The Tedeschi Trucks Band with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers-
Avila Beach, Ca.
September 4 2016

by Steve Kennedy


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Check out Steve Kennedy’s full gallery of photography on this show here.

Avila Beach Concerts at the Cove brought The Tedeschi Trucks Band with opening support from Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers to highlight their Labor Day weekend. Avila Beach is a small seaside community located in the heart of the central coast of California. Located midway between the S.F. Bay area and L.A. Avila Beach has 3 piers, one for the tourist, one for commercial fishing and for marine research. The current talk of the town was the local migration of the Humpback whales, a majestic sight indeed. On this night all eyes were on the main stage where fans would be feasting on an evening of rhythm and blues music.

With a set of 4:30pm Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers hit the stage. Nicki used her sweet vocals to get the show rolling. Her endearing charm and stunning good looks had the early arriving crowd taking notice and loving it. The Gramblers are partly known for their wildly popular Van Sessions which have brought in millions of Youtube views.

On this day they had just released a brand new session and Nicki encouraged everyone to go and seek it out. They played a solid set, expressing how nice it was to be back playing in California their home state. Nicki’s voice shined on songs like ‘It’s a Little to Late’, ‘Jetplane’ and the tender ‘Queen of the Rodeo’.

After a short break, while the afternoon sun began to head for the horizon The Tedeschi Trucks Band, all eleven of them, took the stage and were ready to get down. This band seems to have a good ole time on stage. They mix it up joking and laughing the whole show. They carry and 3 piece horn secton and 3 person back up singer as well as, two drummers, one bass palyer and keyboard/flute player. They kicked off the night with ‘Anyhow’ a song that put the right flow into the air.


Derek Trucks is known as one of the best slide guitar players in the world. Revered as a child prodigy, his talent for music seems effortless and smooth yet filled with passion and clairvoyance. Wearing his long hair tied back into a ponytail and playing his signature Gibson SG he looked at ease and completely relaxed. Using his slide guitar to voice the down and dirty blues and upbeat soaring solo’s he presented a master class of authentic southern inspired music.

Susan Tedeschi, the other half of this extremely talented power couple, looked radiant with her blonde hair, dark sunglasses and black leather jacket. She nailed song after song using her whiskey butter voice to convey the power and emotions of the song she sings. But wait there’s more…she is also a gifted blues guitar player. She used a Fender Stratocaster providing a ying to the yang Derek’s Gibson SG.</p>


There were many highlights of the show including several cover tunes. ‘Let’s Get Stoned’, ‘Keep On Growing’ and ‘Get Out My Life Woman’ were a few. But two of the highlights had to be when Susan dedicated ‘How Blue Can You Get’ to her and Derek’s late friend B.B. King. She exclaimed “if he’s not in heaven, then no one’s gettin’ in” and then said “this one’s for you B.B.” and gestured toward the sky. The second highlight was when she said “we haven’t done this one in a while” and eased into John Prine’s classic ‘Angel from Montgomery’. Most of the band had quietly left the stage to let Susan to sing it pretty much solo, with the exception of some nice background vocals and Kofi Burbridge’s melodic flute playing and delightful keyboards. She also snuck in a verse of the Grateful Dead’s Sugaree into the end of the song.

It was a stellar night a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. With perfect temperatures and a gorgeous sunset. On a Labor day weekend evening Concerts in the Cove and The Tedeschi Trucks Band couldn’t have scripted The Let Me Get By Tour 2016 much better.

Check out Steve Kennedy’s full gallery of photography on this show here.

To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]