Tedeschi Trucks Band, Indigo at the O2, London, UK
I have been a huge fan of Derek Trucks for years, having first come across him through the Allman Brothers Band. Leaving aside the connection with Uncle Butch Trucks, mainstay of the ABB’s rhythm section, Derek embodied everything Duane stood for and represented the next generation of that truly great band. I have to confess that such thoughts have never been far away when I have listened to or seen the band he formed with his highly talented wife, Susan Tedeschi. That’s until this show at the O2’s indigo venue.
Trucks’ playing was at its typically high level, with some sublime solos; but this night, it was the Susan Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Tedeschi is the voice of the band and plays a gutsy guitar, but this was her show that she led from beginning to end. Not that Trucks was pushed out, far from it. It was more that this big band of 12 top musicians really rocked as one as Tedeschi pulled it all together.
The set hadn’t been going for long before we were treated to some very fine slide from Trucks “Made Up Mind” was a particularly memorable example.
From up in the balcony, the stage looked set up into three disntict compartments: Trucks and Tedeschi in one compartment, drums in another, and horn section in another. Nonetheless, the band plays as one. For example, when Tedeschi swapped vocals with Mike Mattison, he moved centre stage and she took his place in the harmony section. Not only was this a team effort — the sweep of styles seemed wider than their previous UK appearance two years ago. There was lots of blues (this was the BluesFest after all) but some great soul music too.
Another highlight was the Derek & the Dominos classic “Keep on Growing.” Of the TTB compositions, “The Storm” was epic. However, covers from Mad Dogs & Englishmen were the night’s gems: “Bird on the Wire,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” and leaving the best until last, the encore “With a Little Help From My Friends.”
The man (from the Pru?) introducing the show set up the Tedeschi Trucks Band as the best blues, the best soul, the best everything band. That’s quite a lot to live up to in one evening, but led by Susan Tedeschi, this band lived up to all of that with ease.