• Posted January, 2017

    tedeschi trucks band 001 photo creditduo general 3For the uninformed, the Tedeschi Trucks band is one of the best blues rock jam bands touring the planet today. You can take that to the bank so just go right ahead and buy their three studio albums (Revelator, Made Up Mind, and Let Me Get By) and their live album (Everybody’s Talkin’).

    For a little background, the band is led by husband and wife team, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, and are backed by ten (originally eight but things have a way of growing in a band like this) of the best musicians jamming today. Derek was considered a child prodigy on the guitar not long after buying his first six string when he was seven years old.

    In the years that followed, Trucks made a name for himself with his own band as well as playing with the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy (when Derek was thirteen), Stephen Stills, Bob Dylan, and many others. His reputation also led to repeated guest spots in the Allman Brothers band, who his uncle, Butch, co-founded. The guest spot ultimately led to a permanent position from 1999 until the band split in late 2014.

    Susan Tedeschi is an amazing blues guitarist in her own right and is the primary lead vocalist in the Tedeschi Trucks Band.  If you haven’t heard her sing and play ‘Midnight In Harlem’, you’re missing out on a real treat.

    But I digress.

    Susan is a Berkley grad and her talents led her to opening gigs with icons like The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Mellencamp, and many others. As the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Derek, Susan, and the band have delighted audiences all over the world and even at the White House.  Along the way, they’re building an ever-growing fan base that is sure to serve them well in the years to come.

    I recently chatted by phone with Derek just before the band performed their last of three shows at Boston’s Orpheum Theater. I wanted to talk about their latest CD, Let Me Get By, and their current tour. The status of the latter is what I first asked him about.

    “It’s been good, you know? Tonight’s our last show of the year. We’ve been hittin’ it hard this year. It’s been a great year but it’s been pretty intense. We’re pretty excited – maybe go out with a bang tonight.”

    When I followed up with asking how this tour was different from past tours, Derek said, “The one

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  • Posted January 2019

     

    TedeschiTrucksBand DerekSOLO Credit Stuart LevinePhoto by Stuart LevineAs I’ve said before, it’s always a compliment and an honor when an artist agrees to sit with me for an interview more than one time. Such is the case with legendary guitarist, Derek Trucks, of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

    For those who may not be familiar with Derek, the short version of his story is: Considered a prodigy at a very young age, he managed to play alongside the great Buddy Guy before he was thirteen. He formed his self-named band when he was fifteen and by the time he was twenty, he had played with such icons as Stephen Stills, Bob Dylan, and Joe Walsh. His late uncle was the legendary Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band which played a bit of a role in Derek becoming a permanent member of that band at the young age of twenty. At the age of 27, he worked with Eric Clapton and his LP, The Road To Escondido. He married the lovely and immensely talented Susan Tedeschi and formed the twelve-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band which will be playing at the Tennessee Theatre on January 22nd and at Chattanooga’s Soldiers and Sailors Auditorium on the 23rd.

    It had been right at two years since I last spoke with Trucks so, when I called him at his Florida home, I asked what all has happened since we last spoke.

    “Good to talk to you, again! It’s been a long, crazy two years, man! The live record was a great highwater mark for the EverythingKnoxvilleLogoEditedband. I think it’s been a long two years for the planet but personally and as a band there’s been a lot of losses. It’s been a tough go on some levels. I feel that everything’s in a good place as a group, you know? We just finished a new record and just charging down the road, trying to keep the flame lit.”

    I asked Derek how have the losses of Gregg and Butch affected his music, performing, and view of life.

    “Those guys and Colonel Bruce Hampton – who was, basically, a family member and a mentor in a lot of ways – those things happened all bunched up together. Then, not long after that, we almost lost Kofi (Burbridge), our keyboard player, who I’ve been with for eighteen years. He’s still with us and crushing it but it was touch and go there for a minute.

    “That stuff – it certainly changes your outlook on things and, in some ways, it makes you double-down on what you’re doing – especially with Colonel and Butch and Gregg – it makes you want to keep that music going and keep it alive. There’s no time to waste. It makes you think of those things a little differently. There’s a lot of reflection when that stuff happens. It’s been a few years of that in a lot of ways. I think the record we just made is very much in that headspace. But, you gotta carry on. You gotta keep rolling and that’s what we do.”

    When we last spoke, one of Susan and Derek’s kids was a teenager. Now, both are so I asked how that is messing with his mind.

    “Yeah, two kids in high school – that’s something! They’re really good kids! We’re really fortunate that way. They’ll test you. Ha! Ha! Those and having a twelve piece band – that’ll test ya, too!”

    And which is worse?

    “It depends on the week, I will say. This week, our kids are

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  • Tedeschi Trucks Band

    January 25, 2015

    Tennessee Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

     tedeschi trucks knoxville0001Photo by Randy PattersonUntil now, I’ve never seen the Tedeschi Trucks Band in concert. After seeing them, I feel really, really stupid to have not seen them until now. Their show at the beautiful and historic Tennessee Theater in downtown Knoxville was one for the record books.

    WOW!

    Talk about a band that totally blew me away!  What an amazing husband/wife team surrounded by world class musicians. Tight. Super tight. This band can show other jam bands how to take care of business and get ‘er done.

    Hitting the stage after a tremendous performance by the opening act, The Greyhounds, Tedeschi Trucks brought the enthusiastic, sold out Knoxville crowd to their feet with “Keep On Growing.” From there on, it was a phenomenal slide guitar rock ‘n roll blues-fest.

    Susan’s voice was bang on outstanding as was her guitar playing. Derek’s handling of his SG was jaw-dropping outrageous. I didn’t want any of it to end.  

    Tunes that stole the evening were:

    Made Up Mind: People were dancing in their seats and in the aisles during this song. Derek’s slide solo blazed and scorched, driving the crowd wild.

    All That I Need: Smooth, fluid, I have no idea how long they played that song but they could’ve played it for hours and it wouldn’t have been long enough. This is a song you want to drive on the interstate to, with your player set on endless repeat. 

    Midnight In Harlem: One of my favorite TTB tunes, Susan’s performance of this tune during this show absolutely melted my heart. This song gets into your heart and DNA, to remain forever. When you hear it live, it seals the deal.

     

    If you haven’t ever caught a Tedeschi Trucks Band show, you need to. You’ll absolutely love them and become a fan for life . . . if you’re not already one.