Outside the Lines: Tedeschi Trucks Band

By: Dallas Terry

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Current Location: Florida

Most Recent Release: Made Up Mind – August 20

For Fans of: Uncle Lucius, Band of Heathens, JJ Grey & Mofro

If you haven’t heard of the Tedeschi Trucks Band by now, well, I just feel sorry for you. Quite possibly the most exciting band to come out of the 2010’s, Tedeschi Trucks Band is a bonafide 11-Piece soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll juggernaut. Hailing from Florida, their Southern soul will recollect all of the soul legends of yesteryear. What sets Tedeschi Trucks Band apart, however, is their ability to literally play anything they want, whenever they want. From delta blues to John Prine, Tedeschi Trucks Band molds all of their influences into a unified sound that explodes with passion and unbelievable talent.

After performing together as “Soul Stew Revival” for a few shows on the festival circuit and playing a remarkable set at Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival, Susan Tedeschi and husband Derek Trucks decided to join forces permanently and form a band. Inspired by the excellent sounds of the ‘70s soul bands Delaney & Bonnie and Friends and Mad Dogs & The Englishman, the couple decided to start a large-scale traveling soul revue of their own. Using members from each of their respective solo bands prior to the merger (along with few more additions), the two artists formed Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Derek Trucks is the best living slide guitar player. The nephew of Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band, Derek Trucks was a child prodigy and has been playing slide guitar literally all of his life. Trucks is a musician’s musician who can play all styles of music, including Eastern-influenced music (India, Middle East, etc.). He formed the Derek Trucks Band in 1996 at the age of 17, and joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1999 at the age of 20. He won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2010 for the Derek Trucks Band’s Already Free.

Susan Tedeschi graduated from Berklee College of Music at the age of 20 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition and Performance. Susan Tedeschi sang her heart out and played guitar as a solo artist for fifteen years. She recorded a total of five studio albums, and has been nominated for five Grammy’s since 2000. Her incredibly powerful voice is her most valuable commodity, but she can run circles around most artists on guitar as well.

Due to Derek Trucks’ fame with the Allman Brothers Band, the Tedeschi Trucks Band mostly came to form in the jam band scene. It would be a mistake, however, to compare them to Phish and Umphrey’s McGee. Tedeschi Trucks Band could jam for hours if they wanted to, but most of their influence is grounded in the Southern musical styles of blues, soul, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. What Tedeschi Trucks Band does take from the jam band scene is their ability to play a highly eclectic repertoire of different styles of music in a single, cohesive live show. For the best example of this, listen to their 2012 live album Everbody’s Talkin. “Midnight in Harlem,” “Learn How to Love,” and “That Did It” are essential listens.

As for studio albums, Revelator, released in 2011, is an excellent debut. It won a Grammy for Best Blues Album, and put the band on the map as more than just a side project. “Until You Remember,” the album’s centerpiece, is an absolutely timeless classic. If there is any doubt about how an 11-piece band would sound in the studio, Revelator will wipe it away completely.

On Tuesday, August 20, Tedeschi Trucks Band will release their sophomore effort, Made Up Mind. After just one listen, one will realize that Revelator was just the beginning. The band has taken their sound and completely run away with it, charging forward and expanding much like the cover art suggests. If you consider yourself someone who digs music, do yourself a favor and pick up Made Up Mind when it hits stores this Tuesday.

Dallas Terry

Born and raised in STL. English major. I do the columns "Outside the Lines" and "Dallas in the Midwest." Sometimes I convince artists who are way out of my league to let me interview them. I dig music.

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