The musical chemistry between Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi is undeniable, bubbling over with an unparalleled creativity, passion and an innate ability to shake an audience to their core. The husband/wife duo first came together as Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival in 2007, before forming what’s now known as the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010. Backed by an incredible 12- piece ensemble packed with soaring vocalists and lock tight percussion, the Tedeschi Trucks Band has rewritten the proverbial book on what it means to be true Americana roots and rock n’ roll band.
Most recently, and perhaps in their most significant musical leap of their careers, the Grammy-winning group launched the release of their four-part I Am The Moon saga, a series of beautifully orchestrated albums with corresponding films, inspired by the 12th century epic poem “The Story of Layla and Majnun.” Written throughout the period of pandemic lockdown, and grown out of the band’s previous project “Layla Revisited (Live at LOCK’N),” there is a feeling of passion, overlapped with unsatisfied love, despair and underlying resent woven throughout the framework of the chronicle. While there are moments of celebration, ultimately there is a sense of darkness and strain coursing within. Episode III: The Fall highlights these emotions, captivating its audience and bringing the listener on a heart-wrenching emotional journey that can be felt within the album’s core.
While its values are deeply expressive, TTB’s I Am The Moon does provide some light in the physical world, introducing the talented featuring Gabe Dixon (keys/vocals), Brandon Boone (bass) and Isaac Eady (drums) to the studio for the first time, bringing a new flavor of soul an steadfast rhythm to an already masterfully built ensemble. Keyboardist Gabe Dixon highlights these new features, contributing significantly to the songwriting process, including the title track “I Am The Moon” while sharing lead vocal duties alongside Susan Tedeschi and Mike Mattison. This new presence was felt deeply at their most recent performance at the majestic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in which Gabe Dixon and his solo project opened the night, before handing the reins over to longtime friends Los Lobos.
Both Derek and Susan made appearances towards the end of Los Lobos set, trading blues-fueled licks with long-tenured Los Angeles rockers. No strangers to each other, Los Lobos also appeared with TTD on their 2016 summer tour alongside the North Mississippi All-Stars, and have been sharing the stage with the band throughout a majority of the shows on the 2022 Wheels of Soul tour. Los Lobos took a final bow facing the sold-out crowd, and the fans prepared for what was sure to be an electric performance ahead.
Grammy-Award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band brought their Wheels of Soul Summer Tour center stage under the moonlight skies of the Mile High, capping off a sold-out two night run at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, and delivering an awe-inspiring show highlighting career-defining moments, including the celebration of their most recent release off the I Am The Moon series, musical guests and more.
Susan and Derek took center stage to a mammoth roar, the sound reverberating off the immense geographical masterpiece that is Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Opening with the staple, “Anyhow” off 2106’s Let Me Get By, Susan Tedeschi thunderously chorused through the fan favorite while Mike Mattison, Mark Rivers, Alecia Chakour and Gabe Dixon echoed Susan in unison. The upbeat blues tune “Made Up Mind,” followed, before drawing into their newly released I Am The Moon series with a succession of “Hear My Dear,” “Yes We Will,” and “Emmaline” from Crescent and The Fall respectively. It was clear the band was thrilled to have their new material intertwined with old staples, and the mixture energized the crowd throughout the night.
What happened next was a true highlight of the evening, dusting off the Derek and the Dominos’ classic “Keep On Growing,” a nod to the great Eric Clapton with whom Trucks has played with, before welcoming the one and only Jerry Douglas to the stage. Douglas and his signature dobro played through I Am the Moon: II. Ascension’s “All the Love” and a cover of Elmore James’ “Done Somebody Wrong,” off the 1951 classic Dust My Broom. It was as if being transported in time to a smokey bar in rural Mississippi. Portions of the band exited the stage and Douglas, Derek Trucks, Gabe Dixon, Brandon Boone, Tyler Greenwell, Isaac Eady and Los Lobos’ Alfredo Ortiz for a lengthy rendition of “Pasaquan,'' an instrumental from the first section of I Am The Moon. These moments captured some of the quintessential parts of the night, as the band was firing on all cylinders heading into the home stretch.
Next, a stretch of covers that had the sold-out crowd singing and grinning from ear to ear, as the John Prine classic “Angel From Montgomery,” flowed as steady as the Yampa River into the Grateful Dead classic “Sugaree,” a couple nights before Jerry Garcia’s 80th birthday. The night was in full swing, the people were dancing and Tedeschi Trucks Band had the crowd in the palm of their hands. The band brought back Jerry Douglas one more time for the TTB original “I Want More,” which bled into The Allman Brothers’ “Les Brers in A Minor.” With a cherry on top of an already incredible performance, the band led an encore of “Space Captain” to a standing ovation to end their two night at the world’s most legendary outdoor Amphitheatre. The Wheels of Soul tour continues on through September 3rd, and the triumphant conclusion to the End Of The Moon saga titled Farewell debuts at the end of August.