Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 20, 2012 at 08:00 PM
ImageThe long anticipated return to Houston of one of my fave ladies in rock, Susan Tedeschi, happened recently at the killer Verizon Theater and she brought along a bonus, too.  Her media darling of a husband in one Derek Trucks.

The duo met during an Allman Brothers tour in 1999 and a blues infused rock marriage evolved into today’s project called the Tedeschi Trucks Band.  To put their personal careers on hold and make this collaboration work has resulted in rave reviews since they released their debut ‘Revelator’ which took 18 months to produce.

The live stage presence of ST has resonated with me since I caught her in the late 90’s in Austin at a bluesfest in Zilker Park.

There is a reason that it is Tedeschi Trucks and not vice versa to this reviewer for sure. Through out the gig Susan stepped back and let Trucks do his thing which has earned him accolades such as Rolling Stone ranking him #16 in their recent Top 100 guitarists of all time. Dude has been quoted as saying “the next time I drop a pick I’m not going to pick it up!” and he held true to that for sure.

ImageNot that this evening’s gig needed anything else to make it special, but the unfortunate passing of  legend Etta James made Tedeschi pay homage to her by doing a gut wrenching tear jerker of a version of “I’d Rather Go Blind”.  It was most touching to see a band in today’s scripted same set list in every city deal branch off and show some raw emotion that almost got the better of Tedeschi.

You could see the bond that is T&T all night long with Susan’s raunchy at times Joplin/Raitt voice reaching killer octaves followed by Trucks’ impeccable slide work meshing together to bring a dynamic bluesy, gospel, soulful, Dead Head, whatever- you- want- to- call-it, ROCK to the stage evoking the crowd to leap to their feet and applaud!

Stellar numbers by the huge band of eleven members included the show starter “Don’t Let Me Slide”, an oozing “Midnight in Harlem” with a heavy dose of slideism from DT, and the bad ass “Try” where Tedeschi flat out did a Joplin tune!

The big ass band was was tight backing T&T all night, complete with a silky horn section, bass work from Oteil Burbridge, keys guru brother Kofi Burbridge, and DTB member Mike Mattison on backing vocals, but what is up with two drummers?  I never got that, but that’s just me.

ImageSusan Tedeschi is definitely the straw that stirs this drink and I have to say I think Trucks’ guitar god label stripped her too much from the awesome work she can do on her “Green Goddess” guitar she’s sported forever.  Trucks basically has the stage presence of a cigar store Indian and quite frankly when ever ST was not involved the gig dropped off with his elongated jam sessions.

In closing, this pairing was a brilliant experiment that could have a dynamic future producing a “new” sound in today’s cookie cutter music scene. It was a bold non-selfish move on both of these kingpins part to colaborate on and I look forward to what they have in store down the road…………..Keep rockin’ and we’ll see ya around somewhere!