Peanut butter and chocolate, coffee and mornings, gin and tonic, sand and toes…Tedeschi and Trucks. What do these all have in common? They are undeniably amazing pairings.
Don’t get us wrong, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are musical powerhouses on their own.
Before she could speak, Susan Tedeschi was singing and by age 6, she was on stage singing in the chorus of Oliver. She started playing in bands at 14 and eventually made her way to Berklee College of Music where she earned a degree in musical composition. By 20, she was the frontwoman of the eponymous Susan Tedeschi Band. At the helm, the band released several albums including Better Days and Just Won’t Burn—the latter of which was certified gold by the RIAA. Tedeschi’s insightful songwriting and bluesy musical stylings quickly demanded attention and at the 2000 GRAMMYs. She was nominated in the Best New Artist category. Though she lost out that year to Christina Aguilera, the industry had already taken notice, and Susan’s musical star was on the rise. On her own, before the formation of Tedeschi Trucks Band, Susan had racked up five GRAMMY nominations, in three different categories. Her catalog of pre-TTB recordings, beginning in the mid-’90s and culminating in 2008’s Back to the River, personified American roots music. Over the years she found herself opening for heavy hitters like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers — a gig that would introduce her to her future husband, Derek Trucks.
At 9 years old, Derek Trucks bought his first guitar for $5.00 at a yard sale. By his thirteenth birthday, when most kids are mastering video games, Trucks was mastering slide guitar and had already played alongside Buddy Guy. When he was 17 he started his own band, aptly named the Derek Trucks Band, which released multiple well-received albums, beginning with their 1997 self-titled debut and leaving off with 2009’s Already Free, which nabbed a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Blues Album. By 20, Trucks had signed on to be a formal member of The Allman Brothers. Over the years Derek has played with musical gods Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, Willie Nelson, Levon Helm and B.B. King, among many others. Oh, and did we mention that Rolling Stone lists him as number 16 on its most recent list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, the youngest living player on the list?
So yes, just like peanut butter and chocolate, these two are pretty solid on their own…
But in 2009 under the banner of Soul Stew Revival, they decided to collaborate. “That was just an excuse to get our bands together on the road and hang out and bring our kids out for the summer,” says Derek. “In a way it was us testing out this thing and seeing what we would want to do and just how it would feel.”
And it must have felt good, because a few years later Tedeschi Trucks Band was formed and our musical pairing dreams came true.
Which brings us back to the chocolate and peanut butter…
We all know peanut butter is delicious. We all know chocolate is delicious…but, put the two together and they form an entirely new, unexpected “where have you been all my life” kind of deliciousness. Simply put, Tedeschi is the peanut butter to Trucks’ chocolate or the other way around—doesn’t really matter—because what happens when you put the two together is magic. Their talents blend into a beautiful musical union that is powerful, unique and leaves you wanting more.
It makes sense that these two make beautiful music together. “We never wrote together until we were in a band together,” Susan says. “We should have done that sooner, but it’s funny, you live together and have this whole lifestyle together but you don’t always want to jump into music on your time off. We both have so many other interests. We both love baseball, we love basketball, football. We both love to exercise and get out and ride bikes. We like to fish and swim and surf. We’re very active.” But now, she says, creating music together for the band is an integral part of their daily lives. “I’ll be doing dishes and think about a chorus. Then I’ll bring it out to him in the studio.”
At their shows, Tedeschi and Trucks, along with their incredible band of backing musicians (including a killer horn section) take you on an emotional journey. Like having an IV drip of sorrow straight to the heart, Tedeschi’s raw and soulful vocals can get you feeling like your heart just might stop right then and there. But before you can pick up your phone to call 911, a new song starts and Trucks’ guitar licks grab your achy heart and zap you back to life, and into a high energy groove that makes you feel more alive than you have ever felt before.
The power behind their collaboration makes sense.Just like chocolate and peanut butter or a cup of coffee with the sunrise, the most simple of pairings are often the most spectacular.The pairing of a musically gifted husband and wife duo is no exception. “We met on tour in New Orleans at the Saenger Theatre. A few months on the road and then five records and two children later, here we are.” Seems pretty simple, right? Simple and spectacular.
If you are hankering for another great pairing, be sure to tune into the premiere of The Tedeschi Trucks band on Infinity Hall Live on Friday June 26th at 10:00 pm on CPTV. Keep the magic going and join us for the Web Premiere Event on Facebook on Saturday, June 27th and Sunday June 28th!