Hot ‘Lanta
Can’t Lose What You Never Had
Trouble No More
Come and Go Blues
Rocking Horse >
Gambler’s Roll
Only You Know and I Know
Kind of Bird
Statesboro Blues

Melissa
Good Clean Fun
Black Hearted Woman
The Weight
Every Hungry Woman
Jessica >Will the Circle > bass > drums > Jessica
E: One Way Out

Interesting show for a Monday night; assertive, aggressive; often the Monday shows are laid back and expansive. Generally well-executed but low degree of difficulty, with the exception of “Kind of Bird, which is absolutely off the hook—

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Hot Lanta” is familiar and sprightly, Derek is biting, Warren solos over chunky rhythm. Warren teases out a stretchy close; then “Can’t Lose What You Never Had,” with lots of heat on the one chord. “Trouble No More” swings, Derek shows Oteil some slide, Oteil takes it in, nods, smiles, gives back some rumpa dumpa. “Come and Go Blues” is nice and crunchy, then Oteil lays down da funk, Warren slides over it, easy little lines, then the band turns over into the now-epic “Rocking Horse.” The break in this song has evolved to the structure of, Warren solos, then the band slips into what I think of as “Derek’s Tune” for Derek’s run. Warren is a hound of hell, snarling, grimacing, playing with his whole body, shoveling the coal with a fire hose. As he gets more frenetic he is somehow drawn inexorably closer to Derek, like there’s some kind of irresistible magnetism. The transition to Derek’s tune, the clouds part, calm descends…

Derek takes a sprightly run, then the major key melody gets to the part that evokes the “Oh, the water” part of “Into the Mystic,” heralding the return, well over ten minutes on, into the final movement of “Rocking Horse.”

Warren stretches out the close as Oteil switches basses, then nods the band into “Gambler’s Roll,” always a delicious pay-off after the Horse. Sweet. Gregg testifies on B3 in Ike’s church, then Derek goes trippy-swampy with the tone, then Warren plays the slo-oow blues. Warren’s chording eggs Gregg’s vocal performance on; the song is a vocal tour de force, and a highlight.

Derek’s happy upbeat strumming introduces what feels like, and becomes, “Only You Know and I Know,” with Warren singing, and Marc joining on the chorus. Warren solos straight ahead, then Derek goes sideways. Thus far, with the exception of the Horse, it has been a mostly song-oriented set, and this one could almost be pop, which I mean as a compliment…

And now, “Kind of Bird.” Oteil jazzes up the intro, Warren paints arcs over the top, then they’re onto the theme and off to the races. Marc, I’m embarrassed to admit I wrote in my notebook, is all “Q la la” over the top as they dig into the riff; Oteil is playing enough bass for two songs. Gregg goes, then Warren; Derek plays big droplets, Oteil wallows, wades into them. Derek races off, then twists time into a pretzel… Oteil’s eyes drift shut… Warren is visually locked onto him… Derek is doing things that make me need to change my shorts; it is a sheer guitargasm, and the crowd responds with the appropriate ovation when he is done. Then Warren reaches down your throat, grabs your moneymaker, gives it a good whupping. Then, and it is actually wholly unnecessary, but back into the theme to a close. It is awesome, exquisite. Stone cold highlight.

I thought they’d walk off after that, but instead they offer up a “Statesboro Blues” sorbet. Then set break.

Gregg opens the second set with “Melissa,” then a gritty “Good Clean Fun.” “Black Hearted Woman” is relentless through the waltzy time and then the “Other One” part, and back. It is like a trip through Satan’s furnace.

Derek plays an intro part like a train; it unfolds into a gutbucket version of “The Weight.” Then “Every Hungry Woman,” Warren and Derek playing the old four-handed, double helix solo lines. It has been a remarkably mono-chromatic set, a lot of white-hot careening over the one chord (both women– “Black Hearted” and “Every Hungry”– sound like they are made of the same stuff.) There’s what I thought was a feint to the drums, but instead a smoldering close to the piece. Then from the silence after the crash, hints of “Jessica,” sweet bird calls, then “Jessica” full on. Derek revels in the song’s inherent wistful joy, Warren puts it to bed gently, then launches into a juicy, ringing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” the band falls in, they play a lovely instrumental version, pure bliss, which ends on Oteil, who takes off on variations into his solo spot. Then the four man drumming thunder, shaka shaka… and gracefully back into “Jessica.” “One Way Out” is a crowd-pleasing if predictable encore.

Good fun. See y’all tomorrow.

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