The 30th anniversary of SummerStage kicked off last night at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park with the best touring band on the planet -- Tedeschi Trucks Band. And with the Allman Brothers officially retired, Mr. Trucks, and his wife Susan Tedeschi have easily replaced them as top dogs. Rolling Stone magazine may have ranked Derek Trucks the number 16th of the top 100 Guitarists of All Time, but in my book this virtuoso is a top five candidate. He so fluid, nimble, inventive, and identifiable on his Gibson SG that I would argue he's the best rock guitarist on the scene today. (Okay, feel free to prove me wrong with your comments below.) Yes, it's one thing to dominate on the jamband scene, but quite another to dominate the rock music biz.
And it's no stretch to crown Susan as one of the best blues rock vocalists, and her guitar chops are top notch, too. Hell, the entire band is dynamite, whether stretching out in a blues-rock motif or funking up a jazz groove; it's Delaney & Bonnie on steroids. Killer 3 piece horn section (saxophonist Kebbi Williams, trumpeter Maurice Brown, trombonist Saunders Sermons), two drummers (Tyler Greenwell, J.J. Johnson) keyboards/flute (Kofi Burbridge), bass (Tim Lefebvre) and background vocals (Derek Truck's master vocalist Mike Mattison and Mark Rivers). Joining them on Monday night was longtime TTB friend, collaborator and acclaimed guitarist Doyle Bramhall II sitting in on a handful of songs. Their cover of The Beatles' "I've Got A Feeling" was stunning. Modern soul legend Sharon Jones also joined them for two numbers -- Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home" and Etta Jame's "Tell Mama" -- and it was pure magic. Sure, it might have been an overcast, chilly evening, but TTB shot out rays of sunshine. "Bound for Glory" and Little Milton's "More and More" closed the evening on a super huge high, the crowd satiated.
Don't miss TTB's Wheels of Soul tour with with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Doyle Bramhall II at outdoor venues all across the U.S. of A.