The Tedeschi Trucks Band kicked off their two-night run at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey in their trademark casual yet masterful form. This incredible twelve piece is the musical offspring of the combination of Derek Truck’s and Susan Tedeschi’s former solo bands. The husband and wife duo has been steadily gaining notoriety since their first album, Revelator, won a “Best Blues Album” Grammy in 2012. They also have another album nominated for a “Best Contemporary Blues” Grammy this year: the recently released Live from the Oakland Theater.

Not only is the dynamic between Derek and Susan mesmerizing, but the entire band patiently waits for their chances to display their impressive talents like ten cobras poised and ready to strike.

Susan took the lead guitar role on “Anyhow”, the opener for the night and, coincidentally, the opener from their most recent studio album, 2016’s Let Me Get By. Kofi Burbridge (older brother to Oteil Burbridge) made his presence felt with a chilling flute solo. Kofi missed much of the band’s 2017 schedule due to a heart attack and subsequent emergency heart operation in June. Though he was back in action for Tedeschi Trucks Band’s six-night residency at the Beacon Theatre in October, it is still so good to see him onstage, playing with healthy might.

Next, Derek Trucks took back the reins on the lead guitar while Susan Tedeschi dominated vocally on “Do I Look Worried?” from their second studio album, Made Up Mind. Susan displayed all the swagger of a rock star when she posited the tune’s big question with hard-hitting indifference, the horn section punctuating every line. Trucks then took an unbelievable solo that nearly set the theater on fire as it countered Susan’s equally powerful vocals.

The band continued the Made Up Mind tracks with “Part of Me”, Susan perfectly executing every lyric and note. The rest of the band maintained the standard of musicianship exemplified by Derek and Susan. Mike Mattison took center stage and lead vocals for an outstanding rendition of “Don’t Miss Me” from the days of the Derek Trucks Band, his rough and jagged blues voice providing a stark contrast to Susan Tedeschi’s crystalline acoustics.

One of the night’s highlights came in the form of “Shame”, a new original tune that they introduced on June 8th at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, but have recently been including at nearly every tour stop. The song is undeniable and has evolved even since its early performance in October at the Beacon. As Susan recited the bone-chilling lyrics in her powerful voice, Derek Trucks melded a flawless solo with the unusually heavy bass line provided by Tim Lefebvre. This song has an unlimited potential, heavy jams, poignant lyrics with a smooth delivery, and will soon be a staple of the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s repertoire.

A stirring cover of “Bird on the Wire” followed. Tedeschi gave the audience goosebumps with the beauty of this performance. The song was originally written by Leonard Cohen, though Joe Cocker performed a memorable rendition of the tune for his Mad Dogs & Englishmen album. The rendition evoked memories of Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2015 “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” all-star tribute set at LOCKN‘, when Tedeschi kissed Leon Russell‘s forehead in a truly heartwarming display of adoration. The song was played as a tribute to Leon Russell, who passed away in 2016.

Out of nowhere, the opening notes to “Statesboro Blues” got the audience to their feet to dance. The song was written by Blind Willie McTell in the 1920’s and popularized by Taj Mahal in 1968. Taj Mahal inspired the Allman Brothers Band to record their own version of the song in 1971 on their now-iconic At Fillmore East album. This album is often regarded as the best live album of all time. As any Allman Brothers fan can attest, the lights may dim, but the show doesn’t truly start until the introductory notes to “Statesboro Blues” blare from the amplifiers. The Tedeschi Trucks Band conducted an extended version in New Jersey, with extra solos from both Kofi Burbridge and Derek Trucks to supplement the traditional arrangement.

To close the first set, Tedeschi Trucks Band performed the title track from their most recent album “Let Me Get By”. Susan Tedeschi sang with her usual degree of excellence, and the rest of the band provided blazing guitar riffs, bluesy keyboard tinkering, harmonized background vocals, a double dose of integrated percussion, and fiery horn sustain. With a simple “Thank you” from Susan and courteous wave to the audience, the band left the stage.

The band opened the second set with a saucy and unique interpretation of blues standard “Rollin’ and Tumblin'”, which has been covered many times since the 1920’s. However, this band presents their own unique version, with Susan Tedeschi injecting some southern soul into the blues riffs provided by Derek Trucks. “Don’t Drift Away” followed, a song taken from their most recent live album but first played at Wanee Festival in 2010. With gospel-sounding backup vocals, captivating lead vocals by Susan Tedeschi, and beautifully timed horns and percussion, this song was made extravagant by a killer slide guitar solo from Derek Trucks.

For the next song, a cover of Delaney and Bonnie‘s “Comin’ Home”, Susan relished the lead guitar role with a heavy solo to match her perfect voice. She soon relinquished the role to the natural leader of the band, Trucks, who continued to ignite the stage with his slide guitar playing capabilities.

