The Tedeschi Trucks Band, the blues-rock orchestra fronted by the husband and wife guitar duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, closed out the two-week Savannah Music Festival with a scintillating set of crowd pleasing, blues drenched tunes. After a solid day of blues and Americana tinged jams from Jason Isbell, Mipso, Gillian Welsh, Brent Cobb and more, the twelve-person ensemble hit the stage and promptly got to rockin’! From what we’ve already seen in this young Tedeschi Trucks tour, the band is in high spirits and in spectacular form–both on and off the stage.
While their performance as a unit is the most mind-blowing part of any Tedeschi Trucks Band show, what keeps fans coming back is their impressive ability to give each player a moment to shine, especially in a cast so heavy on star power. In one moment, drummers Tyler Greenwell and J.J. Johnson create thunder so loud the rest of the band stands back for their own safety. The next, sax player Kebbi Williams brings the whole show to down to near silence as he intones a breathy passage on his horn. Williams’ partners in the horn section–trumpeter Ephraim Owens and slide trombone sorceress Elizabeth Lea–keep the high points bright and punchy, while bassist Tim Lefebvre keeps the low end bobbing below sonic sea level.
The trio of backing vocalists led by Mike Mattison give a stately, almost revue-esque feel their tonally textured performance. While Mattison came out and nailed a pair of lead vocal turns at Savannah Music Festival, Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour made their presence known often, including a stellar back-and-forth during a cover of “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” the protest classic popularized by Nina Simone, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that same evening. With all that firepower at their disposal, Tedeschi and Trucks are truly free to do what they do best, and they clearly relished the opportunity under the bright lights of the Savannah Music Festival’s main stage.
Susan Tedeschi commands so much respect with her insane playing and emotional vocals that it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off her. She sings with the passion of a person who has lived through a wide variety of life’s pleasures and pain and draws delicious howls from her guitar all the while. Almost any other guitarist would pale in comparison to her bright light, but Derek Trucks is not just any other guitarist. Since he could stand, Trucks has been knocking people off their feet with his jaw-dropping guitar playing. One of the finest blues slide players of this or any generation, Trucks showed why he is one of the truly great players and time and again over the course of the evening, leaving listeners slack-jawed and incredulous at the fireworks he launched from his fretboard.
This festival-closing set was the last hurrah of an over two-week celebration of music and culture for the city of Savannah. The festival hosts shows around town from nearly every genre, drawing in music aficionados of all types and ages for a communal sense of joy. The finale doubled as the inaugural event at the brand new Trustees Garden outdoor performance space, and things went off without a hitch. The smell from the food trucks brought in to serve the crowd was enticing, the craft beer vendors were serving beverages as fast as they could, and children laughed as they chased each other around the fields of green. As civic gatherings go, this was as pure and wholesome as any you could find and refreshing to the mind and soul.
We’ve put together a playlist of exclusive videos from the show, including stellar versions of “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”, “Don’t Know What It Means”, “Do I Look Worried”, “Midnight In Harlem”, and the kick off clip we have featured for you below a heart-melting “Angel From Montgomery>Sugaree>Angel From Montgomery.” Enjoy!
Below you can check out a playlist of exclusive videos from Tedeschi Trucks Band’s headlining performance at Savannah Music Festival. Enjoy!
“Angel From Montgomery”, “Sugaree”
“I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”
“Midnight In Harlem”
“Don’t Know What It Means”, “Do I Look Worried”