A Soul Stew Revival in Washington

Derek Trucks/Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival / Scrapomatic
Tulalip Amphitheater, Tulalip, Washington
June 21, 2007

Summer is a highly anticipated event in the Pacific Northwest that sometimes seems to take forever to arrive.  This year a Soul Stew Revival landed on the solstice in rainy Washington, and luckily the sun arrived a couple of hours before the show, providing just enough warmth and prolonged light to make the outdoors event an extra special evening.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi both have successful touring careers, making it hard to hit the road together…let alone do so with their own bands.  The Soul Stew Revival treated West Coast fans to a taste of both acts, and all things considered, this date held plenty of promise for an unforgettable early summer show.  

The three hour band family extravaganza started off with 40 minutes of Scrapomatic, Derek Trucks Band vocalist Mike Mattison’s duo with guitarist Paul Olsen.  As the audience began to file into the intimate venue, many took notice of the songs from the act’s relatively recent release, Alligator Love Cry.  Mike’s sultry yet playful delivery on the opening numbers, “Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me” and “Louisiana Anna,” quickly established an easy-going, summer-y tone for the rest of the evening.  Guitarist Olsen provided just the right amount of backing harmony and string rhythm to keep the toes tapping.

 

 

 

Derek and Susan kicked off the second part of the show with a mighty rendition of the Allman Brothers Band classic “Stand Back,” and promptly grabbed the full attention of every fan.  Susan chose to sing a few songs before picking up her guitar and going head to head with her husband on “Evidence.” 

Seeing the two of them play guitar riffs together was delightful, although it slightly seemed that perhaps Derek was being polite, holding back on the type of soloing he would normally engage in if his wife weren’t next to him, guitar in hand.

Although mildly obvious, his manners were in no way disappointing and Susan was able to hold her own, proving to the keenly observant Trucks fans that she is dedicated to developing her own style and will not be intimidated by her husband’s skyrocketing guitar god status.

 

 

 

After sitting back for the first few songs, Mattison eased his way to the microphone, his voice a perfect complement to Tedeschi’s.  He was not a constant presence on stage, but when he did step up to contribute his classic bluesy voice it was always great.

At mid-show the stage took a porch-like feel, with the string players seated for some classic blues covers like “.44 Blues” and “Feel So Bad.”  Still seated, Derek delivered some smooth slide solos to match the vocal strength of his wife on the crowd pleasing “You Got The Silver,” and jacked the tempo of the show back to its high energy beginnings. 

The audience seemed to be holding back, staying seated for most of the show instead of taking their feet, but that flew out the window once the opening riffs for the classic Derek and the Dominoes cover “Tell The Truth” rang out across the amphitheatre.  Drummer Duane Trucks  was given the spotlight for a few significant riffs that really added to the song, and he seemed to enjoy the attention.  He sat in the whole night alongside the normal DTB rhythm section of drummer Yonrico Scott and percussionist Count M’Butu.

Trucks and company played Stevie Wonder’s “Sugar” before moving into the slightly political territory of “Educate Your Mind.”  After a short but sweet drum solo, all members of the tour returned to the stage to close the show with a enthralling version of “Key To the Highway.”

The Soul Stew Revival Tour definitely brought the heat to the chilly state of  Washington, and this was one audience who seemed to appreciate the warmth.

 

All photos by Candise Kola

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