Nestled away in Central Park lays a bastion for music lovers, a musical oasis in the midst of Gotham. A serene evening with Tedeschi Trucks Band rang in the unofficial beginning of summer with the opening night of Summerstage. Rock ‘n’ Roll royalty Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi orchestrate an amazingly talented ensemble of musicians.
Kofi Burbridge (keyboard, flute), Tim Lefebvre (bass), Tyler Greenwell (drums), J.J. Johnson (drums), Kebbi Williams (saxophone), Maurice “Mo’ Betta” Brown (Trumpet), Saunders Sermons (trombone), Mike Mattison (vocals), and Mark Rivers (vocals). All got the opportunity to showcase their individual talents throughout the evening.
Tedeschi led the way out of the gate with her exceptional blues guitar and booming vocals on “Made Up Mind” and “Do I Look Worried” both off of their 2013 release Made Up Mind. Trucks’ slow and deliberate guitar started off “Midnight in Harlem” off of TTB’s 2012 Grammy award-winning, best blues album, Revelator followed with raucous applause from the audience before Tedeschi’s crooning sent them into a blissful trance.
After The Derek Trucks Band’s fast paced and raucous “Get What You Deserve” the first guest of the evening was invited out on stage, with Doyle Bramhall II (guitar) joining the group. Fans had the rare occurrence of having two former Eric Clapton guitarists on the same stage.
Next up came The Beatles “I’ve Got A Feeling” from Let It Be then Bramhall and Trucks traded off guitar licks on Derek & The Dominoes’ “Keep On Growing”. Bramhall stayed on for “Key To The Highway,” a tribute to the recently passed B.B. King. King recorded the song with Eric Clapton on 2000’s Riding With The King. Bramhall stepped off stage for the gospel “Break In The Road” which featured another shredding guitar solo from the prodigy Trucks.
Bramhall returned to join the band with the second guest of the evening Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Trading harmonies and smiles with Tedeschi on Sam Cooke’s soulful “Bring It On Home To Me” and Etta James “Tell Mama”.
Bramhall and Jones left Susan and Derek in capable hands as Burbridge led the band into Made Up Mind’s “Idle Wind” leaving the keys for his flute to start off the tune before the band gave way for Johnson and Greenwell to show off their drumming talents and convening to bring the song to a close.
TTB busted out a rendition of Bobby Bland’s 1960 R&B classic “I Pity The Fool” before bringing the two-hour plus set to a close with the original, “The Storm”. Tedeschi reached down deep and soothed the audience one last time with her mesmerizing vocals for the encore of Revelator’s “Bound For Glory”. If this night was a precursor to TTB’s upcoming ‘Wheels of Soul’ tour, fans will be in for a treat with welcomed collaboration between TTB, Bramhall, and Jones.
The Wheels of Soul tour will be in Rochester, NY as a headliner at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF) at Kodak Hall June 25. Followed by a stop at SPAC in Saratoga Springs, on July 29. The band will make one final stop in New York this year for a four night residency at the famed Beacon Theater, September 25-26 and October 2-3. Tickets go on sale on May 21 through Ticketmaster.
Made Up Mind, Do I Look Worried, Midnight In Harlem, Get What You Deserve, I’ve Got A Feeling*, Keep On Growing*, Key To The Highway*, Break In The Road, Bring It On Home To Me#*, Tell Mama#*, Idle Wind>Drums>Idle Wind, I Pity The Fool, The Storm
E: Bound For Glory
* – Doyle Bramhall II
# – Sharon Jones