Rock Room on the Road – Tedeschi Trucks Band – ‘Wheels of Soul’ Tour July 1, 2022 Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center

by | Jul 4, 2022 | 2 comments

On the evening of July 1, 2022 ‘Tedeschi Trucks Band’ rolled
their Wheels of Soul caravan tour into the Marvin Sands
Performing Arts Center
in Canandaigua, NY. A three-band collaborative of
roots and rock music featured steamy opening sets by Gabe Dixon and special guests,
rock legends ‘Los Lobos’. At 8:30 the twelve-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band took
the stage and through their stellar musicianship and on stage comradery paid unconscious
musical tributes to past travelling musical cavalcades such as ‘Delaney and Bonnie and
Friends’, ‘Ronnie Lane’s Passing Show’ and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dog’s and
Englishman’.

In addition to band leaders and husband and wife duo, Derek
Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the group is comprised of dual drummers, Tyler Greenwell
and Issacs Eady, vocalist’s, Mike Mattison, Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour, a
brassy three piece horn section made up of Kebbi Williams, Elizabeth Lea,
Ephraim Owens, Brandon Boone on bass and Gabe Dixon on keyboards and vocals. In
true review fashion each member and section of the group was provided a moment
to bask in the glow of the music making. Whether through hearty horn exclamations,
stellar stratified backing vocals, percolating drums or funky bass and
keyboards, the Tedeschi Trucks Band is much more than just the band’s namesakes.

The band opened the evening with the slow modal drift of ‘Anyhow’
from 2016’s Let Me Get By. Susan
Tedeschi in fine vocal fettle and it is she who takes the first guitar solo of the evening on her
Les Paul. The song a fitting opener as the gentle melody leaves plenty of opportunity for
the horn trio to do their thing. The Tedeschi Trucks Band are less jam band and
more a ‘soul review’ that jams. When Trucks steps up to solo, like any guitarist
of his stature the assembled crowd shifts to the edges of their respective
seats to witness the fireworks. But the true alchemy in Trucks guitar work is
to be found in the breaths between his melodic statements. His incredible dexterity
is only surpassed by his restraint.

Initiated on May 31st,
the ‘Tedeschi Trucks Band’ announced a thematic and expansive studio project titled,  
I Am the Moon, which spotlights four separate albums with accompanying
films released in successive months until culminating with the complete album
release on September 9, 2022. On this evening at CMAC the crowd was treated to samples of
this ambitious work and were not disappointed with the results.

One of the
aforementioned new compositions from
I
Am the Moon
and the opening track
of the collection, ‘Here My Dear’ followed. Lush Hammond organ work and a
melody that burrows into your consciousness through Trucks sleek recitation of
the theme offered one of a number of early highlights.

A sticky sweet and pull
apart serving of the band original ‘Signs, High Times’ got many of the crowd up
and shakin’ it a bit. Gritty Fender Rhodes and tasteful Trucks soloing takes
place mid song, but without his usual slide, resulting in a number of uniquely scribbled
licks. Susan growled on the lead vocals kicking her heels in with dusty eyes
closed wailing.

                                 Photo: Jeff Gerew

The blue light
waltz of ‘Do I Look Worried’ elicits all of the band’s R and B aesthetic with a
welcome Derek Trucks excursion on an overdriven slide guitar flex that concluded with
some locomotive scrubbing. Kudos to the rhythm section for battening down the
hatches with endlessly creative polyrhythms and shifting time signatures.

A duo of brand-new
songs followed with the acoustic stomp of ‘So Long Savior’ which sounds like a
lo-fi cut from the flip of ‘Delaney
and Bonnie’s
Motel Shot LP. ‘I Am the Moon’ comes next featuring shared
vocals by Susan and Mike Mattison. The song was played spiritually and with a
weightless sway, building to a cathartic and melodic deconstruction by Trucks
for the swelling outro jam. The jam’s beautiful tension can be heard in the details. Derek
always leaves the listener wanting more. Never overplaying, he let’s the group
go to church and acts if he is playing from the congregation, never from the pulpit.

