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Tedeschi Trucks Band with Hot Tuna and The Wood Brothers at Red Rocks

Geoff Anderson By

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The Wood Brothers' Saturday night set started with a few laconic folkish tunes, but that Maserati engine could only idle for so long. Things took a sharp left turn into Funkville when special guest John Medeski, Hammond B-3 man from Medeski, Martin & Wood joined the festivities. The first tune with Medeski also included the three backing singers from TTB and turned out to be a funky-gospel number that raised the energy level by several orders of magnitude. The singers then exited, but Medeski stayed for yet another funky excursion. Medeski wasn't finished when the Wood Brothers completed their set; he sat in on about half of TTB's set as well, once again adding a fresh, funky vibe to an already heady brew of musical mixology.

Sunday night's Wood Brothers' set got by without Medeski, but even then, the trio found some serious rhythm to get things shaking and rattling. A surprise guest on Sunday night was Zac Brown, in town for a concert of his own at the Rockies baseball stadium the night before. He joined the brothers for "Luckiest Man." Both nights featured Chris Wood dancing breaks; sometimes with his upright bass as his partner, sometimes solo. He did a kind of loose-jointed shuffle, simultaneously a bit off kilter and out of control yet graceful.

Sunday night's special guest was John Bell, lead singer from Widespread Panic. In contrast to Medeski sitting in with two of the bands including about half of TTB's set, Bell joined only TTB and then only for three songs. Although he wore a guitar for two of the tunes, he contributed little instrumentally. Advantage: Medeski. With the exception of a brief "Little Martha" quote, Saturday night's TTB set contained no references to the Allman Brothers or their recently fallen comrades. Original Allman Brothers drummer and Derek Trucks' uncle, Butch Trucks died on January 24 and Gregg Allman died on May 27. Sunday night's set rectified the matter starting with an extended quote from "Blue Sky" during the second song of the set, "Any Day." Then, toward the end of the set, "The Storm" morphed into "Whipping Post" with Trucks throwing down the guitar riff and, eventually, Tedeschi taking the vocal. That marked the end of the main set.

When Tedeschi returned to the stage, she was alone except for the band's new keyboard player, Carey Frank. She launched into a monolog, first explaining how their long-time keyboard man, Kofi Burbridge, had suffered some health problems recently (a heart attack in June) and Frank had been filling in while Burbridge recovers. She then talked about how the band had played Red Rocks in 2014 with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings on the bill and how Jones had danced barefoot in the puddles left on stage by a passing thunderstorm. Jones passed away in November of last year. Tedeschi then talked about other recent losses in the music business: Butch Trucks, Gregg Allman, Bruce Hampton and Leon Russell. She then sang Russell's poignant "A Song for You" with only Frank's accompaniment. Trucks, the drummers and bassist then returned to the stage and broke into "Statesboro Blues." "Will the Circle be Unbroken" followed and "Bound for Glory" concluded the tribute. The band had played "Bound for Glory" the previous night, but in this context, it took on a whole new dimension.

Trucks had played guitar with the Allman Brothers since he was 20 years old. The Allman Brothers always had a family vibe, including a large entourage accompanying them on their tours and a constant stream of guests sitting in on their sets. It's obvious that family tradition continues with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Tedeschi Trucks Set List Saturday Night: Don't Know What it Means; Keep on Growing; Little Martha interlude; Midnight in Harlem; Made up Mind; 3/5ths of a Mile in 10 Seconds (Jefferson Airplane) with Kaukonen and Casady; Bound for Glory; Leaving Trunk (Sleep John Estes); Ali (Miles Davis); Let Me Get By; Angel from Montgomery (John Prine)/Sugaree (Grateful Dead); How Blue Can You Get?; I Want More; Encore: Get What You Deserve; Let Me Roll It (Wings) with Wood Brothers; I Wish I Knew.

Tedeschi Trucks Set List Sunday Night: Laugh About It; Any Day; Right On Time; I Want More; Get Out My Life, Woman, with Casady bass; Sky is Crying, with Hot Tuna; Idle Wind; Sweet Virginia (Rolling Stones), with Wood Brothers; Down Along the Cove, with John Bell; Dark End of the Street, with John Bell; Delta Lady (Leon Russell), with Mitch Chacour and John Bell; I Pity the Fool; The Storm; Whipping Post; Encore: A Song for You (Leon Russell); Statesboro Blues; Will the Circle be Unbroken?; Bound for Glory.


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