EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 25, 2013

Trucks' Stop

Double-bill concert features Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks Band

By Zachary Simmons
Correspondent

---- — Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi bring a lot of musical talent to their marriage.

He was a child prodigy: bought his first guitar for 5 bucks at age 9; performed for pay at age 11; and by the time he was 13 had performed with Buddy Guy and was on tour with the Allman Brothers Band.

Over the years he added gigs with Eric Clapton and Herbie Hancock, not to mention making the cover of Rolling Stone.

She is a soul queen with Boston roots who has opened for John Mellencamp, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal , Bob Dylan and The Allman Brothers Band, and who has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards.

They played in the same circles, married in 2001, so it only made sense that they’d eventually take breaks from their solo careers and form a band together.

The result is the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which hit the road in 2010 and is soon making stops in Boston and Gilford, N.H. The band is co-headlining with the Black Crowes.

“It’s not about the light show, or what dubbed-in music you can blast,” said Trucks, 34, describing the live performances of the 11-piece ensemble with “bottomless talent.”

“With a band like this, the trick is pointing it all in the right direction,” added Trucks, who is No. 16 on Rolling Stones magazine’s Top 100 Guitarists of all time. “At the end of the show, not in jest, Susan always goes to the band members and says thanks for letting me be in your band.”

The Tedeschi Trucks Band has released three albums, the Grammy-winning “Revelator” (2011), “Everybody’s Talkin’” (2012), and “Made Up Mind,” due out in August. The new album is packed with grinding and searing blues, hopped-up funk, ethereal melodies, horns, and deep soul.

“Putting the album together there was no goal,” he said. “We just followed it where it wanted to go.”

Similarly, Trucks and Tedeschi’s 8- and 11-year-old kids follow their parents where they go.

“They are on the road with us a lot,” he said, as are the children belonging to others in the band.

“(We’ve thought about) painting a tour bus yellow, and putting a tutor inside for everyone’s kids,” he said. “It would be like a 70s thing going on.”

With all those musicians — many of whom have led their own bands during their careers, it’s important to manage personalities and relationships.

“I learned firsthand from being in the Allman Brothers Band that if you let bad blood fester, it can go bad. You need to deal with that head on,” he said. “It sounds cliché, but the lines of communication really need to be wide open, all the time.”

The band has a family feel, he said, and members have weighty respect for each other. Between them they boast “two to three hundred years of road experience together.”

“It reminds me of the Big Band Era bands,” he said. “You had real musicians, not one person just out for themselves.”

For Independence Day, The Tedeschi and Trucks Band played with the Boston Pops during the 40th annual 4th of July Celebration in Boston.

“Susan was super excited about it,” Trucks said. “We had such a heavy schedule, but when she got the call, she jumped on it. Playing with the Pops at the Hatch Shell is always on the list of local musician’s dreams.”

Playing the White House, which they also did this year, makes most lists, too.

“We had our kids there, my mom, the president, the first lady in the front row, my wife on stage: It was surreal,” he said. “The rehearsal before the gig was amazing. It was not your typical Thursday and Friday night.”

As big as these and other shows were, he said it’s always best to be back on tour.

“Getting on the bus, going to the gigs, getting in the studio,” he said. “I personally feel the most centered when I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.”

Having met the Black Crowes at music festivals, Trucks said they were the first band that came to mind to join them on the tour.

“They are one of the few working American rock bands that is still doing this kind of thing,” he said. “They still jam and there are not many bands out there like that, and not many that I would go out and see myself or be on the road with. They are not afraid to go up and play music.”

If you go What: The Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks Band. Where: Bank of America Pavilion in Boston and the Bank of N.H. Pavilion at the Meadowbrook in Gilford, N.H. When: Boston, Tuesday, July 30, 6 p.m. and Tuesday Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. Gilford, N.H., Saturday, July 27 at 6 p.m. How: Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster; www.ticketmaster.com, and at www.meadowbrook.net.