Tedeschi Trucks Band Shines Through the Storm at Wolf Trap in Virginia

The Tedeschi Trucks Band rolled into Vienna, Virginia as they brought their Wheels Of Soul tour to Wolf Trap with Hot Tuna and The Wood Brothers. Wolf Trap is one of northern Virginia’s most beloved venues as its nestled away in 117 acres of National Park land, with a beautiful performance space surrounded by poplar trees. It’s always a treat to see the TTB in an intimate outdoor performance space and the band treated the crowd to a rousing set of their signature soulful rock and roll blues. While this was an early show of their tour, only the fourth stop to be exact, TTB was still firing from all cylinders and even brought out members from both opening acts to share the stage.

While the venue couldn’t have been more beautiful, the weather was another story. Right after doors opened rain clouds fell like a dark blanket over the last remaining small glimpse of sunshine. As the crowd started to fill in the rain began to trickle down and eventually picked up to a full torrential downpour. The majority of the crowd was under prepared for the weather to turn this bad and fans on the lawn were left to face the elements. However, a dedicated fan base stayed in full attendance for some beautiful music from Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, who hammed through an incredible version of “Bowlegged Woman” in their set. The Wood Brothers are a great addition to this bill and they served up their mellow, acoustic folk to a vibrant crowd. The trio opened up with “Keep Me Around” and even managed to tuck in some new material. Other highlights from their set include “Sing About It,” “Postcards From Hell” and “Honey Jar.”

As the rain continued to beat down on the audience who wasn’t under the pavilion nothing could put a damper on the excitement for TTB. This was Carey Frank’s first tour with TTB as he’s filling in for Kofi Burbridge who’s still recovering from heart surgery. Frank is a great ringer for Burbridge and despite some early nerves on stage he really hit a stride as the show continued to unfold. Early in their set it was touching to see bassist Tim Lefebvre stay close to Frank and encourage him through the band’s songs, telling him when to solo and adding plenty of moral support.

The 12-piece ensemble opened up with “I Want More,” which fell into “Do I Look Worried,” one of the band’s numbers off Made Up Mind. After a quick huddle together Susan lead the band through a gorgeous version of “Midnight In Harlem” which is one of the band’s most beautiful ballads. “Don’t Know What It Means” shifted gears and made space for “Get What You Deserve,” a catchy number that originally appeared on Already Free from the Derek Trucks Band repertoire was lead by Mike Mattison before “How Blue Can You Get.” The traditional Christian hymn made popular by the Carter family “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” was a stellar cover for TTB to take a swing at and set up “Bound For Glory” perfectly. Frank really found himself on this version and subsequently opened up his confidence for the remainder of the show.

TTB welcomed Hot tuna out for the traditional blues song “Key To The Highway” and before “I Wish I Knew (How To Be Free).” What happened next was no doubt the highlight of the entire show when the band dipped back into their roots with a take on “The Storm” which blended into an electrifying cover of the Allman Brothers Band staple “Whipping Post.” Susan powered through the vocals as the whole band delivered an incredibly moving tribute to the late Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks.

Susan and Carey Frank returned alone for the encore and performed a chilling duet of “A Song For You,” which was followed by “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” which featured the Wood Brothers. When it was all said and done the rain finally let up and the crowd was blown away by the magical music that filled the air. The Wheels Of Soul tour will steamroll on with dates sprinkled on the east coast before heading south, through the mid-west, out to the south-west and eventually stopping at Red Rocks in Colorado.

The Wheels of Soul tour has supported by Craft for Causes.  Please learn more about this organization and how it benefits Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation here. ​

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Stu Kelly