14 July 2008

Gettin' HIGH Part I: Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival @ HIGH Falls Brewery

Managed a nice little weekend of music here in Rochester. It all started soon after work Friday night at the inaugural concert at the High Falls Brewery. Scrapomatic opened the show. A one-guitar duo, they played a nice folksy blues mix, similar in scope contemporarily (sic) to The Wood Brothers, with a little less...um, zazz. They got some help here and there from Duane Trucks and Yonrico Scott on drums, Kofi on keys, Todd Smallie on bass, and the sax player from the Soul Stew Revival, all who would return shortly, even Mike Mattison, Scrapomatic's singer, who also sings for the Derek Trucks Band.

Soul Stew Revival is something that has been a long time coming. Ever since the joining of Tedeschi and Trucks the question has not been what if, but when. It was inevitable. I don't fault them at all for the time it took them to get together a band, for it takes a while to cook up a soul stew. It takes the perfect ingredients and the perfect timing. Now I won't go as far to say that this outfit they put together is perfect, but damn if it don't taste good! Now I am coming at this from a Derek-centric view having seen him many many times, really I try hard not to miss him. Susan I have seen a couple of times with her band and a handful of times sitting in with Derek's band. The Soul Stew Revival is definitely a Susan-centric band. So I didn't get my long Derek tangents and free jazz noodlings. He took the backseat to Susan, it was her band, they played mostly her songs, well mostly covers really, but her songs more than his. She led the band on stage and called the shots for the most part. And though it was Derek's entire band on stage with him, they took a back seat too. Mike Mattison, he took a seat cramped in the way back, facing the wrong way, in the family wagon. I was thinking how it must be tough to pull double duty as a vocalist, but then when his services were hardly needed for the main set it made a lot more sense. So rounding out the band were Derek's younger brother Duane on drums, Count Mbutu on percussion and a 3 piece horn section. I wished that Susan had at least kept on Jeff Sipe as her drummer. It was a nice touch adding more family to the mix, but Duane was a bit of a heavy hitter and his bass drum was drowning out a good amount of the full sound this band brought. Plus a Yonrico/Sipe rhythm section would have been quite the treat. Incindentally Sipe sat in with them the next night... oh well!

It turned into a pretty nice evening weatherwise and they must have done VERY good with walk-up ticket sales because the promoter was nearly complaining about the over-abundant, larger than expected crowd. They weren't prepared for it and the beer and food lines showed it. The big crowd was treated to a great show, including great covers of Don't Think Twice, Hey Jude, Key to the Highway, and The Weight, which included a nice slide trombone versus slide guitar intro.

Don't Do It, People, I Wants To Be Loved, Anyday, Don't Think Twice, Don't Cry No More, Pack Up Our Things, Sugar, Get Out My Life, Glad You're Gone, Little By Little*, Hercules, Hey Jude, Key To The Highway, The Weight
E: Gonna Move
*- w/ Adrianne Hayes

Stay tuned for Gettin' HIGH Part 2: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band @ HIGHland Park, and Part 3: Phil Lesh and Levon Helm @ HIGHland Bowl

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