F or their first shows in more than a year, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are performing stripped-down sets and have left half their band at home. That’s still big enough for a six-piece lineup but no horn section or second drummer.
The “Fireside Live” tour, hitting the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford on Friday and Saturday, is a nod to “The Fireside Sessions,” a series of intimate concerts streamed during the pandemic. Tedeschi is happy to be back performing before a live audience.
“We’ve been in the studio a lot recording so we have been with the band, but we haven’t really played for people. It’s been quite an adventure just getting back out on the road,” the singer and guitarist said from a tour stop in Maryland.
The economics of playing for fewer people at socially-distanced settings like the one that will be in place at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion means the husband-and- wife team, band members and crew are packing a single tour bus. They hoped to be traveling with the full band by September.
“Eleven of us are on one bus with a trailer, where normally we’d have two buses, and a truck. It’s definitely a scaled-down version, but it’s been nice,” said Tedeschi, who grew up in Massachusetts. “It’s been interesting playing the music differently too, having to rethink things as a six-piece.”
The upside for fans: There will be no opening act, and the band will be playing two sets beginning at 7 p.m.
Tedeschi and Trucks will be joined by Tyler Creedwell on drums, Brandon Boone on bass, Gabe Dixon on keyboards and vocals, and Mike Mattison on vocals, guitar and percussion.
“You have three amazing singers, c’mon, woo!,” said Tedeschi, the band’s primary vocalist. “Mike and Gabe are incredible.”
Tedeschi Trucks’ arrival in Gilford coincides with the release of the band’s new album, “Layla Revisited (Live At Lockin’)”, a performance featuring Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio recorded in 2019 at the LOCK’N Festival in Arlington, Va. Guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, a frequent collaborator, also joined the band.
The album features a performance of the entire “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs,” the 1970 album released by Eric Clapton under the moniker Derek and the Dominoes with late guitarist Duane Allman as a featured player. A studio version of “Thorn Tree in the Garden” recorded by Trucks and Tedeschi as a duo was the only track not performed at the show.
A video of “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?” that teased the album’s release underscores the interplay between Trucks and Anastasio as they trade lead guitar solos.
The concert came together after a single rehearsal session. Both Trucks and Bramhall had performed with Clapton in the past and were familiar with the material.
“One really amazing thing is that we had Doyle come out and play with us. I really think that helped fill it out because there are so many different guitar parts,” Tedeschi said. “It sounds like two or three would be enough but not really. I think Eric used to like to overdub a lot. There’s just a lot going on.”
As the band prepared to rehearse, Trucks did some research on the Clapton album’s origins and discovered a fact that helped strengthen the band’s resolve to reprise it: It was released the day Tedeschi was born: Nov. 9, 1970.
“That’s probably the record that made me fall in love with Eric Clapton and Duane Allman,” Tedeschi said. “I love the Allman Brothers, but I always loved that record, something about it. It was just so powerful. It’s got all the elements to it. It’s got the beautiful ballads. And it also has the complete full band. I want to say rock ’n’ roll, but it’s more than that.”
Tedeschi Trucks has been including songs from the album in their Fireside Tour sets and also digging back into material Tedeschi and Trucks recorded as solo artists before they joined forces in 2010 after nearly a decade of marriage and the birth of their son and daughter.
“We’ve been mixing it up with stuff not only from our old TTB stuff, but from both of our old catalogs,” Tedeschi said. “We’re doing old Derek Trucks Band stuff, some of my old band stuff mixed in with some of the Layla stuff as well. It’s a lot of music to pull from so it’s been fun.”