Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Tedeshi Trucks Band : Prudential Bluesfest Indigo 02 7/11/2015

Suz1 Suz2 Dez1 Dez2 Dez3 Slide1 Horns1

TTB rolled into town to add excitement and adulation to this years' rip roaring Prudential Bluesfest held at the O2. A great lolloping 12 piece band that Dereck Trucks describes as 'feeding the beast' took to the stage with a full torrential blues burst of energy that temporarily stunned me in it's full blown ferocity.

Tedeschi struck the first solo and is a mighty fine blues guitarist in her own right and one of the gutsiest singers out there offering us the best in southern rock and blues.Trucks being a gentlemen, letting his wife take the first solo, picked up the baton and showed us why he is regarded as the top guitarist in his field. There's a passionate intensity in his effortless playing reeled off with fluid like virtuosity.Somehow he encapsulates the history of the blues in just a few notes,the power of it is hard to describe but it hits you firmly between the eyes and lodges in your brain.I'ts a wonderful experience and the christ like Trucks had many disciples calling his name in tonight's awesome struck audience.

However two numbers in,the band go somewhat off piste with a Beatles classic 'Something' perhaps as a tribute to Harrison's fine slide playing,I'm not altogether sure( but it does beg the question,why?) as the momentum began to dissipate from the best start I'd seen in ages...Sanity was restored and redemption in hand when the lilting piece of sonic magic 'Midnight In Harlem' entered the fray with it's undulating rhythym holding court.Trucks's soulful slide never sounded better,his majesterial soloing took flight and bedazzled all in its path.

The funk is never far away from this band either, keys player and flautist, Kofi Burbridge played the heck out of the clavinet (on a tune which name escapes me) suffice to say Kofi adds that homely spice of hammond to the proceeds as well as some jazz flute that sees the bands extended jams fall into Jethro Tull territory! Worthy excursions nonetheless...

A game of two halves with a break in between lost some momentum yet again but this band want to give value for money even it took sometime after the intermission to get going again.The gospel inspired 'Bird On The Wire' was another highlight but curiously devoid of the horn section who prior to that had added their Ray Charles horn licks to their stonking version of Arlo Guthrie's 'The Letter'(done like Joe Cocker) a showstopper if ever there was one! 'let's Go Get Stoned' another belter in their vast repertoire emphasized to a 'T' the real heart of this band's high octane boogie blues badness!

The night climaxed with the exhilarating 'With A Little Help From My Friends' not the Ringo version I might add but Joe Cocker's! Those screeching opening guitar lines sent shivers down my spine as the band's glorious denouement played itself out.No wonder Robert Elms describes them as the best band in the world - he may be right as the positive vibes they give out is extraordinary.A knockout evening from a bunch of merry musicians with a frightening talent and a whole heap of pizazz.

Words Emrys Baird

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