Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Sep 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Whole Lotta Blues

ae2-1The 11-piece, husband-and-wife-led Tedeschi Trucks Band headlines the Santa Cruz Blues Festival

Guitarist Derek Trucks and vocalist/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, the husband-and-wife team at the helm of The Tedeschi Trucks Band, have learned that in a band as well as in a marriage, the best way to keep things running smoothly is sometimes to take a step back. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with an 11-piece group that, in addition to its namesakes, features two drummers, a keyboardist/flautist, a three-piece horn section and two harmony vocalists.

“It’s one of those bands where even though the musicians are really great, they’re not egocentric, and they don’t need to play everything [they’re capable of playing] all the time,” Tedeschi explains. “A lot of them sit around and try their best to listen to what’s going on musically in the song, and [ask themselves,] ‘What can I do to add?’ And sometimes adding is by not playing.”

To minimize sonic clutter, Tedeschi and Trucks generally use different chord inversions from one another. It also helps that Trucks plays in open E tuning, while Tedeschi plays in standard. According to the latter musician, though Trucks, who has been playing in open E tuning since about age 11, is more than capable of playing in standard tuning, he rarely does so “unless he’s showing me something.”

Tedeschi and Trucks, whose band headlines at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival on Sunday, May 26, are something of a musical superhero team: Tedeschi, who graduated from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music at age 20 with a bachelor’s degree in music composition, has received multiple Grammy nominations and a gold record for her solo work, while Trucks has played with greats like Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Bob Dylan and come in at No. 16 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time (he’s the youngest person on the list, and the only person under age 50 to make the top 20). He also earned a lifetime Grammy award for his membership in The Allman Brothers (he’s the nephew of that band’s founding drummer, Butch Trucks).

Not too surprisingly, The Tedeschi Trucks Band has racked up plenty of its own accolades, including a Grammy for Best Blues Album for the band’s 2011 debut, Revelator, and an invitation to perform at the White House in a celebration of blues music that also included Mick Jagger, B.B. King and Buddy Guy.

ae2-2Though Tedeschi and Trucks had met once in a club a couple years earlier, it was in July of 1999, while the Susan Tedeschi Band was opening for The Allman Brothers, that the two musicians bonded. During a soundcheck, Tedeschi looked out into the audience and spotted The Allman Brothers Band’s Oteil Burbridge (later to join the Tedeschi Trucks Band) and Trucks, who had joined The Allmans about a month earlier. “I just started laughing: ‘Get out of here! You’re making me nervous! I don’t want to play in front of you two,’” she recounts. “But they were so sweet, and I remember comin’ off the stage and walking up these steps, and Derek grabbed my leg from under the stairs.” Soon the two musicians began listening to music together on the bus, hanging out before dinner and between soundchecks, etc.

Fourteen years and two kids later, the partners are enjoying life on the road together. According to Tedeschi, they’ve been getting along better than ever since disbanding their solo acts and joining musical forces. “I think it was a lot more strained being apart,” she notes. “You’re not on the same page as that person; you don’t know what they’re going through, and you’re both leading hectic lives. But if you’re doing it together, there’s a lot less stress, and a lot less talking on a cell phone.”

The Tedeschi Trucks Band has just finished a new record, due out in August, and will be embarking on a tour with The Black Crowes this summer. Meanwhile, blues and soul fans won’t want to miss their appearance at the Blues Festival, which also features crowd favorites like The Steve Miller Band, Jimmie Vaughan, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, John Mayall and Sonny Landreth. The band is filled with ace musicians, each of whom will have a chance to wow the crowd. “Derek’s incredibly generous,” Tedeschi says of her husband. “He could solo on everything all night, and everybody would love it, but he wants to show everybody off.” 


The Santa Cruz Blues Festival takes place on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. For more information and tickets, visit santacruzbluesfestival.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.