Riff Roarin’ Good: Tedeschi Trucks Band Double Live Album

TTB Double Live Everybody's Talkin'
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Everybody’s Talkin’ (Live Dual Disc Set)
Sony Masterworks
Release Date: May 22, 2012

The Tedeschi Truck’s Band’s brand new live album, Everybody’s Talkin’, is the proof of theory that was hinted at in Susan Tedeschi’s interviews on the 2010 Crossroads DVD. Citing Delaney and Bonny (and Friends) as well as Joe Cocker’s all-star Mad Dogs and Englishman revue of the early 1970’s as touchstones the then embryonic TTB covered tunes from both those groups, “Comin’ Home” and “Space Captain.” Though neither of those songs is featured on this release the spirit of those groups permeates the grooves. If the goal was to create a feel good convergence of talented musicians at the top of their game then TTB is batting 1000.

Much like the Allman Brothers’ classic At The Fillmore East album Everybody’s Talkin’ gives TTB a chance to show off how they’ve blossomed on tour since last year’s debut album. While the Revelator album (reviewed here) was a favorite of mine in 2011, TTB’s live renditions almost immediately eclipsed the studio versions. I was totally blown away by the performance I saw at NYC’s Beacon Theater last September (review here.) Tunes I had been dismissive of like “Bound For Glory” became showcases for band interaction. I was enamored with “Learn How To Love” in the first place but the live version upped the ante with some searing and soaring slide work from Derek. Both those songs are highlights of this album.

I’m also drawn to the syncopated juke joint take on “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”, which is as much Ray Charles as it is Muddy Waters inspired. I’m glad they chose to include Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight.” Driven by Oteil Burbridge’s percolating bass it takes full advantage of the 11 piece band’s scope. The only misstep for my personal taste is the rendition of John Sebastian’s “Darling Be Home Soon” which doesn’t reach the vocal intimacy of either the original or the Joe Cocker versions.

The dual disc format of Everybody’s Talkin’ affords plenty of room for stretching out that will keep jamband fans satisfied. It’s a solid offering that conveys the camaraderie and excitement of the TTB live show. A nice tasting menu of what you get when you see them on stage. Bottom line is you must be a participant to get the full effect. There are plenty of chances coming up.

Tedeschi Trucks Band Tour Dates – 2012

5/27                 Summer Camp: Sunshine Main Stage, Three Sisters Park – Chillicothe, IL
5/30                 Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
6/1                   Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
6/2                   Appel Farm Arts & Music Ctr – Elmer, NJ
6/3                   Mountain Jam Festival: East Stage – Hunter, NY
6/15                 Paramount Theatre – Seattle, WA
6/16:                The Britt Festival – Jacksonville, FL
6/17:                Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – Portland, OR
6/19:                The Center For The Performing Arts – Vancouver, BC
6/21                 Jack Singer Concert Hall – Calgary, AB
6/22                 Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – Edmonton, AB
6/24 & 6/25     Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater – Apple Valley, MN     
6/27                 Overture Center For The Arts – Madison, WI
6/29                 TD Toronto Jazz Festival: Main Stage Marquee, Nathan Philips Square – Toronto, OH
7/6                   Winnipeg Folk Festival: Main Stage – Winnipeg, MB
7/7                   Thunder Bay Blues Festival – Thunder Bay, ON
7/10                 RBC Royal Bank Ottawa Bluesfest 2012 – Ottawa, ON
7/11                 Quebec City International Summer Festival – Quebec City, QC
7/18                 Ravinia Festival – Highland Park, IL
8/5                   Newport Jazz Festival: Main Stage, Fort Adams State Park – Newport, RI
8/11                 Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain – Scranton, PA
8/28                 Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie – Grand Prairie, TX
8/29                 Sandia Casino Amphitheater – Albuquerque, NM
8/30                 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
9/1                   Comerica Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
9/2                   The Joint – Las Vegas, NV
9/5                   Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA
9/7                   Bob Hope Theater – Stockton, CA
9/8                   The Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA
9/9                   Harrah’s Rincon – Open Sky – Valley Center, CA
9/14                 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival – Fredericton, NB
9/20                 Beacon Theatre w/ special guest Leon Russell – New York, NY
9/21                 Beacon Theatre w/ special guest The Wood Brothers – New York, NY    
10/27               Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise – San Juan, PR

Music SkeletonPete Says

Bowlive III: Freeform Funkafied Fine-ness

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Bowlive Special Guest Jennifer Hartswick Channels Her Inner Robert Plant

There Are No Words…
Often an experience is greater than words can adequately describe. That is the case with the event I attended this on Saturday March 3, 2012. I could say transcendant, I could say joyous. I could say mind-blowing – even though that would break a New Year’s resolution. I will say Free Form Funakfied Fine-ness. That’s the best I can do. If you weren’t there it doesn’t suffice.

I admit I’m super late to this party. Again sorrier than words can express. I got turned on to Soulive last spring when I was introduced to organist Neal Evans at Eagle Rock’s Rory Gallagher Tribute show at Iridium. By that time I had already missed the second Bowlive, and vowed not to let another pass without covering at least one date.

