Susan Tedeschi, of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, isn’t acting when she begins to uncontrollably shake, whipping her arm through the air and slinging her hair around. She’s genuinely moved. A good example of this came during a set-closing cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Space Captain” in which her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks delivered a spine-tingling solo.
During that solo, Trucks’ controlled spasms on the guitar elevated everyone in the room. Asses lost their seats and hands took to the air like a Sunday morning church service. The man’s a badass, as Tedeschi put it in our interview two weeks ago. And so is his wife.
Not many guitarists in the world can step in after Trucks finishes up and keep the six-string singing, but Tedeschi does it with style, boldly taking solos that match her powerful vocals in confidence and beauty.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday night at the Music Hall, Tedscehi Trucks Band bassist Oteil Burbridge spent most of the night leaping across his bit of the stage, frequently coming close to falling over backwards, but through it all he maintained composure. Burbridge even took lead vocals for a roaring take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression.” His brother, Kofi, rounded out the superstars in the 11-piece lineup on keys.
Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” was a perfect cover for the band as well, while “Midnight in Harlem” provided a highlight among originals.
With a night off before playing Birmingham on Thursday, Trucks and Tedeschi wandered out onto King Street after the show, stopping into Juanita Greenberg’s, where they watched Sarah Cole and Elise Testone sing together. While Trucks chatted with the crowd, Tedeschi jumped on stage and sang “Angel from Montgomery” with Cole (It’s on YouTube).
This couple is simultaneously super human in their talents and amazingly down-to-earth and humble. It’s evident on stage. The Tedeschi Trucks Band would have to exert more effort to play a bad show than a good one, there’s so much talent dripping out of them. The lid on the dusty jar of pickles in your grandmother’s pantry would be hard-pressed to be this tight. And this was the first show of a brand new band’s first official tour. It’s staggering, uplifting, and damn near soul-saving.
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