Derek Trucks of Tedeschi Trucks Band Says Working with His Wife Is "Oddly Healthy"

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You seem like the ultimate multitasker. At one point, you were gigging with your own band, you were playing with the Allman Brothers, and then Eric Clapton called, and you went out on tour with him. How do you keep it all straight? Do you ever start a song and realize you're playing the wrong tune because you got your gigs confused? 

Luckily not! (laughs) When you're surrounded by great players and you're in that space, you learn the tunes and get them in your head. Once the band starts playing, there's this locomotion that happens and you get on board. (laughs) A lot of times, a song will start and you have this one second where you go, "Oh, shit. I don't know if I remember this one!" But once you get into it, it kind of plays itself. A lot of it is just the muscle memory that's always there. 
You definitely have to do your homework, especially when it's the Allman Brothers or Eric Clapton. At one point, I was in three different bands that were touring full-time. I would have to listen to the records of whatever bands I was going to play with on the flight over just to refresh my memory a bit.

So how do you manage your time? You also have a family and small children? With all you do, isn't it a challenge?

For one, it helps being married to someone who understands what you're doing, because if Susan hadn't been a musician and understood what the road takes, I don't know if doing the three bands would even be possible. She understood the opportunities and she also understands it's not a 24/7 party. (laughs) When your wife and family are at home, and you're running all over the world, it's nice to know that the understanding is there. So that helps. That's a big part of it. And when opportunities like that come up, you just have to take them. Those windows don't open often.

Still, it seems like a lot to juggle.

Yeah, we really thought about it in '06, '07, when it was nonstop. It was 20-something countries and multiple bands, and that's when I decided to build a studio in the house. It was a matter of planning ahead and thinking, "This is amazing, but I can't do this every year." We have kids and I want to be home sometimes. Even when they're flying out and visiting me, it's not the same as being home. So building the studio allows me to spend so many more months at home, and be productive, and work, and make records. We've been fortunate, but you also have to be pretty proactive to make it work.

Some people find that working with their spouse can be a little weird at times. Do you ever take the band business home with you?

It's been a lot easier than I thought it would be. I went into it with my eyes open, realizing it could cause a lot of added stress. But I think that having a big band is almost like having a lot of kids. (laughs) Your attention is often focused on keeping things rolling, and so you don't have enough time to be annoyed with each other.

Very diplomatic, sir. Very diplomatic.

(laughs) But also, this group of people is so much fun to be around. There's always an outlet, always a place to blow off mild steam if you need too. We have two buses on the road, so there are always spontaneous parties starting here and there. It's an unusually helpful situation to be in, because there's always some kind of outlet. It's oddly healthy too.

Tedeschi Trucks Band. Sunshine Blues Festival. 11 a.m., Friday, January 18, at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $49.50 plus fees. Call 800-745-3000, or visit

Location Info


Mizner Park Amphitheater

590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL

Category: General

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Derek is one of the best playing today and nobody can make that guitar sound like his. He can also play a mean ass slide. I can't wait for Saturday

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