Friday, June 2, 2017

Tedeschi Trucks Band: A Hometown Inaugural Concert Honoring Gregg Allman

May 27, 2017

EverBank Field
Daily's Place Amphitheater

Jacksonville, Florida

by Michelle Wilson of Rock Legends Photographers

“Hello Jacksonville! Are we ready to party?” Jacksonville Jaguars' owner Shad Khan was all smiles introducing hometown darlings, Tedeschi Trucks Band, as they rolled into town on their "Wheels of Soul" 2017 Tour and kicked off the inaugural concert at the new EverBank Field amphitheater, Daily's Place. The beautiful new venue is adjacent to the football stadium and in fact opens right onto it on an upper level. While construction is not quite complete and several finishing touches need to be done, it was certainly ready enough for opening night, and what a night it was. Fronted by husband/wife dynamic duo Derek Trucks (nephew of the late Butch Trucks and 15-year member of The Allman Brothers Band) and Susan Tedeschi, the 12-member ensemble delivered a bittersweet performance as the news of Gregg Allman's passing earlier in the day cast a dark, emotional shadow over the jam band crowd. But hearing TTB open the show with “Ain't Wastin' Time No More,” a song written by Allman and recorded by The Allman Brothers Band shortly after the 1971 passing of his brother, Duane Allman, the fans got their much needed catharsis through the appropriately chosen homage, and a collective weight was somewhat lifted from the atmosphere. The show, as they say, must go on, and indeed it did.

The two hour and fifteen minute show with one three-song encore featured a killer set of originals peppered with covers, including Derek and the Dominos' "Keep On Growing," Leonard Cohen's "Bird On The Wire," Sleepy John Estes' "Leaving Trunk," Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Volunteered Slavery," Billy Taylor's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," Joe Medwick and Deadric Malone's "I Pity The Fool" (famously recorded by Bobby "Blue" Bland), and Santana's "Soul Sacrifice." The beauty of this group is that they make every song their own, and they never do it the same way twice. I was thrilled to hear both "Midnight in Harlem" AND "Angel From Montgomery/Sugaree" - it doesn't happen THAT often in the same show. Also included were band staples "Don't Know What It Means," "Made Up Mind," "Let Me Get By" and "I Want More." I've never heard the band sound tighter, and the 12 members still have a ball with each other on stage. When Tedeschi returned for the first song of the encore accompanied only by Kofi Burbridge on piano, she mentioned several of the musicians who we have lost, including Col. Bruce Hampton, Butch Trucks, Gregg Allman and Leon Russell. "This is getting really hard to do," Tedeschi admitted, as she and Burbridge performed a gut-wrenching rendition of Russell's "A Song For You" followed by the Blind Willie McTell classic, "Statesboro Blues," another tribute to Gregg Allman. Closing it out with "Bound For Glory," the evening ended on a very high note indeed and set the bar for great shows to follow.

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