Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Apr 18th
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

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?