Tedeschi Trucks Band in Los Angeles
photo by John Patrick Gatta
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Los Angeles, CA
2013 has been a year of transition for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.Recording and releasing its sophomore studio album, Made Up Mind, without departing original bassist Oteil Burbridge and instead with guest players, the 11-piece ensemble toured the spring and summer with a rotating cast in the bass slot.For the fall schedule the group announced its permanent fix in Tim Lefebvre, rolling into Los Angeles for a December date at the downtown Orpheum Theatre with its newly minted addition.
Dueling guitars highlighted the opening “Misunderstood,” as band namesakes Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi squared off for a back-and-forth of searing solos.“Do I Look Worried” followed and finished with a flourish snuffed out in a show-stopping halt that lifted the crowd of Angelenos out of its seats a mere two songs into the two-hour set.Demonstrating the multitude of talents that inhabit this collective, the group moved from the Mike Mattison-led “I Know,” with a soul-shaking trumpet break from Maurice Brown, to an extended instrumental intro dovetailing into “Love Has Something Else to Say,”a workout that shifted focus to Lefebvre’s bottom groove and underpinned Kebbi Williams atonal, behind-the-beat blasts.The midpoint summit belonged to Trucks, his soaring, joyful slide leading a mesmerizing “Midnight in Harlem.”
For a quartet of tunes the band welcomed songwriter/guitarist Doyle Bramhall II to the fold, including covers “St. James Infirmary” and “Palace of the King,” as well as Made cuts, “Part of Me” and “All That I Need,” the latter two featuring the falsetto flights and trombone bursts, respectively, of Saunders Sermons.“Bound for Glory” turned attention to multi-instrumentalist Kofi Burbridge and his Clavi attack, who then added his flute to the gorgeous “Angel in Montgomery/Sugaree” couplet that reminded the sold-out 2,000 of Tedeschi’s range of emotion and grace.A vicious, swirling “The Storm” closed the show proper, with stagehands tearing down the backdrop at the precise moment of mayhem, only to see the band return for a two-song encore of The Beatles’ “I Got a Feeling,” with guitarist Tash Neal from opening band The London Souls joining in on a note-perfect rendition, and the title cut, “Made Up Mind.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band at this point in its career is a unit that relishes the opportunities to share the stage and the individual abilities of its members and friends with its appreciative fanbase. Its magic is real, there are no illusions here, no tape loops or trickery, often rendering the audience dazed, roaring in approval, and wondering just how the band did all that.