|The Tedeschi Trucks Band on Stage|
Each year for the last twenty-some years I have attended Merlefest, a music festival honoring the late Merle Watson. And each year, some individual or group whom I've never heard of absolutely dazzles me. At this year's Merlefest, both Mary Ann and I were blown away by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, named for its founders, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. This is a substantial (11 members on stage) bluesy band with a wonderful sound. Susan and Derek are both world-class guitarists and Susan's clear and intense voice is perfect for the music that they perform. And I kind of felt like a moron when I returned from Merlefest and all of my musician friends already knew of the individuals and the band.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Tedeschi Trucks Website to see if they had any new CDs. I was very fortunate to hit their Website only a few minutes after tickets had gone on sale for a late summer tour starting on August 25th in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, only a couple hours' drive away from our home. I jumped in and bought two seats. They were in the center of the fourth row! Then I called Mary Ann and told her we had a date!
We drove down to Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon and checked in to the motel. I still have over 300,000 Hilton points from the years I worked for Gary Humphreys and lived in a hotel, so we were guests of the house. We cleaned up and headed out for dinner, ending up at a very nice restaurant called Chuck's Fish. After a really pleasant dinner, we headed for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
The concert was spectacular. The opening act was the venerable B.B.King and his band. They were the perfect warm up to get the crowd in a "bluesy" mood. During the intermission, we met up with our friends Melissa Haydel and Manny Pimentel whom we know in Huntsville. Then we returned to our seats for what to us was the "main event." What a treat! For the next two hours, we reveled in the Tedeschi Trucks sound. It was wonderful.
After a good night's rest and a leisurely morning, we hit the road. We decided to have brunch at a place recommended by the Urbanspoon Website. Our destination: the Magic City Grille, a downtown haven of Soul Food, where we enjoyed (for the first time ever) the soulful combination of Fried Chicken and Waffles. As one reviewer put it, "If tastes good and is probably gonna kill you then they'll have it on the menu."
It was a great weekend.