam songs. If anything, there is at least one song on this album that you would like because of the wide variety to choose from. It is a difficult album to find on CD, but I would strongly recommend purchasing it if you are interested in some amazing guitar work or any of the genres that have been listed. This album is an important and essential part of my music collection and I would never want to be without it.