A residency at NYC’s Beacon Theater is a regular fixture in the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s touring schedule. It gives the band a chance to further stretch their wings, to reach into what is now a 100-strong pool of songs for a different setlist each night.
These sets keep the 12-piece band, led by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, on their toes, the audience too, and while some of these covers will be straight from the TTB wheelhouse, such as their performance of Blind Faith’s Had To Cry Today, or the Allman Brothers Band’s Stand Back, others come from left field.
Take Saturday night, 8 October, the final night of their 2022 stint on Broadway, when the band took on a track from the Spotify era, Harry Styles ballad Sign Of The Times.
Released in 2017, the first solo single from the former One Direction pop superstar, Sign Of The Times found Tedeschi setting her guitar down to focus on the vocal, in a rendition that reframed the song within TTB’s timeless approach – a sound rooted in ‘60s and ‘70s American rock and soul, in blues and RnB, and yet at all times stylistically adventurous.
- Susan Tedeschi of Tedeschi Trucks Band: “Derek is one of the best guitar players in the world and for me to be in a band with him is kinda surreal”
Sign Of The Times might come from a different era to Blind Faith, the Allman Brothers, or Carlos Santana – whose Soul Sacrifice was chosen by TTB to close their Beacon set of 7 October – but it is coming from a similar place, and it offered Tedeschi a platform for one of the vocal performances of her career, with Truck's guitar supporting in what effectively played out as a duet.
Trucks, Tedeschi’s husband and TTB’s guitar genius, is often described as the best slide guitar player in the world, the undisputed maestro of slide in open E tuning. But what of Tedeschi’s vocals? They are similarly peerless.
Written by Styles alongside a heavyweight songwriting team of Jeff Bhasker, Mitch Rowland, Ryan Nasci, Alex Salibian and Tyler Johnson, Sign Of The Times is also proof that you can take a song out of a pop context and place it in a jam band, just so long as the jam band is as good as TTB.
Check it out in the pro-shot footage above. The Beacon shows closed out this leg of the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s US tour, with the band kicking off the European tour on 17 October in Copenhagen, a stretch that will find the band playing Dublin on 2 November, and touring the UK, beginning with a three-night stint at London’s Palladium on 4 November.
As Susan Tedeschi told us back in June, you can expect anything at a TTB show. It could be a Harry Styles cover, it could be a special guest, or it could be one of the full records from their new quadruple album, I Am The Moon.
“We already have a good 75, 85 songs that we pull from on a night,” said Tedeschi. “We have a master list. Now we will have a good 100 songs. I am sure we will have some nights where we make it a point to play one of the records, if not everything in its entirety.
“Also, it’s fun to leave people guessing. People like the spontaneity of, ‘What are they gonna play tonight? And who’s gonna sit in!?’ I don’t know. It could be Santana or Clapton, you just don’t know.”