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Interview:
Tedeschi Trucks Band at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Wheels of Soul Tour has become a summer tradition.

For the past few years the Grammy Award-winning 12-piece group from Georgia, led by singer-songwriter Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, has joined forces with kindred musical spirits for highly collaborative shows filled with special and unexpected moments -- sometimes to the musicians themselves, and always to the delight of fans attending.

This year’s trek catches the TTB coming off the Grammy-nominated success of last year’s “Live From the Fox Oakland” and with a new album on the runway. Some of the fresh material is getting a sneak preview on the road, according to Trucks, part and parcels of nights where anything goes when someone’s on stage...

• Trucks, 39, says by phone that this year’s Wheels of Soul tour, with Drive-By Truckers and the Marcus King Band, is living up to the high standards set by its predecessors. “It’s fun, man. It’s a good group of people to be on tour with. Marcus and his band are young guys but cut from a lot of the same cloth that we are. And the Truckers are just good people. They’ve been on the road a long time and I love where they’re coming from. It’s a great show and a good hang and a good way to connect with people.”

• Trucks adds that other acts have started reaching out to the TTB to be part of the tour, “which is fun. It wasn’t a huge struggle to put this together the first time but no one knew if it would work or if we were overstepping. We’re kind of in the middle with a tour like this -- we’ve kind of outgrown the theaters but a lot of these amphitheaters are 20,000 (capacity) and we’re certainly not there yet. But when you get ‘em half full they feel good and it works. But, yeah, it is fun that certain bands or artists reach out and they’re excited to possibly work with you.”

• The TTB has finished recording its fourth studio album, which mostly likely will be released during early 2019 and feature guest appearances by Doyle Bramhall II and by Trucks’ former Allman Brothers Band mates Warren Haynes and Marc Quinones. “It’s a really honest record. We wrote a lot of tunes, and the last few years there was a lot to write about, a lot of lows and tragic stuff that went on. There was good stuff, too, so there was a lot to dig into, and I think the record certainly reflects that. I think there’s some great band moments on there, and some really, I think, new ground for the group.”

• While the TTB has been previewing some of the new material on the road this year, Trucks says the group is generally looking to freshen the setlist. “Right now the focus, especially in-between being able to play material from the (next) record, is trying to dig in and find music that maybe we’ve left behind or forgotten about, or stuff from Susan’s solo career or mine. I can feel when it gets stagnant form playing the same material; That’s when the inspiration dips a little bit. As soon as we throw in new material, everything wakes up. They eyes are open for all the tunes. So this tour we’ve been trying to add at least a song or two every show that we haven’t played on tour or haven’t played in quite some time. That’s been fun. It’s keeping anybody challenged and moving forward.”

• Trucks’ past, meanwhile, is featured on “Cream of the Crop 2003,” an archival live compilation from his early days in the Allman Brothers Band. “That was a great time in that version of the band. It was locked in. I didn’t go and listen through the thousands of tapes they dug into to pick those versions, but it all felt pretty good when I gave it a listen. I’m glad they’re doing that; I think it’s important to revisit that music as much as you can, especially after the last few years,” when group members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks both died.



If You Go:

• Tedeschi Trucks Band, Drive-By Truckers and the Marcus King Band

• 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21.

• Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights.

• Tickets start at $19.50.

• Call 313-471-7000 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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