Tedeschi Trucks Band get summer started early at the Greek with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Derek Trucks

Derek Trucks

By Kory Thibeault //

Tedeschi Trucks Band with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Doyle Bramhall II //
Greek Theatre – U.C. Berkeley
June 6th, 2015 //

The “Wheels of Soul” tour rolled into the Greek Theatre last Saturday, bringing with it the sublime sounds of Doyle Bramhall II, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Bramhall set the tone for the evening, ripping right into his guitar, which he plays left-handed and strung upside down, and bending his strings downwards rather than up. Bramhall’s style of playing, his unique sound and his aptitude for shredding put him on the radar of rock legends like Roger Waters and Eric Clapton, whom he has shared the stage with. Furthermore, the band backing his powerhouse blues licks helped successfully land each song.

Doyle Bramhall II

Doyle Bramhall II

Jones, meanwhile, is explosive. She is a source of pure soul. She ranks among my favorite vocalists, right up there with Mavis Staples, who I revere. These women aren’t going anywhere but forward, so why stop when you still have so much to give? Jones domineers the stage like it’s her first gig out the gate, and I assure you it is not.

Supported by the extremely talented Dap-Kings, Jones played several fan favorites, including “100 Days, 100 nights” and her take on “This Land Is Your Land”. Her energy was palpable. She never missed a step as she grooved across the stage, kicking her shoes off to dance to the soulful funk that is Sharon Jones & the Dapkings. Her moniker “Queen of Funk” is well-deserved.

Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones

Husband-and-wife duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are the definition of a power couple. Individually, they have built successful careers as blues rock musicians. Together, well, together they are extraordinary. Between Trucks’ masterful guitar work and Tedeschi’s powerful vocals, one can not help but swoon when listening to their music.

Tedeschi Trucks Band took the stage as the sun set over the bay, a picturesque start to what would be an incredible set of music. The band itself consists of up to nine members, excluding Trucks and Tedeschi, and is stacked with top-notch talent, including Mike Mattison and Kofi Burbridge. Their sound can fill out any venue and will fill up every soul in attendance.

Susan Tedeschi

Susan Tedeschi

Tedeschi’s vocals especially shined on tracks like TTB original “Midnight in Harlem” and their cover of “Angel From Montgomery”. A special shout-out to “friends Bobby and Phil” led the band into a quick take of “Sugaree”, a Grateful Dead track warmly welcomed by the crowd.

Through the entirety of the show, Trucks calmly shredded his guitar. For those not familiar with Trucks, let me provide some context. The man is a guitar god. Eyes closed, head tilted slightly down, there is a sense of intent in every note he effortlessly strikes. To highlight a specific part of the night that stood out would be undermining what was a fantastic performance from Mr. Trucks. Throw in an appearance with Bramhall toward the end of the show, along with an appearance from Jones, and I would say everyone was lifted to a some serious heights on a Saturday night at the Greek.

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