Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band | NYE | Review
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi :: 12.31.10 :: Florida Theatre :: Jacksonville, Florida
After an opening set from Scrapmatic, the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band began their NYE set with “Don’t Let Me Slide” followed by my personal favorite “Midnight in Harlem,” a hopeful tune with a comforting and familiar feel. Derek & The Dominoes tune “Anyday” saw Trucks sliding up and down his guitar, evoking cheers from the attentive audience. The show took a turn down Funky Street with “Love Has Something Else to Say.” Brothers Oteil (bass, Allman Brothers Band) and Kofi Burbridge (keyboards, Derek Trucks Band) emanated fun-loving grooves from their corner of the stage all night long, making way for some patrons to sashay in their New Year’s attire up the aisles of the Florida Theatre (until being told to sit down by security).
The execution of the Eric Clapton arrangement of “Presence of the Lord” had more and more people finding their way to their feet. However, most in the audience remained unsure of what to do with themselves physically, most remaining seated and grooving cerebrally. Mike Mattison took lead vocal duties on Taj Mahal‘s “Leaving Trunk,” which made way for new blues number “That Did It”. The verses have Mattison and Mark Rivers laying down playful background vocal harmonies with Motown-esque Aah-ooh’s while Susan sings a soulful tale of heartache.
It is no secret that Susan is a world class vocalist, but on “That Did It” her guitar skills were front and center. She laid into her instrument with enough soul and power to make the ghost of Sister Rosetta Tharpe proud. Her approach to the six-string is a no-gimmick, loud and subtle reminder that she is the mother of Derek Trucks’ children.
Derek Trucks’ role as bandleader is performed perfectly. He gives everyone else onstage the space they need to become who they are musically. At times, when all eyes turn to him for a solo, he will defer the moment to someone else. Once everybody has found themselves in their given space, Trucks’ bright red Gibson SG is implied. With a meditative expression on his face, Derek tears sonic holes in the universe; each one providing grist for the mill of his spiritual journey with a guitar.
“Learn How to Love” is a thick swamp-fueled song that Derek and Susan wrote with Eric Krasno. Max Roach’s “Garvey’s Ghost” made an appearance late in the set featuring a powerful, tribal and lyrical drum solo which started with Tyler “The Falcon” Greenwell on groove duty while JJ Johnson took lead until handing it off to Greenwell, which led to both drummers playing off of each other with brilliant melody. The other band members gave the drummers their full, conscious attention during the drum solo, including Trucks, who took a knee center-stage as if to show respect for the most ancient form of musical expression.
The triumphant vocals at the beginning of Delany & Bonnie’s “Coming Home” started the countdown to midnight. Smiles, hugs, and kisses welcomed in the New Year as the band celebrated with Ray Charles’ “Night Time is The Right Time” and Mattison’s song “Bound for Glory”. Aretha Franklin’s “Spirit in The Dark” encored the evening and sent the North Florida faithful strutting into the night.
The band is due to release their first album in June of 2011 and has dates booked in April for Australia and New Zealand.
May the best of last year be the worst of this year.
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