Damn, these cats can wail. Last night’s Tedeschi Trucks Band show at Daily’s Place sent waves of sound-gasms rippling through a crowd already lubed up by able openers The Marcus King Band and special guest Drive-by-Truckers, whose hour-long show was a draw for many.
The setting summer sun streaked sherbet colors across the sky when hometown band Tedeschi Trucks kicked off their Wheels of Soul tour. A ripe moon accented by wispy clouds slowly scaled the sky as the 12-piece band’s 90-minute set built to a spellbinding crescendo that, among other delights, treated us to a free-form jam that morphed into The Allman Bros. “The Whipping Post,” one of my all-time faves.
The onstage chemistry guitar great Derek Trucks shares with wife Susan Tedeschi, singer and guitarist, makes for an unforgettable performance. Her bluesy voice is sweet, liquid smoke; his guitar is the flame. Because of Trucks’ very visible career with The Allman Brothers Band., many focus on him, but Susan Tedeschi crushes it, y’all. She is a powerhouse singer with rich tone and incredible phrasing; it’s almost hard to believe that anyone could be born with an instrument that can create such beautiful and singularly recognizable sounds.
I’ll never forget when my sister told me about a 19-year-old guitar prodigy named Derek Trucks who had recently signed on to play with the Allmans. It was 1999 and I was 18 years old. It seemed almost unbelievable that someone who was practically my same age could have the skills and courage to perform with jam-band royalty. It’s strange and a little bit embarrassing to admit about a stranger, but I felt an odd kinship with Trucks, if for no reason other than that we are both creative and found our callings in early life. He was and is far more successful than I, but it’s a feeling that remains with me all these years since the first time I enjoyed his music, which probably has more than a little something to do with my moving to his hometown in 2005, and that I spent a few years working alongside a lovely lady who happens to be his cousin.
I’ve probably seen Allmans more than any other band—even Phish (yes, I’m that kinda girl). Having heard Trucks play more times than I can recall over two decades, I am struck by how he continues to take his music to new heights and to play with such obvious passion.
Even Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was blown away by the performance, tweeting after the show that he had just seen “the greatest guitarist in the WORLD.” It was a feeling that many probably shared, perhaps especially those previously uninitiated to the mastery of Derek Trucks.
Daily’s is a great venue, and every show I’ve seen there has been a honking good time, but I’m probably not the only one who wonders if Tedesci Trucks might be better enjoyed at a venue with a lawn, rather than exclusively stadium seating. It’s easier to dance on grass.