The Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeshci, will be playing a co-headlining show Saturday at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Photo by: James Minchin/Courtesy Photo
August 24, 2012 1:01:27 PM
Derek Trucks was once a name associated with the words "child prodigy."
The guitar player gained national attention when he began touring off and on with his uncle Butch Trucks' band, The Allman Brothers Band, at the age of 13. Today, Trucks, now 33 and a full-time member of The Allman Brothers Band, has left the child prodigy talk behind and is moving towards the category of living blues legend.
Trucks will be bringing his newest band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, which features his wife, Susan Tedeschi -- a blues legend in her own right -- to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Saturday on a co-headlining tour with Mississippi native B.B. King.
"My first two influences were (former Allman Brother's guitarist) Duane Allman and B.B.," Trucks said during a recent Pennsylvania stop with the Allmans. "I can't think of a living artist that is more important to electric guitar-playing than B.B. He's influenced generations of musicians. You can go all the way back to Buddy Guy and even he says B.B. is his influence."
King isn't the only Mississippi blues legend to have an effect on Trucks. A recent tribute to West Point native Howlin' Wolf's guitarist, the late Hubert Sumlin, featured Trucks playing along side Keith Richards and his former band mate, Eric Clapton.
"I remember the first time I heard a Howlin' Wolf record," said Trucks. "It was life changing. I had never heard anything quite like it. It sounded like the speakers were blowing up. The more I listened to it, the guitar playing and groove became very unique. I grew up in a time when blues cover bands were popular and it was kind of stale. But you go back and listen to (Wolf) and it's a completely different thing -- full of life and crazy song writing. Hubert Sumlin was very important to Wolf's sound. He was one of the sweetest people I ever got to hang with."
With several different styles of blues in the state, Trucks also expressed his love of Hill Country Blues, a blues style popular in the hills of North Mississippi, pioneered by R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough.
"I got to play with R.L and record with him," Trucks said. "I never got to play with Junior but I was a huge fan. When I was about 16 or 17, we were doing a tour through Mississippi and we decided to do a blues pilgrimage through the Delta. I bought an album of Junior's at the blues museum in Clarksdale. I had been listening to a lot of classical Indian music at the time and Junior's voice reminded me of that -- it sounded old and different. I read about his juke joint in Holly Springs. I called him one time and told him what a big fan I was."
The tour with King is the product of a long-standing friendship with the blues icon. Trucks said King is one of his favorite people to play with. When asked if the two would join forces in Tuscaloosa, the first stop on the tour, Trucks said he was optimistic.
"We don't have anything planned, but I feel like we will definitely play together. I love B.B. He's such a great man. He's like the Pope, but better," Trucks said with a laugh.
How To Go
WHO: Tedeschi Trucks Band and B.B. King
WHERE: Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
WHEN: Saturday, August 25