Band returns to Artpark this summer
On Wednesday, Tedeschi Trucks Band – the 12-piece collective founded by husband-and-wife duo, guitarist Derek Trucks and singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi – announced the most ambitious studio project of their storied career: “I Am The Moon.”
The band’s team called it “an epic undertaking in four albums with 24 original songs. Inspired by a mythic Persian tale of star-crossed lovers, and emotionally driven by the isolation and disconnection of the pandemic era, the thematic ‘I Am The Moon’ totals more than two hours of music, unfolding across a robust tapestry of genre-defying explorations that propel the treasured American ensemble into new and thrilling creative territory.”
The four albums that comprise “I Am The Moon” – “I. Crescent,” “II. Ascension,” “III. The Fall,” and “IV. Farewell” – will be released in successive months beginning with “I. Crescent,” available digitally and on CD, Friday, June 3. All vinyl configurations, including individual LPs and the four-LP “I Am The Moon” deluxe box will be available Sept. 9. Preorder “I Am The Moon” here. Watch the project trailer here.
The decision to sequence and release “I Am The Moon” in four distinct episodes came "when we started thinking of records we love," Trucks says, citing “Axis: Bold as Love,” the 1967 LP by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. "It's 36 minutes long. That's the way to digest a record."
With that approach in mind, TTB will present “I Am The Moon: The Film,” immersive visual companions to each album. The corresponding films will debut three days prior to each audio release, offering fans an early opportunity to digest each album in its entirety as a communal listening and viewing experience via the band’s YouTube channel.
Directed by Alix Lambert, the films combine studio and performance footage with atmospheric photography and imagery capturing the music’s kaleidoscopic textures.
The project launches with the first episode: “I Am The Moon: The Film – I. Crescent” on Tuesday, May 31 (9 p.m. ET).
The concept behind “I Am The Moon,” the Grammy-winning band’s fifth studio recording, was suggested by TTB vocalist Mike Mattison in May 2020, two months after the band was forced off the road by the pandemic. The 12th century poem “Layla & Majnun” by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi was the title inspiration for Eric Clapton’s 1970 double-LP with Derek and the Dominos, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” – an influential album for TTB. But Ganjavi’s source material resonated with Mattison and the rest of the band in an altogether different way. Finding complex themes and storylines that inspired their creative process, they forged a new, modern interpretation of the vast 100-page poem.
“I Am The Moon” was written collectively and collaboratively, with band members contributing their own unique perspectives on the work. By January 2021, the band was recording at Tedeschi and Trucks' home studio, Swamp Raga, in Jacksonville, Florida, with Trucks behind the soundboard as producer and long-time studio engineer Bobby Tis in charge of recording and mixing.
Operatic in scope, Tedeschi Trucks Band explores romantic relationships, collective struggle, faith, and the human experience on “I Am The Moon.”
"It's amazing," Trucks says, "because we wrote most of this music in a pretty short time span. There are even chord changes that mirror other tunes on the albums – themes and variations, lyrical allusions, that pop back up."
He continues, "You always want to do something bigger and thematic. This is the first time it happened naturally."
Tedeschi Trucks Band have extensive tour dates planned for 2022. The band performs July 12 at Artpark in Lewiston.
The limited-edition “I Am The Moon” deluxe box set, each individually numbered, includes all four albums in the “I Am The Moon” series on 180-gram black vinyl, plus additional special items will be available Sept. 9 – order exclusively through the TTB store and the Fantasy Records store.