Tedeschi Trucks Band will perform at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 17, at the Freeman Arts Pavilion in Selbyville. For ticket information, go to freemanarts.org.
Coming out of the pandemic, there seems to be a real sense of renewal happening with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which when fully deployed includes 12 members.
Part of that feeling comes from the return to touring, as a six-person lineup – the core of the Tedeschi Trucks Band – hit the road in June playing drive-in and socially distanced shows.
“We’ve played a bunch of different types of places, like drive-ins, where people have their drive-up spot and then they also have a pod next to it so they can get up and dance. So that was interesting,” said singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, who with her husband, guitarist/songwriter Derek Trucks, founded the band in 2010. “And then we’ve had a lot [of shows] where people have their little spaces, like a little pod area, and that’s been cool. People seem to like it. They kind of have their own space to dance and do stuff and nobody right on top of you, which is kind of nice.”
Fans are getting treated to Tedeschi Trucks Band versions of songs from the classic 1970 Derek & the Dominos album “Layla.” The group has just released the Aug. 24, 2019 performance of the entire “Layla” album from the LOCKN’ Festival. For that one-off show, the full Tedeschi Trucks Band was joined by guitarists Trey Anastasio of Phish and Doyle Bramhall II, who plays with Trucks in Eric Clapton’s touring band. Clapton, of course, was the featured member of Derek & the Dominos.
“It was really beautiful, and having the whole big band there, too, with the horns and the singers, it really just added so much,” Tedeschi said.
“Really, it was a great experience to work with Trey,” she added, noting she and Trucks hadn’t worked with Anastasio before the “Layla” show. “He’s a really a fabulous guitar player, a super sweet guy, and just getting to hear him and Derek and Doyle all play together was just such a treat. You just don’t get to hear that kind of musicianship all the time.”
A new Tedeschi Trucks Band studio album is also tentatively planned for a January release. The album will be culled from 25 songs written and recorded during the pandemic.
For now, Tedeschi said she is really appreciating playing concerts again, and feels the group is growing as a unit after what had been a trying period. In February 2019, keyboardist, flautist and songwriter Kofi Burbridge died from complications related to a 2017 heart attack. Gabe Dixon, who also fronts his own Gabe Dixon Band, stepped in to replace Burbridge, while bassist Brandan Boone took over for Tim Lefebvre, who left the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2018, joining Trucks, Tedeschi, singer Mike Mattison and drummer Tyler Greenwell in the six-piece core lineup. Rounding out the full band are drummer J.J. Johnson, Kebbi Williams on saxophone, Erphraim Owens on trumpet, Elizabeth Lea on trombone, and harmony vocalists Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour.
“It was very traumatic losing Kofi. And that is not an easy role to play,” Tedeschi said. “Really, moving forward, we feel incredibly blessed with Brandon and Gabe. They really have added so much and they’re such a positive force in the band, and the core is just getting tighter and tighter. We’re learning more about each other and everything from the ‘Layla’ project, everybody loves playing on those tunes, to writing our own stuff to playing old catalog stuff. Everybody is quick learners and really just enjoy doing this again and being able to play live in front of an audience. We don’t take it for granted now after having that time off.”