I’ll make this short. I love TTB. Derek Trucks is my favorite living guitarist currently along with Trey. Accompanied by a full band, complete with horns, drums, backup vocals, keys, and the lovely Susan Tedeschi (who deserves the stage in her own right – and has) – this is about as good a full musical experience as you’ll get in the WORLD today. I saw them for the seventh time in December of 2019.
Tedeschi does many things incredibly well. First off, they are the tightest band I’ve heard – as in their musical chops are top notch and they rarely miss a note. This comes with bringing technically skilled musicians to the stage and it shows. Each supporting player could clearly stand on their own based on skill alone. Second, they love improvisation. Trucks may be the greatest living guitarist today for a variety of reasons, one of which is his insane ability to use the slide to create raw emotion through his guitar playing. You feel like he is speaking to the crowd through these solos. He is equal parts Duane Allman and Elmore James, mixed with soul and jazz all in one package. He lets the others solo too, of course. You’ll get several trombone or trumpet solos a show, piano solos, drum solos, and Susan’s vocal and guitar solos as well. Furthermore, you never really know when its coming – they might start a song with a roaring, building drum solo, or a few soft notes from Trucks which eventually builds into something completely different from where it started. It keeps you on your toes and guarantees that each time you see them, you will be getting something a little different. It is this hunger for improvisation that keeps me coming back show after show to this band.
Susan and Derek’s chemistry is undeniable. Both were excellent musicians before they teamed up as a husband-and-wife super duo, but now it is even more apparent. They give each other the time to solo and hold the stage, while constantly respecting eachothers abilities and skills. Susan has one of the finest female rock voices in music today, with the ability to convey so much emotion and power through her singing. Trucks is the stoic companion who speaks through his guitar. And boy does he speak. He does truly disgusting things to the guitar that I still can’t comprehend the night after a show. But my point is – you can feel the love there. They are playing not only cause they love music, but because they love each-other. You need to see it to know what I mean. Thats a powerful thing you won’t find many other places in music today.
Third, they are FUN. Their music makes you want to get up and dance, sing along and party all night with them. While the crowd is usually comprised of 40 year olds and aging Allman Brothers fans, there by no means is a lack of excitement in the room. You can tell something special is always happening from the energy of the crowd, which in each time I have seen them roars with excitement at every song and set break. I find that those who have seen plenty of live music in their time really love this band, and it speaks to their ability to capture a sound that hits on many different genres from song to song. It keeps in interesting as they jump from their own tunes to covers and back again – you never really know what you’re going to get. And its those really good nights with TTB that remind me why life is good in the first place.
If you like blues, soul, and rock&roll – this is the band for you. It has it all and then some, and then a little more.