The Wheels of Soul: Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Wood Brothers, Hot Tuna – July 30th – Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Tedeschi Trucks Band 2017-07-30-15-6095Photos by Jim Mimna

The Scene: It looked bleak when I pulled into Red Rocks on Sunday night.  The lots were full, and the rain was falling – hard.  I decided to wait it out for a bit listening to Phish’s “Jam Filled” night from the Baker’s Dozen in the parking lot.  After about 30 minutes of “Lawn Boy” I pulled on my raincoat and headed up from the lower south lot.  It was a bit of a slog but, by the time I was most of the way up the stairs, the rain had mostly stopped and the sky was brightening.  It was shaping up to be a good night on The Rocks after all.

Opener: Hot Tuna.  As I finished my climb to the top of the amphitheater, the legendary Hot Tuna was tearing up the stage.  Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen have been playing together for five decades and their mastery of their respective instruments was nothing short of stunning as they tore through a set that had new and old fans on their feet.  It was a treat to see these two in such fine form in their mid-seventies and while I’m glad I got to cross Hot Tuna off the list, I’d go see them again for sure!

Opener: The Wood Brothers. As The Rocks really began to fill-up, Oliver and Chris Wood took the stage with their partner in crime, Jano Rix, to delight the crowd with a 45 minute set of raw Folk and Blues.  The Wood Brothers ran through originals like “Chocolate On My Tongue,” “The Muse,” and “Shoofly Pie,” but really got the crowd into it when they whipped up a little call and response action on the classic Camille Bob tune “I Got Loaded.”  To the delight of the more Country leaning fans in the house, Oliver and Chris brought out a surprise guest midway through the show when they invited Zac Brown to the stage for a version of their “Luckiest Man.”  Brown has produced The Wood Brothers, and sat in with them on several other occasions, so the collaboration wasn’t completely out of left field, but it sure did make for some happy audience members.  The band wrapped up their set with a cover of one of my personal favorite tunes, The Band’s “Ophelia,” and then disappeared into the wings of the stage leaving the crowd wanting more.

Tedeschi Trucks Band: With the rain completely out of the picture, it was now time for Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi to shower notes on the crowd with the Tedeschi Trucks Band – and boy did they ever.  After kicking things off with “Laugh About It” from their 2016 gem Let Me Get By, the band ripped into the Derek and The Dominos favorite “Anyday.”  Though guestless, this cover was the first in a set littered with covers and sit-ins.  The first came when Jack Casady emerged for a take on “Get Out Of My Life Woman” penned by the late Allen Toussaint.  Casady was then joined by his longtime bandmate for a blistering version of Elmore James’ “The Sky Is Crying” that featured solos galore and a drums breakdown that nearly tore the place apart.

As Hot Tuna left the stage, The Wood Brothers took their place for The Stones’ “Sweet Virginia” that featured Mike Mattison and Oliver Wood trading verses.  The parade continued as The Stones classic faded into the night with Susan inviting out John Bell of Widespread Panic to join the band for a trio of songs including Bob Dylan’s “Down Along The Cove,” a mesmerizing reading of the Soul standard “The Dark End of The Street” that was the highlight of the show for me, and finally Leon Russell’s “Delta Lady.”  While there was some moaning and groaning about the fact that JB only played three songs with the band (and was the announced special guest), in my mind he made them count and I look forward to the possibility of more collaboration between these cats.

After running through Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “I Pity the Fool” Tedeshci Trucks landed in “The Storm” which gracefully evolved into a full on cover of The Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” that saw Susan really lean into the vocals and do Gregg proud.  The encore include three more covers by Leon Russell, Blind Willie McTell (by way of The Allman Brothers’) and finally a powerfully soulful version of the traditional sing-along “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” before the band closed out a memorable weekend on The Rocks with their own “Bound For Glory.”

Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | 7/30/17
Laugh About It, Anyday (Derek and the Dominos cover), Right on Time, I Want More, Get Out of My Life, Woman (Allen Toussaint cover) (with Jack Casady), The Sky Is Crying (Elmore James cover) (with Hot Tuna), Idle Wind, Sweet Virginia (The Rolling Stones cover) (with The Wood Brothers), Down Along The Cove (Bob Dylan cover) (with John Bell), Dark End (with John Bell), Delta Lady (Leon Russell cover) (with John Bell), I Pity the Fool (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover), The Storm (>) Whipping Post (The Allman Brothers Band cover)

Encore: A Song for You (Leon Russell cover), Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell cover), Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, Bound for Glory

Energy: A
Musicianship: A+
Sound: A
Stage Presence: B
Set/Light Show: B

Overall: A-


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Who Is Timothy Dwenger

Music has always been a part of my life. It probably all started listening to old Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary, and Simon & Garfunkel records that my parents had, but it wasn't long before they were taking me to concerts like Starship, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Huey Lewis & The News. I got the bug to write about music after reviewing an Eric Clapton concert for a creative writing project in high school but didn't really take it up seriously until 2002. Since then I have published countless articles in The Marquee Magazine and done some work for Jambase.com, SPIN Magazine, and various other outlets. I started Listen Up Denver! as a way to share the music information that is constantly spilling out of my head with people who care. Please enjoy!