Tedeschi Trucks Band
|Performing:||Sunday July 18|
Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation as one of the premier live bands performing today – and they show no signs of slowing down as they head into their tenth year together. Led by Derek Trucks’ stinging fretwork and Susan Tedeschi’s naturally stunning, emotive vocals and guitar talents, the 12-member strong collective continues to expand musical boundaries in ways that only a rare caliber of musician can achieve.
When Derek and Susan decided to suspend their successful solo careers and join forces back in 2010, they were determined to do something different. With an original cast of eight band members, they loaded up two tour buses and hit the road. The nation’s economy was heading into recession. The popular music landscape was filled with technological theatrics and auto-tuned singers. And here were TTB with a sound that defied conventional genre boundaries or traditional labels; a gypsy caravan on the rock-and-roll highway. To call it ambitious was an understatement.
In pursuit of their ideal sound driven by world class musicianship, Derek and Susan put together a musical collaborative like no other, flying in the face of any practical or economic considerations. There have been evolutionary changes to the band along the way, but the current line up includes the freight-train force of veteran drummers J.J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, long-time Derek Trucks Band member Mike Mattison, with his dynamic vocal and songwriting skills, Brandon Boone (bass guitar), Gabe Dixon (keyboards), the three-piece horn section of Kebbi Williams (saxophone), Ephraim Owens (trumpet), and Elizabeth Lea (trombone), and Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour on vocal duties with Mattison. In February 2019, original band member and brilliant multi-instrumentalist Kofi Burbridge passed away, leaving an indelible mark on TTB’s spirit and sound.
On the road for upwards of 200 days a year, the TTB family has grown strong, bonding over sold-out multinight residencies, backyard BBQs and long bus rides, all the while developing a growing repertoire of original material and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences ranging from Sly & the Family Stone, Miles Davis and George Jones to Joe Cocker, Nina Simone, and even Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan. Embracing improvisation over convention, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory and never play the same set list twice.
The genuine respect within its ranks is evident on stage. Derek’s masterful guitar skills and Susan’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.
TTB’s most recent studio album, Signs, is a powerful, introspective record that exemplifies the group’s evolving depth of songwriting and musicianship. Called “an inspirational album for the times” by the Associated Press, Signs is dedicated to several past mentors of the band – including Colonel Bruce Hampton and Derek’s uncle Butch Trucks – and is sadly the final album to feature Kofi Burbridge who passed away on the day of the album’s release in February of this year. Signs follows Live From The Fox Oakland (2017), a Grammy-nominated film/audio release that added to a quartet of critically-hailed and commercially successful albums: the Grammy-winning debut, Revelator (2011), Made Up Mind (2013), and Let Me Get By (2016).