Music : rock, southern rock
Black Crowes & Tedeschi Trucks Band
Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island
1300 South Lynn White Drive
Chicago IL 60605
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
At the time of their 1990 debut, the kind of rock & roll the Black Crowes specialize in was out of style. Only Guns N' Roses came close to approximating a vintage Stones-style raunch, but they were too angry and jagged to pull it off completely. The Black Crowes replicated that Stonesy swagger and Faces boogie perfectly. Vocalist Chris Robinson appropriated the sound and style of vintage Rod Stewart while guitarist Rich Robinson fused Keith Richards' lean attack with Ron Wood's messy rhythmic sense. At their best, the Black Crowes echo classic rock without slavishly imitating their influences.
The Robinson brothers originally formed the Black Crowes in Georgia in 1984. By the time of their 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker, the group comprised Chris Robinson (vocals), Rich Robinson (guitar), Johnny Colt (bass), Jeff Cease (guitar), and Steve Gorman (drums). "Jealous Again," the first single from Shake Your Money Maker, was a moderate hit but it was the band's cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" that made the group a multi-platinum success. "Hard to Handle" climbed its way into the Top 40, propelling the album into the Top Ten. The acoustic ballad "She Talks to Angels" became the band's second Top 40 hit in the spring of 1991. Shake Your Money Maker would eventually sell over three million copies.
The Black Crowes delivered their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, in the spring of 1992. It entered the charts at number one. "Remedy" and "Thorn in My Pride" made the Top 100. The band established itself as a popular concert attraction that summer, selling out theaters across America. During 1992, the band added keyboardist Eddie Harsch as a permanent member. The Black Crowes' third album, Amorica, arrived in late 1994. Amorica debuted in the Top Ten and the record went gold.
Three Snakes and One Charm, the group's fourth album, was released in July 1996. The album entered the charts at number 15. The album received the best reviews of any Crowes album since The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. In August 1997; two years later, the group returned with By Your Side. In mid-2000, the band collaborated with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page on the double-disc Live at the Greek, an eclectic mix of newly recorded Zeppelin covers and additional classic blues cuts. Greatest Hits 1990-1999: A Tribute to a Work in Progress, a 16-track best-of compilation, was also released in mid-2000.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
The Tedeschi Trucks Band -- led by the husband-and-wife duo of guitarist and vocalist Susan Tedeschi and slide guitarist Derek Trucks -- began as a summer touring unit known as the Soul Stew Revival. It was both a practical consideration for the pair to spend time together with their young family and a musical endeavor. Soul Stew Revival featured members of their own bands and numerous guest musicians, and the loose-knit cooperative band performed roof-raising shows full of soul, blues, funk, and gospel standards, as well as original material. After one of these tours, the pair decided to create a home studio to be better able to finance their own recordings. Tedeschi and Trucks performed a cover of "Space Captain" on Herbie Hancock's Imagine Project, and solidified an 11-piece band from their own units, as well as horn players and percussionists. Renamed The Tedeschi Trucks Band, they signed to Sony's Masterworks imprint, recorded over 30 songs, and eventually pared the selection down to 11 tracks for their debut album, Revelator, which was released in June 2011 and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album. It was followed in the spring of 2012 by Live: Everybody's Talkin'.
Susan Tedeschi's knack for combining her passion for American roots music, especially electric blues, Southern soul and black gospel, with an awe-inspiring vocal prowess has resulted in a successful career, a series of award-winning recordings, and a devoted following. Blessed with an ability to dig deep and deliver powerful R&B belters or wrap her voice around a gentle ballad, she is a talented guitarist as well, steeped in the electric blues tradition.
In 1994, she formed the Susan Tedeschi Band and, inspired by electric blues legends like Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and Magic Sam, began to focus more on her guitar playing. Her growing reputation as both a powerful and gritty singer, and talented guitarist led to her debut album Better Days a year later. In 1998, she recorded the critically acclaimed, national breakthrough Just Won't Burn, impressively garnering Gold sales status and earning Tedeschi a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (along with such unlikely company as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray and Kid Rock.) In 2002, her follow up release Wait for Me was produced by the legendary Tom Dowd and was nominated for a Grammy.
Tedeschi was on her way. Through the 2000s she opened for such headlining acts as John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones; as well as personal heroes like B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal. After releasing Live from Austin, TX in 2004, she signed her first major label deal with Verve/Forecast, recording Hope and Desire in 2005, and Back to the River in 2008. Both revealed Tedeschi ably handling an expanded canvas of rich R&B flavors and soul material, and both earned her Grammy nominations; her Grammy win in 2012 for Revelator as co-leader of the Tedeschi Trucks Band came at the close of an incredible year that included a world tour, an all-star blues tribute at the Apollo Theater, and an invitation to perform with her husband at the White House.
Derek Trucks has been touted as the most awe-inspiring slide guitarist playing today, and guitar heroes as legendary as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana have called on his services. One listen explains why: his genius for nuanced, bluesy lyricism and an ability to summon a variety of stylistic flavors, from the breathy detail of a saxophone to the growl of a well-tempered chainsaw, mark him a master of his instrument at the age of 33.
Trucks spent his teen years touring, growing physically and musically, and developing his group, The Derek Trucks Band. He averaged over 200 shows a year even as he completed most of his high school studies with on the road schooling. By his late teens, he broke away from the child prodigy novelty aspect of his appearances and diligently built a reputation for walk-in, crawl-out shows that featured extended solos and summoned an intoxicating collision of musical influences, from electric blues and Jamaican reggae, to modern jazz and Indian ragas.
Trucks reached adulthood, and one-night encounters turned into ongoing relationships. In 1999, while still leading the DTB, Trucks was asked to join The Allman Brothers Band as a permanent member, an offer he accepted on the condition that he’d be able to concurrently pursue his work as a leader of his own band. In 2006, he was offered the chance to perform on Eric Clapton’s world tour as a featured soloist. It was an honor he could not refuse, even as it led to a year-long juggle of commitments to the DTB, the Allmans, and Clapton, with barely a day at home.