The Upshot: On a balmy Tarheel night at the Koka Booth Amphitheater, the jamming was profound and the wheels were definitely soulful.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY TODD GUNSHER
On July 22nd the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s “Wheels of Soul” tour rolled into a packed Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, NC. For the second summer in a row, the band has hit the road with friends; this year they brought along Los Lobos and North Mississippi Allstars. All three bands do their own thing and have their own history, but musically they are all very much on the same page. As Derek Trucks recently told No Depression, “We put bands together that we would pay to go see, people that we’re fans of musically and personally. Los Lobos and North Mississippi Allstars are old friends and people that we love what they do, so it’s a great combination.”
Some may go away from a show like this wishing their favorite band played a little longer, but this tour, even more than last year, is about the collaboration between the different bands; those moments that, as a fan, you have to be there for. North Mississippi Allstars got things started with a 40-minute set that midway through featured an appearance from the TTB vocalists, Alecia Chakour, Mark Rivers, and Mike Mattison. Their brand of down home blues got the night off to a great start.
Next up was Los Lobos, who, for unexplained reasons, was missing Cesar Rosas. But the rest of the boys played on and continued the collaborations by inviting Luther Dickinson on stage for “Georgia Slop”, Susan Tedeschi for “What’s Going On”, and closed out their set with Derek Trucks and the TTB horns adding to a raucous take on “Mas y Mas”.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band then took the stage, and by halfway through their 90-minute set, the sit-ins started. First came Luther to join them on the George Harrison classic, “Isn’t It A Pity”. He stayed on stage for the blues of “Get Out My Life Woman”, sung by Mattison. Chakour then joined Mike and Susan up front to sing George Jones’ “Color of the Blues”. Next up was David Hidalgo and Steve Berlin from Los Lobos to jam on “Keep On Growin” and “The Sky Is Crying,” with Susan taking her turn to throw down a mean guitar solo.
The TTB finished the night with Luther and Berlin joining in on Ray Charles’ “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” The tour still has a couple weeks left, but given the full night of musical camaraderie the Tedeschi Trucks Band has taken on the road the last two summers, here’s hoping they’ll continue the tradition in 2017.