DTB gives Cincinnati razor sharp performance

Derek Trucks Band
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 12, 2009

The Derek Trucks Band arrived at Cincinnati, Ohio’s legendary music club, Bogarts, with a new album, Already Free, and delivered a mind bending, swamp rock trip on February 12.

Beginning the proceedings with the rave up, "Get What You Deserve," from the new disc, the DTB rolled steadily along with bandleader Trucks’ riveting slide workouts and Mike Mattison’s smooth, soulful lead vocal phrasings. Continuing along the same line, "Down Don’t Bother Me" featured an insight into one of music’s best rhythm combos, the trio of Todd Smallie on bass, Yonrico Scott on drums and Count M’Butu on percussion. "Down Don’t Bother Me" had the Allman Bros. fans on the floor bobbing their heads in time to the beat, the composition a distinctive cross between the Allmans’ greasy southern blues and Derek Trucks’ uniquely transcending, world pop music bursts on bottleneck slide guitar.

Delving into his inner Jeff Beck, Trucks elevated the DTB’s organic vibrations, walking across the stage to urge more fluent improvisations from each member on "Greensleeves." The double gut punch of Already Free‘s title track sandwiched alongside the opening number on the project, "Down in the Flood," had the balcony twirlers circling throughout the storied facility as the warm ambience inside Bogarts increased with each successive jam.

The band then offered up a sizzling run through on "I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled & Crazy" that featured a smoky keyboard solo from organ master Kofi Burbridge. Linking the Cincinnati show to the upcoming Allman Bros. month of concerts at the Beacon Theater in New York, the group pounded the revitalized blues number that shows up in ABB setlists, "Key to the Highway." Trucks has proved to be the ultimate focal point of any ceremony he attaches himself to, and his razor sharp slide  on "Don’t Miss Me" had Bogarts’ denizens hollering for more. 

As the ensemble left the stage to a deafening ovation, Trucks waved to the crowd with a smile, exhibiting a rare moment of emotion. Hobbling back on crutches, Mattison sat on the chair at the lip of the stage and belted "Get Out of My Life, Woman" as the DTB surrounded him with a truncated rhythm and blues strut. Derek Trucks gave the faithful what they came for on the last encore, "Soul Serenade," before leaving the Bogarts spotlight to hit the road that never ends on the Already Free World Tour.