The Derek Trucks Band was headed off on an indefinite hiatus, so their last scheduled concert – at The Egg on Sunday evening – was sure to be a big send-off.
The fans were primed. And the band was taking no prisoners with a generous three-hour, two-set performance. But there was no big farewell. No goodbyes at all, in fact.
Just a great night of progressive blues music that scrambled The Egg.
The first hour-long set opened with the slinky groove of King Curtis’ classic “Soul Serenade” and came to a rousing conclusion with a roar through Bob Dylan’s “Down in the Flood.” In was hard to believe that the band could top it with their second set.
But they did.
Trucks’ guitar work was simply mesmerizing throughout the night, one minute powerful and furious, and the next minute, hushed and contemplative. The entire band displayed an amazing sense of dynamics, especially in the second set pairing of the blues classic “Key to the Highway” and Broadway-gone-jazz reading of “My Favorite Things,” both of which garnered well-deserved standing ovations.
And a special shout-out goes to vocalist Mike Mattison, undoubtedly the most unassuming soul singer on the planet. And one of the best, too.
Trucks’ name is out front with this band – unlike, say, his equally mesmerizing work with the Allman Brothers Band. But he wisely allows plenty of room for the band to shine, both in solo spots and in cohesive ensemble work.
In the Daily Gazette, Dave Singer hailed Trucks, noting, “Typically his solos start gently, melodically tied to the song; he then happens upon a likeable riff and locks into it. It’s at that point he rises above his peers. Where top soloists dissect the riff down to its core and then pull out slowly, Trucks literally splits the atom, and, inside that microscopic space, he finds room to explore further — and he does all this without losing us.”
North Mississippi singer-songwriter Shannon McNally opened the show with an intoxicating, too-short set accompanied by guitarist Eric Deaton. With a rootsy, Dylanesque approach her six-song set featured such highlights as the beautiful, blusey “Bohemian Wedding Prayer Song,” Waylon Jennings’ anthem “Lonesome, Ornery and Mean” and a captivating rendition of the classic “Long Black Veil.”
THE DEREK TRUCKS BAND SET LIST
I Wish I Knew
Get What You Deserve
Yield Not To Temptation
Down in the Flood
Home In Your Heart
Key to the Highway
My Favorite Things