5/18/07 Morristown Community Theater, Morristown, NJ
Blind Crippled & Crazy,
Sahib Teri Bandi,
Up Above My Head,
Going Down Slow,
My Favorite Things
Soul Of A Man,
Meet Me At The Bottom,
Done Got Over,
For My Brother,
Key To The Highway
What a fun night this was! After walking out of the last 4 or 5 Allman Bros. shows I've been to mumbling to myself in amazement, Derek Trucks, man, Derek Trucks, I decided that this year I'd take the cash for my Beacon ticket and spend it on a Derek Trucks Band show instead. And, since it was enough for TWO Derek Trucks tix, I was even able to get a ticket for Mrs. Zeke So, we got Friday night date night at the Community Theater w/ Derek.
And we proceeded to be amazed. This kid is absolutely unbelievable. He opened w/ one of my favorites off the recent Songlines album, Blind, Crippled and Crazy. One of the things about this tune that has been overlooked is that Buddy Guy released a version on HIS latest album, so the Derek Trucks version has been a bit overlooked. It, without a doubt, should be the other way around, and this is coming from a long-time Buddy Guy fan. All the 1st set, Derek stuck to the same red electric (maybe an SG?). A lot of folks I've heard comment on this band that they aren't big fans of Mike Mattson, the vocalist, but I think he actually does a really nice job of being a singer, without the ego, or responsibility, of being a front man. I really like his work on Crow Jane, as well. Sahib Teri Bandi is wear Derek really began to shine. This modified raga is soooo hypnotic, building and building, with Derek all over the neck with his slide, really getting an almost sitar-like sound. The drummers, Yonrico Scott and Count M'butu, get a workout, 1st w/ the Count on all kinds of shakers, bells and such, and then with Yonrico coming in underneath, to keep the middle-east pattern giving Derek the room to work over the top. Above My Head had an almost gospel rave-up feel, to the raunchier blues of Going Down Slow. One of the things I love is that the musical vocabulary of this band is so diverse - they can take you so many places. Then, you had the Coltranesque open jazz reading of My Favorite Things. Wow! Nice 1st set.
(At set break, caught Giambi striking out to end the Mets victory over the Yankees )
Opening the 2nd set, Derek came out seated, with his Dobro. I haven't heard folks talk much about his Dobro work, but I have indeed been impressed at his recorded work, and last night cemented my opinion. Don't sell his dobro work short. Then came the blues portion of the show, with Meet Me at the Bottom and 44 Blues, both smoking workouts. It was all good, but again, the gospel rave-up feeling returned w/ Joyful Noise.
By now, I was totally winded from dancing in the aisle, but the Soul Serenade they ended with had everyone on their feet, shouting and celebrating the music. The band left the stage, and then responded to the crowd, with an insane Key To The Highway encore.
Something that really impressed me about Derek was the relative effortless appearance of his playing, as he went from pin-drop quiet gradually to wailing slide. His command of dynamics is exceptional, and he seemed to hold the crowd (certainly me) in the palm of his hand. At 26-27 years old, this kid is a master who has learned at the feet of masters, with an almost scholarly command of many musical forms. He's only getting better, and we get to watch. The band he has, w/ Todd Smalley on tasteful bass, Kofi Burbridge, on organ, piano, and flute, and the aforementioned drummers and singer, can follow him on his excursions with great chops of their own. I'll be back
Again, sometimes all I can say is - Wow!
One postcript on the venue. This is a nice, well maintained, comfortable theater, with upstairs and downstairs bars, but don't even think about lighting anything up. The security presence is heavy, with uniformed ushers, undercover radio-wearing plainclothes, and even a uniformed police presence made an appearance.
great review, thanks!
Thanx for the review. My wife and I will be seeing him in 3 weeks at beautiful Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake, front row ctr.
right on zeke, right on.
Derek kicks ass!! That boy is going to be a legend in OUR time.
Great review Zeke!
nice review zeke
i loves me some DT
Nice review! Hoping to catch them this Thursday at one of my favorite venues in town.
Nice review. I haven't seen a DTB show since 2000, I believe. At Ciceros here in St. Louis. Tremendous tiny venue. Spent 20 mins sitting and talking with Derek before the show. What a great guy. Hell of a show. I love Songlines. That was my studio pick for the summer last year. Funny you wrote that since my buddy and I sat on my patio Sat night listening to the live Songlines release and BBQing while drinking a few beers and throwing a frisbee around. One of the few albums I've purchased recently that is wonderful from start to finish. Need some DTB here in the midwest (preferably St. Louis) soon. I couldn't make Memphis... come back!
>Red Butte Gardens
That's an unfortunate name of a venue.