Husband and wife team up for musical summit
By Jack Houston
When guitarist Derek Trucks and singer Susan Tedeschi became a couple in 1999, their hectic touring schedules left little time to see each other. Now that the pair shares wedding vows as well as stage time, their union, both romantically and musically, is as strong as ever.
“I’ve never seen anyone of our generation vocally affect people the way Susan does,” Trucks said during a tour stop with the Allman Brothers Band. “She has a really amazing connection and a pretty unlimited amount of power, so it’s pretty fun getting to write for a great voice like that and just see how far we can take it musically.”
Just how far they can take it is evident in the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s new live set, Everybody’s Talkin’, a two-disc collection that includes the familiar title track (done in the style of Bill Withers), a soulful take on John Sebastian’s “Darling Be Home Soon” and an extended version of Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” that detours into a funky bass solo.
For Trucks, who was named the 16th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone (10 spots behind B.B. King, who co-headlines with the band on Sept. 2), and Tedeschi, recipient of a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2000, the sterling selection of covers represents the pair’s shared musical interests—clearly a prerequisite in their relationship.
“It’s funny, I used to joke with the guys in my band. I was newly single at the time and I was like, ‘I’m not settling down unless I find a woman that’s listening to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Howlin’ Wolf, Mahalia Jackson’—I had a long, impossible list. So when I met Susan, I started looking through her CD case, and I was like, ‘Son of a bitch,’” he laughed. “‘I’ve met my match.’”