The Soul Searchers
Singer Susan Tedeschi and guitar phenom Derek Trucks
Click here to listen to "Midnight in Harlem" by Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Like most married couples, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi have their share of disagreements. Right now the main one seems to be who heads their new musical project, Tedeschi Trucks Band. “Oh, she’s definitely the leader—her name is first!” says the jovial Trucks, from the family’s home in Jacksonville, Florida. “You know the saying: ‘If Mama ain’t happy, no one’s happy.’”
Tedeschi begs to differ. “He actually said I’m the leader?” she says later. “That’s a bunch of bull. He’s a fabulous bandleader. When making musical decisions, I trust him a hundred percent, and I know the rest of the band does as well.”
The rest of Tedeschi Trucks Band consists of nine additional members, including bassist Oteil Burbridge, who plays with Trucks in the Allman Brothers Band. Their debut album, Revelator, is a dynamic and rich-sounding mix of blues, sixties rock, Memphis soul, and slow-burning ballads like the highlight “Midnight in Harlem,” which showcases Tedeschi’s powerhouse voice and Trucks’s mournful guitar. Fittingly, there’s also a song called “Ball and Chain,” a simmering rocker that actually turns out to be a love song.
A guitar prodigy, the thirty-two-year-old Trucks (he’s the nephew of ABB founding member Butch Trucks) started touring with the Allman Brothers at age twelve before officially joining the band in 1999. That same year, he met Tedeschi on tour when she and her band were opening for the ABB. Married now for ten years, with two children, the pair has shared the stage before, but due to time and contractual restraints they had never been able to make a full-length record together. The couple dissolved their respective namesake bands in 2010 to assemble the outfit that would eventually record Revelator.