Words & Images by: Joe Roman
Full gallery below review!
The Tedeschi Trucks Band played three great shows at the Pittsburgh Blues Festival on 07.23.11, the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA on 08.18.11, and Hot August Blues Festival in Cockeysville, MD on 08.20.11 as part of their extensive summer tour promoting their debut album, Revelator (for more on the album and this band check out the JamBase interview with Derek & Susan here). The band resumes touring on October 14 in Brookville, NY. Find full tour dates here.
The Pittsburgh Blues Festival was a sweltering hot afternoon that featured national and local blues bands with the Tedeschi Trucks Band headlining this night. This year was the largest crowd in the history of the festival and there is little doubt that the Tedeschi Trucks Band was responsible for covering the hillside.
|Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Pittsburgh Blues Fest by Joe Roman|
Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” was one of this set’s highlights featuring Oteil Burbridge on bass and vocals. The other highlight was the Sly and the Family Stone duo of “Sing A Simple Song > I Want To Take You Higher”. The Sly tunes had the entire hillside on their feet dancing and waving their hands in the air. Despite having to weather the heat, there was a lot of energy at this show that will forever be remembered.
Space Captain, Don't Let Me Slide, Until You Remember, Anyday, Learn How To Love You, I've Got A Feelin, Manic Depression (Jimi Hendrix Cover), That Did It, Uptight, Bound For Glory, Simple Song > Take You Higher, Give It Up, Love Has Something Else
The Tower Theatre was a headlining show with Steve Earle opener, so it allowed the Tedeschi Trucks Band more freedom than a festival set to improv and let their songs breathe, which allowed for an organic sound and performance.
|Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Tower Theatre by Joe Roman|
This show featured an extended improvisational version of “Anyday” that featured some impressive keyboard playing by Kofi Burbrudge as well as some mesmerizing solos by Derek Trucks which were unfortunately cut short due to breaking the high E-string twice in the same song. However, Derek was focused and intense the whole night.
“Midnight in Harlem” was one of the evening’s most intimate yet inspiring performances. Susan Tedeschi’s vocals were up front and clear atop the musical backdrop built by the band. The song intensified and peaked with a Trucks solo and then laid back to rest. Most bands do not play slower paced encore songs but this selection worked well and was an example of how to let a song take on new life onstage.
Bound For Glory, I've Got a Feeling, Don't Let Me Slide, Until You Remember, Give it up or let me go, Anyday, Shelter, Nobody's Free, That Did it, Uptight, Space Captain, Midnight in Harlem, Sing a Simple Song > I want to take you higher
Hot August Blues Festival was another scorching hot day (as the festival name implies). The festival also included the sounds of sacred steel with Robert Randolph & the Family Band and the rocking blues J. Roddy Walston and the Business, who were introduced as a cross between Jerry Lee Lewis and AC/DC.
|Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Hot August Blues Fest by Joe Roman|
“Bound for Glory” was one of the evening’s highlights for sure. The upbeat tempo and uplifting lyrics were infectious as it spilled out into the crowd turned into a sing-along. Tedeschi’s vocals soared and Trucks’ mixture of slide and figured notes echoed and accompanied her voice.
There were high hopes that Robert Randolph would be invited up for the Tedeschi Trucks Band set, but while Randolph didn’t make it out they did have Joey Williams (Blind Boys of Alabama) come out and play the Sly and the Family Stone duo of” Sing A Simple Song > I Want To Take You Higher” with them.
Comin' Home, Don't Let Me Slide, Midnight In Harlem, Anyday, Shelter, Bound For Glory, Manic Depression, That Did It, Uptight > Drums & Bass, Space Captain, Sing A Simple Song~ > I Want To Take You Higher~
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