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Derek Trucks finds that with a big band comes big responsibilities

By Gary Graff
Digital First Media/@GraffonMusic

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Derek Trucks has plenty of experience leading bands -- both his own and as the behind-the-scenes facilitator in the Allman Brothers Band during the past few years.

But he says the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which he launched in 2010 with his wife, singer-songwriter Susan Tedeschi, poses an entirely different set of challenges.

"I've never been part of a band quite like this," the guitarist -- the nephew of Allmans' drummer Butch Trucks -- says of the 11-piece outfit, which has released two studio albums and a live set. "It's such a massive group, and there's so much talent on stage. Having 11 people on the same page is a feat, so the bandleader role in this band is quite different than any other thing I've been in.

"It's a lot of personalities, a lot of people coming from different places. You have to speak different languages sometimes to get the point across. But somehow we're able to maintain that, and it's a fun ride for sure."

In fact, Trucks feels that Tedeschi Trucks is in better shape than ever right now, thanks mostly to the addition of bassist Tim Lefebvre after trying out several others. "I think that whole process as a band and finally finding our guy, we kind of needed to do that all along without knowing it," says Trucks, who anticipates a new album from the band next year. The whole feel and the vibe and thought-process and concept of the band has really changed in a great way.

"I feel like it's a full-fledged band at this point; every time we hit the stage you don't know what direction it's gonna go in and what's going to happen and everybody's kind of fighting for the same thing. That's a great place to be in.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass and Houndmouth perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre,

14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $25-$89 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 586-268-9700 or visit www.freeddomhill.net.

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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