he Tedeschi Trucks Band is a twelve member super group that was created by guitarist Derek Trucks and singer-songwriter Susan Tedeschi about 10 years ago. There was mountains of experience between this happily married couple with Trucks' Uncle being one of the founding brothers of The Allman Brothers Band and Tedeschi having released multiple solo albums. The band's appeal partly stems from the oozing music history that emanates from Derek Trucks and the legend of his talent vis-a-vis him opening for the Allman Brothers band in 1993 at the sprightly age of 13 but in reality the band has no true epicenter. Tedeschi is the lead vocalist of the band and the obvious front-woman as her powerful pipes sprinkle essentially every TTB track while Trucks calmly shreds in the background. His many years in the limelight has created a musical superstar with a certain shyness that doesn't call any attention to himself and points all the attention to the music. This point is obvious when one considers the incredible band that makes up the Tedeschi Trucks crew.

Unfortunately one of the highlight members of the band, Kofi Burbridge, recently passed away in February 2019 but the talent of this man represents the caliber of musician that TTB expects. An artist with passion. Current drummer JJ Johnson used to drum with John Mayer and he is accompanied by Tyler Greenwell, yes they have two drummers just like the Dead. Tedeschi is also accompanied on vocals by Mark Rivers, Alecia Chakour, and Mike Mattinson who is a Grammy winning vocalist that has been a long time collaborator with Trucks. TTB also has a stacked horn section with Outkast collaborator Kebbi Williams on tenor saxophone, Ephraim Owens on Trumpet and Elizabeth Lea on trombone. Finally we have Gabe Dixon on keys who has worked with Supertramp and Brandon Boone on Bass.

The legendary 12 piece band sprawled across the giant stage at the Chicago Theatre in late January 2020 for their fifth annual residency at the historic venue, they had just enough room to fit everyone comfortably. As the massive room buzzed with anticipation, it was obvious that everyone in attendance knew they were in for a treat. Every TTB show consists of a certain formula that combines soul shaking vocals from Tedeschi and long sections of soloing for Derek Trucks' epic slide guitar skills which eventually returns to Tedeschi's vocals again. This cyclical structure leaves the audience mesmerized between the crescendos and the changes. At one point Trucks was conducting solos with the horn section while maintaining a crisp melody. In brief terms, this a rockin' band with all the fixings or in other words they can play anything. When musicians reach a certain stage of their careers, they peruse the universal catalog of music and pick tunes to be resurrected in our postmodern future world.

The first night of their second weekend in Chicago showcased covers of Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Derek Trucks Band, The Allman Brothers Band, The Beatles and more among many wonderfully played original tunes. One of the crowd favorites was a solo cover of Angel of Montgomery into the Grateful Dead's Suagree and back into John Prime's classic ballad. As such memorable and emotional numbers whirled through the aging venue, one couldn't help but wonder what music is, why does it brings us together and how does a glass slide make an electric guitar sound like that?

Jan 24 2020 Chicago Theatre

Set One


Bell Bottom Blues

Joyful Noise

Crying Over You

It's So Heavy

Little by Little


Border Song

Show Me

Set Two



Right On Time

They Don't Shine

I've Got a Feeling

Let Me Get By

Angel of Montgomery> Sugaree

I Pity The Fool

In Memory of Elizabeth Reed

E: Made Up Mind

Photos by
Derek McCabe