Soulive: Alan Evans, Eric Krasno, Neal Evans

What It Is…
The trio Soulive is brothers Neal and Alan Evans on Keyboards and Drums, respectively, with guitarist Eric Krasno. Bowlive gives the band a chance to bring up musical friends and do what great jam bands do – JAM. The musical moods run from Booker T. & MG’s instro soul, to Parliament funk, to Led lined dinosaur rock and Coltrane jazz explorations. You catch hints and pieces of familiar rock tunes strung throughout, “Manic Depression” here, “Soul Sacrifice” there. “Rubber Soulive” is (no surprise) their spin on the music of The Beatles.

Bowlive III is the band’s 2012 ten show residency at Brooklyn Bowl that allows them to set up camp and play in the sandbox with their musical friends. This year that included, but was not limited to, John Scofield, Luther Dickinson, Nigel Hall, Lettuce and The London Souls. Soulive’s audience is a very friendly community of fans, who made even this newbie feel right at home. Being told I was “in for a treat” seeing Soulive and opening act The Nigel Hall Band for the first time was a massive understatement.

Night 5 Special Guests…
On show number 5 Soulive was augmented by Keyboardist Marco Benevento who gave the trio additional juice by joining them for most of their two sets on swirling Leslie driven Hammond B3, drummer Louis Cato sat in while Alan doubled on guitar, and trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick. After playing a couple of incredible horn solos Hartswick took center stage for some powerful bluesy lead vocalizing including a hellacious version of “Dazed and Confused” that ended the second set. Nowhere left to go after that? Think again. Soulive encored with a pounding instrumental version of another Led Zep classic “The Ocean”.

A full blow-by-blow, night by night, overview by those much more knowledgeable than myself can be read here. Find everyone in the Soulive extended family at Royal Family Records.

Always Bowled Over…
As I’ve said in the past, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better experience than taking in a show at the The Brooklyn Bowl. Along with its namesake bowling alleys, the venue boasts a spacious stage/dance floor area, top notch tap beer selection at the bar, and a slightly up scale pub style restaurant (without upscale pricing.) I’ve found the attention to detail in sound and lighting to be especially excellent on all the shows I’ve attended there.

Music SkeletonPete Says

This Machine Kills Grief: TTB @ Beacon Theater Sept 10, 2011

TTB Tour Shirt will be proudly worn by this fan

Learning to Live Together
It could have been an easy call for New Yorkers to stay home, avoid major gathering places, public transit and traffic checkpoints, on the eve of 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack. Yet looking around me during the sold out show in Manhattan’s Beacon Theater, it was clear that no one stayed home, every-seat was filled. That is until the Tedeschi Trucks Band hit the chorus of the second song in their set, a great cover of “Space Captain”, and the audience spontaneously got to their feet singing the refrain “learning to live together” and pretty much stayed on their toes until the end of the night.

I attended this show with no intention of reporting on it. I reviewed the TTB debut album Revelator earlier in the year, really loved it and just intended to sit back and enjoy without taking notes or photos. Arriving home it felt totally remiss to overlook the opportunity to comment on just how good the performance was.

Pass The Jam (on the left hand side)
Based on The Beacon presentation I can state with certainty that every song from the studio album has been eclipsed by its performance on stage; utterly elevated, transformed and liberated. The band is tight and intuitive, confident in its ability to expand and contract sections at will, unafraid to wind its way from swamp rock to outre jazz. It’s loose enough to give the jam fans a good dose of experimentation but not so jammy as to lose the intent of the song. All 11 musicians are at the top of their game both individually and as a unit. It was particularly fun to watch brothers Oteil and Kofi Burbridge (Bass and Organ, respectively) playing off each other at their end of the stage.

Throughout the night Derek coaxed searing then subtle lead lines out of his Gibson SG, sometimes teasing the audience with bits of familiar Allman’s melodies then aiming his sites on the heart of the sun for some modal John Coltrane like explorations. The unexpected segue between their rowdy rendition of Delaney and Bonnie’s “Coming Home” and the moody opening of “Midnight In Harlem” was breathtaking in its artfulness. Susan’s voice has taken on an extra level of soul and her evocative delivery sends shivers up your spine. “Until You Remember” and “Learn How to Love” were powerful and visceral, she appropriately offered “Shelter” as a prayer to New Yorkers at this time of memorial.

Funk Soul Brothers (and Sister)
Taking advantage of their full horn section TTB have internalized the deep funk of the 60’s and early 70’s making renditions of Sly and The Family Stone hits “Sing A Simple Song” and “I Want To Take You Higher” feel like their own. It doesn’t hurt to have singer Mike Mattison (whose own Scrapomatic opened the evening) channeling Sister Rose on the high end of the vocal range. Mike also shared a duet with Susan on the Derek and the Dominoes tune “Anyday”. A personal fave, Stevie Wonder’s 1966 hit “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”, was another special surprise.

Skeletonpete Says…
I doubt I will see a more cohesive or exciting performance this year or one more joyfully shared by the audience. If you have a chance to experience TTB as their tour continues don’t miss them.