Words and Photos by Jerry Friend
The Wheels of Soul Summer tour featuring The Tedeschi Trucks Band returned to North Carolina last week with dates in Raleigh and Charlotte. This multi-band summer tour now in it's sixth year, is inspired by legendary tours like Delaney and Bonnie, or Mad Dogs and the Englishmen. This Summer the tour will visit 34 cities between June 24th and September 3rd. Upcoming tour dates can be found by visiting the link below
This year's tour features, family and friends of the band, including, Los Lobos, who also appeared during the WOS 2016 tour and Gabe Dixon, TTB's own keyboardist, singer and songwriter. Due to unforeseen circumstances Los Lobos, was unable to play in Raleigh on Thursday evening, but had returned to the tour for their show in Charlotte last Saturday night As a result of their abscence The Gabe Dixon Band, played a slightly longer set and The Tedeschi Trucks band played two sets in Raleigh, this delighted some fans, but others who were looking forward to seeing Los Lobos were disapointed by the news.
Previous year lineups for WOS included artists, Blackberry Smoke/Shovels and Rope (2019), The Drive By Truckers/The Marcus King Band (2018), The Wood Brothers/Hot Tuna (2017), Los Lobos/ North Mississippi Allstars (2016), Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings/ Doyle Bramhall II (2015).
Tedeschi Trucks Band is a Grammy winning 12-piece rock and soul ensemble formed in 2010, led by the Jacksonville, Florida based husband/wife duo of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, "two of the best roots rock musicians of their generation" (NPR), With their own potent original songwriting alongside an extensive canon of influences, the dynamic all-star band has earned a reputation for world-class musical expression bolstered by each album and sold out performances around the world. TTB is Susan Tedeschi (guitar, vocals), Derek Trucks (guitar), Gabe Dixon, (keyboards, vocals), Brandon Boone, (bass), Tyler "Falcon" Greenwell (drums), Isaac Eady, (drums), Mike Mattison, (vocals), Mark Rivers, (vocals), Alecia Chakour, (vocals), Kebbi Williams, (saxophone), Ephraim Owens, (trumpet), and Elizabeth Lea, (trombone).
Los Lobos, from East Los Angeles who's name in Spanish means "The Wolves" are an American rock band who's music is influcenced by Rock and Roll, Tex Mex, Zydeco, Country, Folk, R&B, Blues and Brown Eyed Soul and traditional latin music like cumbia, boleros and nortenos. . Their version of Richie Valens's La Bamba topped the US and UK charts in 1987 and propelled the band to international stardom.
The Gabe Dixon Band is an energetic trio that is led by Gabe Dixon who was born and raised in Tennessee and was playing music professionally in Nashville before he finished high school. When he turned 18, he left to study music at The University of Miami and formed The Gabe Dixon Band with his roommate Jano Rix, who went on to join The Wood Brothers. Along the way Gabe learned to turn his focus towards songwriting and after a lot of success, he also became a hired hand playing on records and touring with Paul McCartney, Alison Krauss, OAR and Supertramp.
The Tedeschi Trucks band in this years WOS tour the band is playing songs from their latest and probably most ambitious project, I Am The Moon, its called by many a career defining statement. TTB's fifth studio release, written during the pandemic. It was produced by Derek Trucks and recorded at the band's studio Swamp Raga in Jacksonville, Florida. It contains over 2 hours of original music (24 songs) across 4 albums with 4 corresponding films being released in phases. The CD/digital release dates: Part I. Crescent (May 31/June 3), II. Ascension (June 28/July 1). III. The Fall (July 26/July 29), IV. Farewell (August 23/August 26) All the vinyl will be released should be available after 9/9/22 this includes individual LPs and the 4-LP I Am The Moon Deluxe Box Set. All the songs were written collaboratively inspired by the themes and story of the 12th Century Persian poem Layla & Majnun, with band members contributing their own different perspectives, reimangined through a modern lens.
This project also included the band's first time creating video/film to accompany an entire album of music. The films are being released 3 days prior to the to each part's release date. This is the first TTB album featuring Gabe Dixon on keys and vocals, as well as Brandon Boone on bass, and Isaac Eady on drums. Gabe Dixon contributed significantly to the songwriting, including the title track " I Am The Moon" and shares lead vocal duties along with Susan Tedeschi and Mike Mattison on numerous songs. Some of the standout tracks from the first album, Crescent include: "Hear My Dear" plus "I Am The Moon" and "Pasaquan" and from the second album Ascension "Ain't That Something", "La Di Da" and "Hold That Line" are quickly becoming fan favorites.
The Wheels of Soul tour continues with dates leading the band to Illinois, Missouri, sold out dates at Red Rocks in Colorado and further West. If you haven't looked into the band's new project this is something to explore and if you're a passionate fan then you already know