Wanee Music and Arts Festival, Live Oak, FL – 4/13-16
Tedeschi Trucks Band – featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi with a new lineup of musicians – may have been my favorite set of the weekend. Susan’s voice coupled with Derek’s slide, with an all-star backup band, garnered one of the largest crowds at Wanee. The power couple played many new tunes from their upcoming album, including the smooth and soulful “Midnight in Harlem,” as well as a rousing cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight.”
The Steve Miller Band’s set was, for the most part, a greatest hits run-through. The crowd loved it, too, especially the bluegrassy “Dance Dance Dance.” Mike Gordon brought out Oteil Burbridge for several songs and finally let him leave to prepare for his set with the Allmans in a couple hours, saying that “the only way to keep him on stage is to never end the song.” Gordon teased Steve Miller and closed with “Sugar Shack.”
The second night of the Allman Brothers was more emotional than the first. Songs like “Dreams” and “No One to Run With” felt more meaningful than ever before, with Gregg singing the lyrics, “I’m hung up on dreams I’ll never see,” and “Nobody left to run with anymore, nobody left to do the crazy things we used to do before.” But everyone seemed to be in fine form, with Gregg’s organ shining through. Derek would walk between Gregg, Jaimoe and Warren, seeming to channel or communicate everyone’s sound through his own guitar playing. Butch Trucks’ granddaughter couldn’t take her eyes off her grandfather from where she was sitting on the stage until she fell asleep halfway through the set.
The band excitedly welcomed Taj Mahal to the stage for “Leavin’ Trunk” and “Statesboro Blues,” a highlight for both the audience and the band. A rocking “Mountain Jam” featuring Kebi Williams (from Tedeschi Trucks Band) on sax and Scott Murawski (from Mike Gordon Band) on guitar closed the set. In between the set and the encore, there was a tribute to Lawrence Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell, one of the Brothers’ original roadies who passed away in February, as well as a memorial of the other lost Brothers, which proved to be a heartbreaking moment in the night. The band closed with a “Whipping Post” encore that had the entire audience singing along. As we left the Peach stage and headed to see Galactic, “Little Martha” played on the loudspeakers and we couldn’t help but look forward to next year’s family reunion.