Twain of twang
The Tedeschi Trucks Band debuts the remodeled Memorial on May 21
The passion of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks for their life of music together is clear. In interviews, she has joked that they only started dating because of their knowledge and appreciation of the late Mahalia Jackson, the “Queen of Gospel.”
The couple met in 1999. Tedeschi, a blues guitarist and singer, and her band were opening for John Mellencamp, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers Band. Trucks, the nephew of Allman Brothers founding drummer Butch Trucks, was 19 and just joined that group full-time.
Fast-forward 20 years. The husband-wife duo, married since 2001, have two teenage children and are on tour. Following shows in London, Oakland, Los Angeles and Mesa, Ariz., their 12-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band will be the first headlining performers in the renovated Memorial Auditorium on May 21. Los Lobos, the East Los Angeles latin rock band, opens the night.
Like the Grateful Dead or jam band Umphrey’s McGee, no two Tedeschi Trucks sets are the same. Trucks unleashes vicious solos on the slide guitar; Tedeschi channels Jackson and Aretha Franklin. with hints of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin.
They both started young. Tedeschi started as a six-year-old understudy in a Broadway musical. Trucks first played in the Allman Brothers and affiliated groups as a guest at age 9 and toured with Buddy Guy at 13.
Expect a diverse mix of rock, blues, soul and jazz. The band’s three best-known tunes are “Midnight in Harlem” and “Bound For Glory,” both on the 2011 album Revelator, which won a Grammy for Best Blues Album; and “Anyhow” from the 2016 album Let Me Get By. Its sixth album, Signs, released in February.