IF YOU GO
What: The Tedeschi Trucks Band.
When: 8 tonight.
Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
As Conan O’Brien shook hands with Derek Trucks after the band performed on “Conan” two weeks ago, O’Brien quipped, “You’ve been practicing.”
In the past, Susan Tedeschi and husband Derek Trucks have combined their two touring bands on mini tours that she said were essentially “summer projects so we could hang out.”
The shows would feature mostly songs from their solo careers. In addition to his own band, Trucks was just as likely to be on the road with The Allman Brothers or Eric Clapton, so these many tours were scheduled family time.
The recently formed Tedeschi Trucks Band is a full-fledged, 11-member recording and touring band that has dramatically changed the dynamic on several levels, Tedeschi said.
“I feel like I’ve joined an Olympic all-star band,” she said. “I used to feel like I had to push the band. Now, I feel like I have to keep up.”
The band released its first studio album, “Revelator,” last month, and has embarked on a national tour that includes a stop at the Tivoli tonight. The album was recorded at Tedeschi and Trucks’ world-class home studio in Jacksonville, Fla. Being able to be at home with their two children and walk out the back door and be at work offered several advantages, Tedeschi said.
“It worked great,” she said. “It was amazing just going in our backyard to work. It was such a relief because I usually have to go out to LA and be gone for two weeks. This way I could could go over and sing my part and work and then do laundry or help with homework.”
Combining the two bands has been harder on the fans of each than it has been on her or Trucks, Tedeschi said.
“They want to hear Derek and his stuff and hear him play long solos, but at the same time I think they are liking the new stuff.”
She said Trucks will do solos during the live shows, but he was insistent that “we make a record with real songs.” She said Trucks co-produced the CD with Jim Scott but that Trucks was fully in charge of the studio and that he had a clear vision of what “Revelator” should sound like.
“Making records is different than performing live. He wanted to make a record that was classic and really showed the sensitivity of the band.”
Tedeschi said the new arrangement has brought about a few changes, mostly in how she approaches things.
“I don’t think it limits me,” she said. “I think it definitely forces me to look at things differently. It has taken some pressure off of me. Since, I’ve been a mom, I haven’t been as great a bandleader as I could have been. I feel like my interests were not always focused.
“Derek is always focused, and he has his eyes on the band and the music.”
Having him next to her onstage has also meant she focuses more on singing than guitar playing, though she is not ready or willing to give it up entirely. She has several solos in the show, mostly on songs that call for a more traditional blues lick.
“That’s one thing about this band,” she said. “If I wanted to put the guitar down and focus on singing, I could, but I am addicted to playing guitar. I have more of an old-style. He, of course, is flawless at everything.”
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...