‘Life Is Crazy’ comes next giving Mike Mattison a moment at center stage where he got the groove swinging
with a honey dipped falsetto. ‘Part of Me’ the second song from 2013’s
Made Up Mind quickly followed and is a groovy favorite while getting people up and dancing again. A powerful triad of
tracks including Susan’s meaty ‘Just Won’t Burn’  which was sandwiched by huge cover
readings of ‘Derek and the Dominos’, ‘Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad’ and
Blind Joe Reynold’s 1929 blues ‘Outside Woman Blues’ via ‘Cream’s’ 1967
reimagining. ‘Tedeschi Trucks Band’ jumpy version of ‘Outside Woman Blues’ was enough to make a man stay
at home and never give anyone a sideways glance. Thick rich SG notes are
peeled up like crisp bills from Derek’s guitar, every lick a deft answer to
Susan’s husky vocal inquiries.

A hand clapping and
celebratory ‘Tedeschi Trucks Band’ standard, ‘Bound For Glory’ got the Canandaigua
shed wanting to rid themselves of their secular beliefs. This song is commensurate with the special blend of  music that the ‘Tedeschi Trucks Band’ has now cornered the market on. A
prelude of heavenly church organ and rippling Trucks slide work introduced the swing of the song
proper. The result is simple unpretentious and good time rock and roll. I only call it rock and
roll because the jambalaya of musical influence defies labels.

Following the substantial ‘Bound
For Glory’, the group changed over to a five piece configuration featuring
Derek, the drummers, Gabe Dixon and Boone on bass for ‘Pasaquan’, a new and
extended number from
I Am the
Moon.
Truck’s undeniable
connection to the music of the ‘Allman Brothers Band’ sweats from the pores of
this recent composition. For this expansive instrumental Trucks donned a
cherry red hollow bodied Gibson 335. His tone a laser shot through the humid air. ‘Pasaquan’ is a song sure to morph into birds’ eyes
views of innumerable sonic landscapes in future live performance. The music, moving
through unidentifiable changes soon left the orbit of
Marvin Sands. Like the best extending jamming it seemed the music could run free of
the rails at any moment.
Trucks unfurled musical flags of his family
tree and the psychedelic swells of his southern lineage through his strings at
a furious rate. His bandmates have studied at the same school as Trucks, as the
music shifted at a high tempo though moved patiently enough to express its story
through organic variations. Regardless of the changes, the thematic piece
developed by the group weaved a tapestry of improv into
the diverse set. A crushing dual drum break soon rolled into a rotund bass excursion that soon fell into an almost weightless Trucks that winded its way back into the song’s framework.

                                 Photo: Jeff Gerew

Following the breathless jam, the rest of the
group then returned for the full band reading of Bobby Bland’s 1967 cut ‘That Did It’. A deep rhythm and blues cut that illustrates the groups depth of influence and wealth
of respect for the forerunners of blues.  Susan, digs deep enough to strike Texas T inferring a soulful Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’ vocal. The dynamic horns coil like snakes before
striking in chilling punctuations throughout the chorus only increasing the
depth of Susan’s vocals. Highlight music.

Tedeschi Trucks Band then closed the evening
with the perfect two fer. Beginning with the Tedeschi Trucks Band number ‘I
Want More’ the band then segued to Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘I Want To Take You Higher’ levitating
the crowd to a proper place to head back home. ‘I Want More’ spotlighted Susan and Derek playing a
dual guitar line tying the room together before Derek stole the opportunity to
unleash another extended solo. The drop into ‘I Want To Take You Higher’ is
seamless and is highlighted by ‘Band-esque’ overlapping and shared vocal lines
that illustrate the tightness of the musical collective.

2022’s Wheels of Soul tour finds the ‘Tedeschi Trucks Band’ reaching an ambitious and joyous
new plateau in their on-stage development. The shows feature new songs, different
approaches, tributes and appreciative audiences that still adhere to the notion
that music can bring people together and make you feel real good.

2 Comments

  1. Bob W.

    I have noticed that many of your post do not receive any comments. I read all your posts, but seldom have anything to say (other than THANK YOU). I'm sure there are many others who read all your posts.

    I really appreciate your commentary. Thank you very much.

    Reply
  2. talkfromtherockroom

    Hi Bob, I certainly appreciate you reading my posts as well as the kind words. It's always great to see the comments and to chat with like minded music fans. If I didn't write I think I'd go crazy! Thank you, keep in touch.

    Reply

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