One of the great things about working on No Treble is the non-stop musical discovery it brings. Back in 2010, I watched a handful of videos by the group known as Black Dub, featuring music from their self-titled debut. I immediately bought the record.
With a closer look at the musicians behind the album, there’s no surprise why it’s so great. Daniel Lanois, the great record producer and multi-instrumentalist brought in two of his longtime collaborators: bass player Daryl Johnson and drummer Brian Blade.
Johnson’s bass playing is just fantastic on this record, and he played on all but one track (Christopher Thomas played on “Surely.”) I didn’t know a ton about Johnson before this record, but his track record speaks for itself: he’s worked with The Neville Brothers, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, to name a few, and he’s also a producer, including Lanois’ solo albums.
Blade’s drum work on this album is just sublime, as always.
However, the biggest surprise of this record is vocalist Trixie Whitley, the daughter of the late Chris Whitley. Whitley was around 23 years old when this album came out, but her voice is well beyond her years.
With this incredible lineup, the band showcases one of the most musically diverse albums I’ve heard. The iTunes review of the album says it best: “…fusing elements of dub, New Orleans gospel, trip-hop, blues, soul, and edgy rock into something mysterious and powerful.”
My only wish now is that the band will get back together and record at least one more album.
While there are so many great videos to share, I love this live recording of “I Believe in You” by the band, with some tasty fills by Johnson: