Last Thursday night, my friend Ryan and I were having some dinner before a show, and the conversation turned to real bands compared to processed auto tuned bands and whether acts even need to know how to play their instruments anymore. We concluded that, even though it happens less and less these days, it is worth trying to find one of those real bands.
We then walked across the street and saw one of those REAL bands. Those few and far between bands renew my faith in what music should be about. Eleven people on stage, led by the husband and wife team of Susan Tedeshi and Derek Trucks- minimal equipment, didn’t even see a truck outside- I think they carried everything in a trailer, so a minimal carbon footprint. No fancy lighting. Just great music and great musicians. They played a combination of soul covers and originals. Susan is and has always been an amazing singer and a great guitar player. Derek is an amazing and effortless guitar player, good enough to play in the Allman Brothers and in Eric Clapton’s band. There were moments in the show where he was supposed to take a solo and he leaned over to her and mouthed “You take it”. A quick smile, and then she ripped into a great solo, while the band all around her had big smiles on their faces. In between solos, Susan sang with a soulfulness and ferocity not seen since the soul singers of the past. It sounds crazy to say this, but she pretty much puts Beyonce and Mariah to shame. Two and a half hours of nonstop music, with plenty of room for every member of the band to stretch out and work their magic.
One thing that was very noticeable to me was the fact that throughout the show (evidenced by the photographs above) everyone in the band seemed to be smiling almost all the time! A miracle in this day and age. A band having fun while they are bringing joy to an audience! I will go back and see them every time they come to town. One final thought- just to make it complete- they are all wonderful and nice people.