LIVE: The Tedeschi Trucks Band @ The Egg, 10/19/11

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks
Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks

There was anticipation in the air at the Hart Theatre at The Egg for the Tedeschi Trucks Band on Wednesday night; the show that had been sold out for several weeks in advance. The 11-piece band was greeted with a roar and quickly settled into “Don’t Let It Slide” from their recently released debut album, “Revelator.” Susan Tedeschi’s vocals packed plenty of punch, and her slightly time-worn rasp perfectly fit the material. Her vocal intensity was matched by Derek Trucks’ imaginative slide work. The band followed with “Until You Remember,” featuring a nice Hammond run by Kofi Burbridge (who later in the evening surprised us with some scatting) and one of the evening’s many soaring slide leads by Trucks that eventually slid down to a whisper.

Tedeschi was the featured guitarslinger on a juke joint rendition of Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” and she wailed both instrumentally and vocally. It was one of the last times that I heard her guitar clearly out front, although I’m not sure how much of that was a function of the technical problems that plagued at least one of her amps or simply the arrangements of the remaining songs.

“Midnight in Harlem,” one of the best tunes on the album, began with Trucks playing a sitar-like introduction that fit perfectly, while Tedeschi displayed a wistful soulfulness on this contemplative ballad. The band featured three more songs from “Revelator”: “Learn How to Love,” “Love Has Something Else to Say” and “Bound for Glory.” All of them combined the rock, soul, blues, funk and gospel that define the band with Tedeschi leading the church choir on a fiery version of the latter.

In addition to the selections from “Revelator,” the band covered a number of songs from musicians who obviously inspired them. A playful conversation between two slides, Trucks’ guitar and Saunders Sermons’ trombone, opened “Space Captain,” probably best known from Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour recording. The band opened up the song and made it worthy of its title. Hearing Tedeschi sing the Lovin Spoonful’s “Darling Be Home Soon” sounded a little ironic with her husband standing right by her side, but I am sure that it captured the reality of many of their years together.

The band got to really strut and throw down some serious funk on Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” and the evening’s closing medley of Sly & the Family Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song that slid into “I Want to Take You Higher,” leaving the crowd standing, singing, clapping, cheering and wanting more.

In these economic hard times, it is a rarity for performers to increase the size of their touring band to more fully realize their musical vision. It was a treat to hear this big band.

My lone criticism has less to do with the music and everything to do with the volume – or lack thereof – of several of the instruments. For most of the evening, the horn players and keyboards were too far down in the mix for my taste. Although having said that, I can’t imagine the difficulty of balancing sound for 11 musicians.

Scrapomatic, featuring Paul Olsen on guitar and vocalist Mike Mattison (who also provided backing vocals for Tedeschi Trucks), launched the evening with a superb, 40-minute set accompanied by second guitarist David Yoke and later in their set by drummer Tyler Greenwell of Tedeschi Trucks. Highlights included a Cab Calloway-style reading of their song “Killing Yourself on Purpose” and a punky hipster performance of “I Just Want to Hang Around with You.”

Review by Richard Brody
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Greg Haymes’ review at The Times Union
Excerpt from Michael Hochanadel’s review at The Daily Gazette: “A relatively new band, they didn’t always display the same fine-honed balance as the Allman Brothers (Trucks’ main band) or the Derek Trucks Band (his own crew over the past decade) — nor that of Stevie Wonder or Sly and the Family Stone. Trumpet, sax and trombone were sometimes hard to hear over the band’s rocking core. But when everything locked into place, the sonic soul force was formidable.”

Don’t Let It Slide
Until You Remember
Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Muddy Waters)
Midnight in Harlem
Space Captain (Joe Cocker)
That Did It (Bobby “Blue” Bland)
Learn How to Love
Love Has Something Else to Say
Darlin’ Be Home Soon (Lovin’ Spoonful)
Uptight (Stevie Wonder)
Bound for Glory
Everybody’s Talking (Fred Neil)
Sing a Simple Song > I Want to Take You Higher (Sly & the Family Stone)

DTB @ Alive at 5, Broadway, Albany
DTB @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
Susan Tedeschi with Double Trouble @ Empire State Plaza, Albany
DTB with Gov’t Mule @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
Susan Tedeschi Band @ Empire State Plaza, Albany
DTB @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
Allman Brothers Band @ SPAC, Saratoga Sporings (with Dickey Betts)
Allman Brothers Band @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs (with Steve Kimock)
DTB @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
Allman Brothers Band @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs (with Warren Haynes)
DTB, Susan Tedeschi Band, Gov’t Mule and Allman Brothers Band @ Gathering of the Vibes, Mariaville
DTB with Susan Tedeschi @ Alive at 5, Riverfront Park, Albany
Allman Brothers Band @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs
Allman Brothers Band @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs
DTB @ The Linda, Albany
DTB @ The Egg, Albany
DTB @ The Egg, Albany
DTB and the Allman Brothers Band @ Mountain Jam, Hunter
Susan Tedeschi Band @ The Egg, Albany
Allman Brothers Band @ the Palace Theatre, Albany
Susan Tedeschi Band @ The Egg, Albany
Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Mountain Jam, Hunter

Timeline by Stanley Johnson

The Tedeschi-Trucks Band
The Tedeschi Trucks Band
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