Another momental jam came in the form of the original tune “It’s So Heavy”, which saw Susan captivate the audience with her slow and soulful singing. When the jam section came around, Derek delivered a controlled slide solo, reducing many audience members to tears. Susan continued the powerful display when she returned to the microphone while Derek scored undertones with his slide guitar.

Mike Mattison shuffled to retake center stage and lead vocals for a dirty version of the rarely-played song “Going Down Slow”. Though Tedeschi Trucks Band only played this song a handful of times, it has been covered by dozens of blues musicians including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Eric Clapton, and Duane Allman. However, as top tier collective of musicians, Tedeschi Trucks Band all infused their own flavor into the blues standard as the “I’m leavin’ on the next train..” lyric was repeated by the half-dozen singers in the band, harmonizing beautifully, as the song faded out slowly.

“How Blue Can You Get?”, written by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers and popularized by the late, great B.B. King, came next, featuring scorching work from Trucks. Susan Tedeschi sings the blues triumphantly, paying respects to a long lineage of known and unknown artists including B.B. King, who performed at Count Basie for his final time in April of 2014. As the song reached a majestic peak behind Susan’s hot blues solo, Derek watched proudly nearby. The crowd erupted ecstatically as she finished her solo and resumed her vocal command.

However, when Mike Mattison returned for another turn at lead vocals, he reminded the attentive audience that there are many vocal talents in this band. He delivered a swingin’ rendition of the Derek Trucks Band staple “Get What You Deserve”. Susan provided backup vocals and some mean guitar licks and Derek shredded the living daylights out of the song as the drums pounded in the swampy, ragtime fashion that is characteristic of many songs that originate from the Derek Trucks Band’s repertoire.

To finish an energetic second set, the band engineered a masterful seventeen-minute arrangement of the original epic “Idle Wind”, another track from Made Up Mind. With a trademark flute introduction provided by Kofi Burbridge, the song was performed immaculately from start to finish. Derek and Susan’s talents are so innate that they deliver perfect performances without an afterthought. The horns section delivered a solid flourish of brass before Derek Trucks carved a musical solo with his cherry red Gibson SG like an adroit surgeon with a scalpel. His solo was ended and reunited with the music by the horns section in a harmonious eruption of sound. The music was then stripped down to only the drummers for an elongated section of percussion before returning to the harmonies of “Shame” and, finally,  finishing “Idle Wind” with its usual rising notes and horns. The band then left the stage and the audience breathless in anticipation.

The band stayed side stage while just Susan Tedeschi and Kofi Burbridge returned to perform another heart-wrenching tribute to Leon Russell, his own “A Song for You”. With just the two of them on stage, the tribute was intimate and moving. Susan sang directly from the heart, her voice cutting to the core as she translated the pain of life into song. Kofi plays Russell’s original piano parts exquisitely, and there is no doubt that Leon, himself, would approve of their rendition. To finish the first night, the entire band returned to the stage to sound off on the boot-stompin’ original “Made Up Mind” featuring a musical showdown between Kofi on keys and Derek on guitar. The band offered a very charismatic performance to end the night, including one last squealin’ vocal solo by Mark Rivers. It was his first chance to get a crack at lead vocals, and we can let the record show that he can sing just as proficiently as Mike or Susan.

The music was of phenomenal quality all night, which has become expected of this prestigious band. It’s easy to predict nothing less for Valentine’s Day celebration tonight. What better way to witness tangible, real love than to hear this couple celebrate their magical musical marriage onstage for the entire theater?

Below you can listen to a full audience audio recording of the performance, as well as a selection of fan-shot videos:

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Full Show Audio – Red Bank, NJ – 2/13/18

[Audio: Taped by edtyre; Uploaded by edtyre2]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Part of Me” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Shame” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Statesboro Blues” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Comin’ Home” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Going Down Slow” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Get What You Deserve” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “A Song For You” – 2/13/18

[Video: Sean Roche]

SETLIST: Tedeschi Trucks Band | Count Basie Theatre | Red Bank, NJ | 2/13/18

Set 1: Anyhow, Do I Look Worried, Part of Me, Don’t Miss Me*, Shame, Bird on the Wire^, Statesboro Blues**, Let Me Get By

Set 2: Rollin’ and Tumblin’^^, Don’t Drift Away, Comin’ Home$, It’s So Heavy, Going Down Slow%, How Blue Can You Get?#, Get What You Deserve*, Idle Wind

Encore: A Song For You@, Made Up Mind

*Derek Trucks Band song
^Leonard Cohen song
**Blind Willie McTell song
^^Hambone Willie Newbern song
$Delaney & Bonnie song
%St. Louis Jimmy Ogden song
#Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers song
@Leon Russell song

Tedeschi Trucks Band returns to the Count Basie Theatre for their second night this evening. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.

Check out the full gallery below, courtesy of Derek McCabe.