Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Stanley Johnson
When a band comes to the end of a tour, there are two potential scenarios: fatigue results in a perfunctory set; or, the thrill of closing on a high note wins out. Fortunately, the latter was the case for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which played a high-octane, incredibly diverse show for over two hours at a packed Palace Theatre on a recent Sunday night.
Respectively, husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi have built loyal followings in the Northeast in the past decade. Trucks led a band that averaged over 250 shows per year at one point, in addition to playing select shows with the Allman Brothers Band. Tedeschi led her own band out of Boston for many years before she and her husband started a family and set up home in Florida. Joining forces, the couple have released two excellent albums in the past two years, Revelator and the live Everybody’s Talkin’.
With a colorful aboriginal design as their backdrop, the band (two drummers, three horn players, one keyboardist, legendary Meters bassist George Porter, Jr., and guitarists Trucks and Tedeschi) took the stage to a roar unlike any heard in recent memory at the Palace. The love was mutual from the word go. A radiant Tedeschi stepped to the microphone, and the band ripped into a superbly moving take on George Harrison’s “Wah-Wah.” Vocal interplay and a beautiful slide break made “Don’t Let Me Slide” a worthy follow-up, and “Midnight in Harlem” mixed soulful sounds from the West and East. Mike Mattison, lead singer with the Derek Trucks Band, joined Tedeschi at center stage for a funky, waltzing “How It Feels,” his rasp and her sweet alto blending perfectly.