Tedeschi Trucks Band returned to the familiar confines of the Beacon Theatre on Wednesday for the fifth of seven nights of the twelve-piece blues orchestra’s 2021 residency.
Led by husband-and-wife rockers Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, the band continued its joyful occupation of Manhattan’s Upper West Side with a number of sweeping instrumental passages mixed in between hard-hitting originals and guest appearances by guitarists Jorma Kaukonen and Marcus King.
The unstoppable band opened with a rendition of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Darling Be Home Soon” featuring forlorn vocals from Susan. After Derek’s solo wound down the tune, Mike Mattison and Susan Tedeschi exchanged leads on “Signs, High Times”. Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour held down the harmonies before Derek Trucks stole the show once again with his guitar chops.
Keyboardist Gabe Dixon introduced a horn-heavy rendition of “High & Mighty” before Susan swept the audience off its feet with a swooning “It’s So Heavy”. Mike Mattison soared to a higher plateau, spreading his wings to fly through “I Know”. Another horn introduction paraded through “Right On Time” before TTB cooked up a tasty performance of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” with Gabe Dixon on lead vocals.
Susan Tedeschi stepped to center stage next to lead the band through a doting “Hear Me” before switching gears for a declarative take on “Do I Look Worried”. Derek, in his customary casual coolness, stepped up to rip a scorching hot run to counter his wife’s feigned indifference.
Susan welcomed Jorma Kaukoken onstage next for a jaunt through Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. Gabe Dixon chiseled out a succinct solo before Susan’s powerful vocals wrapped up the beloved cover. All the while, a clearly excited Trucks beamed as he traded licks with the renowned Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna axeman.
Tedeschi Trucks Band ft. Jorma Kaukonen – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (Bob Dylan) – 10/6/21
After the audience’s applause eventually subsided, Mike Mattison’s gravelly vocals and Dixon’s piano led the troupe into a “Key To the Highway” featuring Jorma and Susan trading licks and a climactic closing segment from Derek’s slide guitar. The audience offered a standing ovation for Jorma as he left the stage.
Tedeschi Trucks Band ft. Jorma Kaukonen – “Key To The Highway” (Charles Segar) – 10/6/21
The brass section interrupted the ensuing silence with tantalizing teases of Miles Davis’ “In a Silent Way” that eventually built up to a momentous “Midnight in Harlem”. Derek captured a torrent of emotions within the confines of his soul-searching solo before Kebbi Williams threw down a triumphant saxophone section.
Next, rising rocker Marcus King made a surprise appearance on the Beacon stage for a bluesy, hair-raising performance of Sleepy John Estes’ “Leaving Trunk” with Mike Mattison on vocals. A brassy segue led the thirteen musicians into “Volunteered Slavery”, the guitar-centric Rahsaan Roland Kirk tune adopted long ago by the Derek Trucks Band.
Tedeschi Trucks Band ft. Marcus King – “Leaving Trunk” (Sleepy John Estes) > Volunteered Slavery (Rahsaan Roland Kirk) – 10/6/21
After Marcus King made his exit, TTB concluded the lengthy set with a triumphant “Bound for Glory” featuring a zealous Alecia Chakour vocal solo. As announced by TTB’s Instagram last night, Alecia is releasing a new solo album, Lotusland, later this month.
To finish the incredible evening of music, TTB rolled a cover of George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity” into another DTB staple, “Get What You Deserve”. Mike Mattison’s immense presence led the band through the final number, Derek slyly firing guitar notes behind him.
Tedeschi Trucks Band returns to the Beacon Theatre on Friday and Saturday, October 8th and 9th for two more shows. As always, this is must-see live music, with the band seamlessly marching through not only their own catalog but also unforgettable blues gems throughout history. Plus, as we saw on Wednesday, you never know who may stop by…
For more details on upcoming Tedeschi Trucks Band Beacon dates, head here. Below, you can check out a gallery of photos from Night 5 at the Beacon via photographer Andrew Blackstein and listen to a full audio recording of the show via taper edtyre2.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – 10/6/21 – Full Show
Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | Beacon Theatre | New York, NY | 10/6/21
Set: Darling Be Home Soon (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Signs, High Times, High & Mighty, It’s So Heavy, I Know (Derek Trucks Band), Right On Time, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ (The Allman Brothers Band), Hear Me, Do I Look Worried, Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan)*, Key To The Highway (Charles Segar)*, In A Silent Way (Miles Davis) > Midnight In Harlem, Leaving Trunk (Sleepy John Estes)^ > Volunteered Slavery (Rahsaan Roland Kirk)^
*with Jorma Kaukonen
^with Marcus King