Words & Photos by Rod Snyder

The Tedeschi Trucks Band “Wheels of Soul” tour made its way to Philadelphia’s Mann Center for a sweet and soulful evening of new and old music from the band. Opening the show was the Gabe Dixon Band, who pulls double duty when playing keys in Tedeschi Trucks, and East LA band Los Lobos.  

Tedeschi Trucks Band are on tour for their current and ongoing 4 CD/LP release “I Am The Moon”. It features 24 all-original tracks, each released one month apart. So far “Episode I. Crescent” and “Episode II. Ascension” have been released. The other two releases, “Episode III. The Fall” and “Episode IV. Farewell”, will be dropping on July 29 and August 26. This album was a group collaboration, originally conceived by Mike Mattison during the onset of the Covid Pandemic, and inspired by the 12th century poem “Layla and Majnun” written by Nizami Ganjavi, which was also the inspiration for Derek & the Dominos’ “Layla and other Assorted Love Songs”. On that album, the point of view was taken from the male character, Qays, but Mike thought about envisioning it from Layla’s point of view instead. The group read the original poem and everyone contributed their own ideas. It’s the biggest undertaking the bad has done to date, but it was well worth it! This is the first release since the band’s 2019 album “Signs”.

In Philly, the almost 2 plus hour show, started just before 9:00pm. The band came on without fanfare and started playing “I Am The Moon Episode I. Crescent” in the order as it appears on the album. Highlights of this album are “Hear My Dear”, “I  Am The Moon”, and the 12 minute instrumental “Pasaquan”, named after the art studio in Buena Vista, GA. The new songs did not disappoint the sold out Philly crowd.  Only after Trucks finished a mind blowing “Pasaquan”, did Susan Tedeschi greet the audience and ask how they are doing. 

The band settled in again and went into “Anyhow”, the opening track of the band’s 2016 release “Let Me Get By”. After a few more songs, the band was joined by some members of Los Lobos: David Hidalgo, Louis Perez and Steve Berlin. Together they performed a scorching cover of War’s “The World is a Ghetto”, highlighted by a smokin’ sax solo and a pair of guitar solos from Trucks and Hidalgo. They also did a cover of the Derek and the Dominos song “Keep on Growing” – Derek aptly took lead solo duties on this song, with a solo from Hidalgo as well. Mike Mattison sounded great on backup vocals, taking the role that Bobby Whitlock had on the original version. 

The second set also saw a pair of songs from the second release of “I Am The Moon Episode II. Ascension”, with “La Di Da” just following the previous songs and the opening tune “Playing With My Emotions”, the first of 2 encores this night. But let me rewind a couple songs and talk about that time sweet, innocent Susan Tedeschi obliterated the Bobby “Blue” Bland song “That Did It”.  She owned this song in every sense – her vocals were the most intense of the night. Her powerful, raspy and soulful voice went directly into the soul of every person in the venue. She also showed off her her guitar prowess and taught her Les Paul who the real boss is! The crowd went absolutely crazy at the end of the song, and it was definitely the highlight of the show for me. 

The performance ended with an old Derek Trucks Band tune ,“Get What You Deserve”, with Mike Mattison on vocals. Let me not forget to mention the other musicians in the band:

Gabe Dixon (keyboards, vocals)

Brandon Boone (bass)

Tyler “Falcon” Greenwell (drums)

Isaac Eady (drums)

Mike Mattison (vocals)

Mark Rivers (vocals)

Alecia Chakour (vocals)

Kebbi Williams (saxophone)

Ephraim Owens (trumpet)

Elizabeth Lea (trombone)

This band and new music, would not be possible without these individuals; each of them contributed to keeping the backbeat of the show. Tyler and Isaac kept an incredible drum beat throughout the show.  I’ve always loved the sound of dual drummers in a band – it really makes the sound bigger!  The horn section and background vocals were on point and each of them got to showcase their individual skills during certain songs.

The “Wheels of Soul” tour is on the road now until September 3rd.  Make sure you go out and see them.  By the last show of the tour, all 4 albums will be out, and will only be a matter of time when they decide to play all 4 albums, from start to finish.  Now that will be a great show!!


Hear my dear

Fall in

I am the moon




Do I look worried

So long savior

World is a ghetto

Keep on growing

La Di Da

Midnight in Harlem

That did it

Bound for glory


Playing with my emotions

Get what you deserve

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