Interview with Derek Trucks from The Tedeschi Trucks Band – Performing at PNC Pavilion On 7/30


Interview and Photos by Scott Preston

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, North Mississippi All Stars
PNC Pavilion, 6295 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH
7pm show, Buy Tickets

Let Me Get By is the third and latest studio album by the TTB, featuring ten new, original songs that together stand as a testament to the hard work, independent spirit, and now full-on commitment of the husband-and-wife team of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, plus the musicians and music professionals who are part of the band’s ongoing journey. The album’s artwork—a Mongolian golden eagle caught a moment after flying from its master’s glove—and even the album title, reflect the sense of total dedication that serves as the driving wheel of TTB. (from

Cincy Groove: I understand you just had a birthday, what did you do to celebrate?

Derek Trucks: I was actually home for it this time.  It was pretty laid back.  It was my kids last day of middle school so we picked them up and the whole family went down to the creek.  We played with inner tubes and I got a little sun burned.

Cincy Groove: Do your kids show any interest in music?

Derek Trucks: They are kind of doing their own thing.  My son is in full on baseball mode right now playing for his school team.  They are certainly learning towards music but haven’t jumped in all the way yet.

Cincy Groove: What can you tell me about the creative process for the new record “Let Me Get By”?

Derek Trucks: We didn’t really get together to make a record, but mostly just to rehearse before the tour.  It was really a natural process this time around.  Some of the songs just came out of jamming in rehearsal or soundcheck before a show.

Cincy Groove: Do you get any writing done on the road?

Derek Trucks: Some.  Its very spontaneous when it happens on the road.  We had a few songs on this record that started as soundcheck grooves that we kind of stumbled into.  We have been getting really good at breaking out all our phones during rehearsal and soundchecks and hitting record.  Let Me Get By and Laugh About It were a few of those happy accidents that evolved out of a soundcheck jam.

Cincy Groove: Are you thinking at all about the next record?

Derek Trucks: I think everybody is itching to get back into the studio to start the process again.  Its been while since we were all in the studio and I think its time.

Cincy Groove: Did you do a lot of work on “Let Me Get By” in your home studio?

Derek Trucks: Every bit of it.  We did the writing, recording and mixing all in the home studio.  Its the first time we did it start to finish here at home.

Cincy Groove: I understand you just got to play with Bonnie Raitt, how was that?

Derek Trucks: We just got back from a European run and did a show with Bonnie in Holland.  It was great.  She is a total bad ass and a sweetheart.  It was amazing seeing Bonnie and Susan up on stage connecting on a different level.

Cincy Groove: You have performed with so many great musicians so far in your career, do you still have anyone on your bucket list?

Derek Trucks: We have been incredibly fortunate in that area.  For a long time it was BB King, Wayne Shorter and Stevie Wonder.  I don’t know how but we were able to cross all three off the list.  I just remember playing with BB King and having this real connection on stage with him.  It was one of those moments you know is going to be one of your career highlights.  He was a unique and special individual.

Cincy Groove: Do you ever get that “I can’t believe I’m playing with this person” feeling on stage anymore?

Derek Trucks: Your mostly concentrating on what you are doing up on stage.  But there was definitely a couple moments on the Eric Clapton tour when you notice something special musically is happening and you realize you are playing with Eric Clapton.  I think sitting in with Stevie Wonder on a trip to Southeast Asia was one of the first times in 15 years that I was nervous on stage.

Cincy Groove: I see you are going to do another run of shows at the Beacon Theater.  Why is that venue so special to the band?

Derek Trucks: There are some venues and cities that are just special.  When you do a run of shows at places like the Beacon, you need to make sure you are constantly turning the page and exploring new things.  Its just a really healthy thing for the band to do.  Theres just something about that venue that causes you to dig deep when you are performing.

Cincy Groove: Are you writing or performing with anyone outside Tedeschi Trucks Band?

Derek Trucks: Not really.  Tedeschi Trucks Band is full time.  Keeping a twelve piece band together takes a lot of effort.  Plus with 2 kids there isn’t a whole lot of time left.  This band is in a really great place right now and I don’t have the desire to do anything else.  I feel all the energy I have musically, I want to throw into this band.  I have never really had that opportunity.  I had my solo band, the Allman Bros and for a while there was the Phil Lesh and Eric Clapton gigs.  

Cincy Groove: How did you go about choosing your opening acts for the tour?

Derek Trucks: Since we started doing the “Wheels of Soul” tour we try to find acts where the cinergy works as the tour goes on.  We also thought about bands we wanted to hear every night.  Its definitely  something we sit down and talk about.  Los Lobos was very high on the list as soon as we started talking about it.