Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brewing the blues

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi present the “Soul Stew Revival”

Express Staff Writer

Powerhouse musicians and husband and wife, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, formed the Soul Stew Revival, on tour this summer.

Among mega talented couples in the music world, the husband and wife team of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are at the top. Perhaps the best slide guitarist of his generation, Trucks, 29, has toured with Eric Clapton, become a permanent member of the Allman Brothers Band and tours with his own well-established group The Derek Trucks Band. His uncle "Butch" Trucks was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.

Tedeschi, a four-time Grammy-nominated singer, guitarist and songwriter, has attracted fans with her sultry blues voice, which is often described as a blend between Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin. She has released five albums since 1997, collaborated on the original motion picture soundtrack "Bug" and has performed with The Derek Trucks Band at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007 in Chicago.

The couple formed The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival, a blues, roadhouse rock and American roots music band, which is making its inaugural tour this summer. The band will perform on the lawn at River Run Lodge in Ketchum with special guests Scrapomatic, the two-man blues band Mike Mattison and Paul Olsen, on Thursday, July 17, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under.

"It's an excuse to try out new tunes we wouldn't play with our groups," Trucks said. "We started doing this last year, and it went well."

Trucks has been called "this generation's greatest rock guitarist" by USA Today and "the most awe-inspiring electric slide guitar player performing today" by the Wall Street Journal. In February 2007, Rolling Stone magazine named Trucks as one of its "New Guitar Gods" and featured him on the cover with John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and John Mayer.

"We play the music that moves us," Trucks said. "There's plenty of other groups out there and other bands doing other things. We see lot of bands, and there's not a lot of real musicianship and it all boils down to what we can do."

Trucks and Tedeschi were married in 2001 and have two children. Charles Khalil Trucks, born in 2002, is named for saxophonist Charlie Parker, guitarist Charlie Christian, and author Khalil Gibran. Sophia Naima Trucks, born in 2004, takes her middle name from a Coltrane ballad. It was also the name of the jazz legend's first wife. The Derek Trucks Band covered "Naima" on its first album, seven years before Sophia Naima Trucks' birth.

"Susan is an amazing singer," Trucks said. "It's a big group and from night to night we mix it up, and we try keep it moving and keep it fresh."

Besides touring, the couple continues working on other projects. Tedeschi is finishing a solo record and the Derek Trucks Band is still touring. At 37, Tedeschi has established a loyal following due to her ability to craft elements of classic blues, rock, R&B, folk and gospel into a distinct individual style. Guitar Player magazine said Tedeschi, "has got the whole package: a sultry and soulful voice, an engaging personality, a broad palette of stylistic influences, and an articulate pen that tells it like it is."

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival includes horn players Kevin Hyde, Paul Garrett, Mace Hibbard and current members of The Derek Trucks Band, Todd Smallie on bass, Yonrico Scott on drums, Kofi Burbridge on keyboards and flute, Mike Mattison on vocals, Count M'Butu playing percussion and Truck's younger brother 19-year-old Duane on a second drum kit.

"In the middle of so many projects and finishing the building of a studio behind our house, my band did a record," Trucks said. "It's going to shift so we can stay at home and be with our kids."

Picnic baskets and low-backed chairs are welcome, but pets are not. Gates will open to concert series ticket holders at 6 p.m. and to those holding tickets to this concert only at 6:30 p.m. For details, call 726-9491.

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