Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi led their latest project through a strong, fast-paced set that left the distinct impression that after myriad bands, groupings and solo careers that this setting is the where the couple most wants to be.
The Tedeschi-Trucks Band, in all of its 11-member glory, delighted the droves of fans - many in their 50s and 60s - that nearly filled Kingsbury Hall on Wednesday.
Seemingly the performers' devotees couldn't be happier with the married couple's decision to blend their careers as they've already blended their lives. Trucks, 31, remains a member of the Allman Brothers Band and one presumes Tedeschi, 40, hasn't totally abandoned her solo career after nearly 15 years, but this project sure appears to be the main focus for now.
Focusing heavily on their upcoming debut, "Revelator," the 105-minute set's highlights were largely gleaned from that release. Songs such as "Learn How To Love," "Don't Let Me Slide," "Until You Remember," and "Midnight in Harlem" shone live, and overcame their relatively uninspired lyrics.
As expected, the crowd was focused on Trucks and his omnipresent red Gibson SG. Also as expected, his guitar work lit up the room repeatedly as the arrangements of the songs appear designed to give Trucks ample room to rip it up.
The guitar-thirsty crowd was likely satiated especially after a 10-minute take on Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression," deftly sung by bassist Oteil Burbridge, who is also in the ABB. (Although I think the crowd was fairly convinced the song was going to be the Allman's clasic "Whipping Post.")
And because the album doesn't arrive in stores for another three weeks, the crowd responded big time to both the Hendrix cover and the show's earlier ripping version of Eric Clapton's "Anyday" from the famed "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" release.
With a slightly tweaked arrangement, this song came out of nowhere and was a nice vocal duet between longtime Derek Trucks Band vocalist Mike Mattson and Tedeschi. Another highlight was a funky 10-minute cover of The Meters' "Just Kissed My Baby."
Tedeschi, a terrific guitarist in her own right, took a smattering of bluesy solos, and was at her guitar-slinging best during "Love Has Something Else To Say." Her vocals - which were hugely prominent in the occasionally murky mix - steadily stole the show from Trucks with their tone and bravado throughout the show, particularly on the set closer, Herbie Hancock's "Space Captain."
The couple's strengths were also on full, simultaneous display during the multiple call and response segments that occurred during the show.
So if after more than 30 years combined of playing guitar, the Tedeschi-Trucks Band is more than a way station, it appears to be one everyone can live with.
Follow Salt Lake Magazine Arts/Entertainment writer Scott Murphy on Twitter @murphyinfo