Photo credit: Stuart Levine Photography
Tedeschi Trucks Band delivered their penultimate Beacon Theatre residency show last night, with an astonishing display of rock ‘n’ soul, jazz, blues, and beyond. The massive band has fully settled into their role as Beacon-residency torch-bearers following the end of the Allman Brothers Band, and judging by the amount of Allman shirts in the audience and roar during the notes of “Whipping Post’, the spirit of Gregg and Duane, Dickey and Butch, even Warren and Derek, lives strong in the hearts of their following.
The band, however indebted to their southern roots and Allman ties, is carving out a vast amount of new territory however. With a healthy mix of covers and originals in their repertoire, the band continues to rely most heavily on the virtuosic pairing of Susan Tedeschi’s voice and Derek Truck’s guitar. Has a married couple ever rocked so well together? They truly do make a case as the best husband/wife duo in musical history, I’d think. On “Anyhow”, from the beautiful 2016 record Let Me Get By, Susan sings “everywhere I turn, there you are,” with Derek just a few feet away, always quiet vocally and absolutely roaring with the six-string.
Their shows are completely void of any sort of corny love-display as well. I find it tasteful that one could go through an entire Tedeschi Trucks Band show without even knowing the two have children together. The crowd is too interested in music to want to hear the two sing a Sonny & Cher-style duet or display husband/wife affection on stage. It would cheapen their own chops and the players around them.
Speaking of the players around them, it’s hard to ignore just how talented the rest of the members on that stage really are. Often times bands who are named after individuals can coast by with B-grade talent that backs them up without deviating from the tracks. Luckily, Derek and Susan welcome improvisation and deviation, whether its welcoming Ravi Coltrane on a Miles Davis cover, or letting the rhythm section and saxophonist Kebbi Williams (who have an epic quartet called Whose Hat Is This? playing at Nublu tomorrow!) flesh out a little groove amongst themselves.
The ability to loosen up before diving back into razor sharp grooves is no doubt something that makes this band unique. Once bassist Tim Lefebvre dove into the bass part of “Whipping Post”, the band began a ~10 minute improvisation based on the melodies from the Allman classic. Derek, who switched guitars during the course of his soloing perhaps due to technical problems, is no stranger to shredding that groove, and the drummer duo provided the otherworldly poly-rhythms that was the backbone of the Allman’s massive rhythm section. By The time Susan joined the band to sing “good lord, I feel like I’m dying”, the crowd feels quite the opposite. A select few of their contemporaries may occasionally grace the same professionalism and tact, but no one supersedes. Nope, this is as good as it gets.
As another chapter in their Beacon Theatre residencies comes to a close tonight, fans can stay excited as Tedeschi Trucks Band has recently announced that their yearly Beacon run will continue on into 2022. It’s comforting to know that in the aging world of high-level rock bands, Tedeschi Trucks aren’t going anywhere any time too soon.
Break in the Road (Betty Harris cover) Laugh About It Within You Without You (The Beatles cover) Just as Strange All the World Anyhow Loving You (Has Made My Life Sweeter Than Ever) (Four Tops cover) Midnight in Harlem (with Ravi Coltrane) Ali (Miles Davis cover) (with Ravi Coltrane) Down in the Flood (Bob Dylan cover) (with Ravi Coltrane)
Color of the Blues (George Jones cover) Still Your Mind Chevrolet (Lonnie Young, Ed Young & Lonnie Young, Jr. cover) Right on Time Bound for Glory Keep On Growing (Derek and the Dominos cover) Have You Ever Loved a Woman (Freddie King cover) I’ve Been Abused (Howlin’ Wolf cover) The Storm (>) Whipping Post (The Allman Brothers Band cover)
Encore: You Don’t Know How It Feels (Tom Petty cover) Get What You Deserve (The Derek Trucks Band cover) Let’s Go Get Stoned (The Coasters cover) (with Ravi Coltrane)