The Derek Trucks Band: Volunteered Slavery


Volunteered Slavery


The Derek Trucks Band


Songlines (Columbia 92844)

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Derek Trucks (slide guitar),

Mike Mattison (vocals), Kofi Burbridge (vocals, flute, keyboards), Jay Joyce (keyboards), Todd Smallie (vocals, bass), Yonrico Scott (vocals, drums, percussion), Count M’Butu (congas, percussion)


Composed by Rahsaan Roland Kirk


Recorded: Nashville, TN, early 2006


Rating: 76/100 (learn more)

Derek Trucks's "Volunteered Slavery" is a brief read of the Rahsaan Roland Kirk composition. In concert, the tune stretches out, but on Songlines it plays as an R&B tease. The group sings Kirk's melody while Trucks plays it on slide guitar, and the track is distinguished merely by Trucks's introductory solo. It is engaging and accurate, as the sound of the slide against flute, tambourine and hand percussion is fitting, given that the original incorporated most of the same elements. Kirk's version was guitar-less, but Trucks mimics some of Kirk's playing, and even manages to add some of his own flavor. While it is interesting to hear a band as youthful as Trucks's perform a song lingering in relative obscurity, there isn't enough content here to make a lasting impression on anyone unfamiliar with Kirk's version. On the Derek Trucks web site, singer Mike Mattison states, "I think Kirk intended the tune to be darkly funny," yet the track is performed without a hint of irony. Even though Songlines is much less jazz-oriented than the majority of Trucks's discography, there are better cuts on the CD.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


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