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Sunday’s show at Ravinia in Highland Park was a triple bill. First up was Doyle Bramhall II. Bramhall’s father is known for his association with Stevie Ray Vaughan. That said, his music is very much in the vein of Vaughan and Hendrix. His outfit was a hot four piece band - two guitars, bass and drums with Bramhall handling the vocals. The set was short and sweet - about 30 minutes - though they we’re the perfect warm up for the acts to follow.

Next up was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. We’re talking old school R&B at its finest with two guitars, three horns, drums, bass, percussion and the amazing voice of Sharon Jones. To say Jones was “amazing” doesn’t even do her justice. She is truly an astounding performer. A 59-year-old cancer survivor, she displayed the energy of a hyperactive child. The band also shared this energy. Jones’ voice was still very strong and I simply cannot believe she is not more well-known than she is.

Headlining the show was the Tedeschi Trucks Band. The band is led by husband and wife team Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Trucks is possibly one of the finest slide guitar players on the planet. Derek started playing at a very young age. This 36-year-old already has quite a resume. In his years as a musician, this young man has shared the stage with many music legends. His tenure with the Allman Brothers Band alone commands respect.

Susan Tedeschi is a well-respected blue guitar player and singer. Her speaking voice is no comparison to the power that comes out when she sings. Tedeschi and Trucks perform as a twelve piece band, including two drummers, bass, three horns, three backup vocals, and keys/flute.

Their set was a bit too short for my taste so I guess they do their job in leaving the fans wanting more. For the encore, Bramhall and a few members of the Dap Kings joined in. The band’s closing number for the night was Sly Stone’s “I Wanna Take You Higher”. It was almost like a religious experience with Susan and Sharon Jones preaching the gospel of funk.

“Boom Shakka Lakka Lakka”

“Boom Shakka Lakka Lakka”

Truly spiritual in the purest sense of the word. To me, Sharon Jones stole the show. One of the best concerts I have ever attended and the prefect venue for such a show at Ravinia. If the Wheels of Soul Tour passes by in your area, get yourself a ticket. You might want to pack your dancing shoes.

Published in In Concert

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