Jan. 08–Tedeschi Trucks Band and Drive-by Truckers will return to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater at 6:30 p.m. June 30, Birmingham-based booking agent Red Mountain Entertainment announced Monday. The Marcus King Band will open the show.
It’s the fourth annual run of the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s multi-band Wheels of Soul summer tour, kicking off either with the Tuscaloosa show, or an as-yet-unnamed gig the night before, and running through late July.
The 12-member Tedeschi Trucks Band, fronted by husband-and-wife singer-guitarist-songwriters Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, last played the amphitheater in August 2012, opening for B.B. King. An amalgam of rock, country, soul and blues, Tedeschi Trucks Band plays originals, but also covers greats varied as Miles Davis, George Jones, Nina Simone and Joe Cocker. Trucks formerly played with his uncle Butch Trucks’ old group, the Allman Brothers Band, after forming the Derek Trucks Band at 16. He’s been named one of the 100 greatest guitarists by Rolling Stone.
Tedeschi, whose voice many compare to singers such as Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, fronted her own band from 1994 to the early 21st century, opening for King, Buddy Guy, Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers Band, Taj Mahal and the Rolling Stones. In 2001, Trucks and Tedeschi married, and went on tour in 2007 as Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival, combining solo projects, then formed Tedeschi Trucks Band to write and perform new music about 2010. The object was to create a sprawling, diverse group, inspired by bands such as Sly and The Family Stone, Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and the ABB.
Tedeschi Trucks Band’s debut disc, “Revelator,” came out in 2011; it won the Grammy for Best Blues Album. Their most recent, 2017’s “Live from the Fox Oakland,” was recorded from two 2016 shows in California. It showcases the band’s mix, with original work bolstered by songs from Davis, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, George Harrison and others.
Shoals-born Drive-by Truckers has played Tuscaloosa a number of times over the years, from the Bama Theatre to Druid City Music Hall to the amphitheater. The band’s fronted by co-singer-songwriter-guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, who built the alt-country-Southern rock band at Athens, Georgia, in 1996. Jason Isbell joined them for a six-year stretch before going solo in 2007. Tuscaloosa’s Matt Patton joined Drive-by Truckers on bass in 2012.
Hood performed a solo acoustic show on a Moody Music Building stage at the University of Alabama campus in 2012. He was interviewed on stage between songs by writer-critics Ann Powers and Eric Weisbard, who helped urge the band on to national prominence.
In the Dec. 28, 1999, Voice, Weisbard wrote of an early Drive-by Truckers show: “Borderline Springsteen intensity. They tore it up, with lyrics that converted on first listen and even better stories attached. … Hood has enough rasp to sway anyone who feels Steve Earle and Paul Westerberg — he’s brusque, bruised and amused. … The roots stuff I hate strains to honor a codified genre. The Drive-by Truckers just look around and can’t believe how much there is to sing about.”
The band sprang forward with its 2001 double album “Southern Rock Opera,” a complex work built around the “duality of the Southern thing,” being simultaneously deeply proud of and deeply ashamed by your home. The Drive-by Truckers last played Tuscaloosa at the Druid City Music Hall in November 2016, following its 11th studio album “American Band.”
In 2015, the band had to cut short its set on the amphitheater stage about four songs in, because of lightning; they were opening for Alabama Shakes, a band they’d helped launch by taking them out on tour in 2011.
Known more for its sprawling, lyrical, passionate albums and live shows than hit singles, Drive-by Truckers has landed several albums in the top five on indie-rock charts. “American Band” went to No. 5 indie and No. 8 on Rock.
The Marcus King Band is fronted by singer-songwriter-guitarist King, raised in Greenville South Carolina, as sometime sideman to his father, bluesman Marvin King. Trucks and former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes have played on its two full-length albums, 2015’s “Soul Insight” and 2016’s “The Marcus King Band,” both of which broke Top 10 on Billboard’s Blues Albums charts.
Tickets go on sale at noon Friday for $15, $30, $50 and $70, with limited Gold Circle seats for $94. They’ll be available through the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater box office, Ticketmaster.com and outlets, and by phone at 800-745-3000.
Other 2018 concerts scheduled for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater include: March 24 with Brantley Gilbert, Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips; April 8 for Styx, REO Speedwagon and Don Felder; April 19 with Chris Young, Kane Brown, Morgan Evans and Dee Jay Silver; April 20 for Casting Crowns and I Am They; May 1 for Jack Johnson; and May 4 with Alan Jackson.
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