Husband and wife hit right notes together

Husband and wife musicians Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi front the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who will be playing Bluesfest 2013.
Husband and wife musicians Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi front the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who will be playing Bluesfest 2013. C. Taylor Crothers

WORKING with your partner is not for every couple.

But it certainly seems to work for blues masters Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.

As the leaders of The Tedeschi Trucks Band they live in each other's back pockets.

"I've learned it's about being patient, keeping an open mind and realising that I have a lot to learn from him," Tedeschi said.

"I try and not be the controlling woman I can probably be. We've both been our own band leaders for years. It's hard to stop yourself from leading all the time. I've learned it's better to let him lead.

"We used to fight more and now we're together more and getting along better."

They both enjoyed successful solo careers before joining forces.

Trucks is the youngest musician to make Rolling Stone's prestigious Top 100 Guitarists of All Time list and was a member of The Allman Brothers Band.

Tedeschi has been nominated for five Grammys for her solo albums and has opened for The Rolling Stones, BB King, Buddy Guy and Bob Dylan.

Their first collaboration with The Tedeschi Trucks Band was just as successful, with their 2011 album Revelator earning the 11-piece band a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album.

The band came to Australia on the back of that album, playing the Byron Bluesfest that same year.

"We've done a lot of festivals everywhere from Japan to Australia to Belgium, and you know when it's a special festival," Tedeschi said.

"At Bluesfest the people come together as a community. There are a lot of volunteers. Some of the festivals we go back to, it's because of that. You know, the community puts their whole heart and soul into it.

"We don't come over just because of money. We feel welcome and the people are so amazing. There are a lot of reasons you do it. Byron Bay is a special festival."

The band returns to our shores next year for the 2013 festival, which boasts a stellar line-up including Paul Simon, Santana, Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt and Rufus Wainwright.

"We're excited. We had such a blast last time we came over," she said.

"We said 'we've got to go back' and this time we're bringing the horns with us. It's going to be really fun."

Since their last visit, The Tedeschi Trucks Band has released its sophomore album Everybody's Talkin', a double-disc set of 12 live performances.

"When you're making a record you're trying to play for the song," Tedeschi said.

"You want people to play it on the radio. They're not going to do that if it's 12 minutes long. That's what's great about having a live record."

But the band is already writing songs for their next studio album.

Tedeschi says the band will have finished recording it by the time they're in the country for Bluesfest in March next year.

"We're going into the studio in January, so we'll definitely present the new material (at Bluesfest) to get people excited," she said.

"We've got a bunch of writing sessions coming up with people like Taj Mahal and Dan Wilson, who worked with the Dixie Chicks and Adele.

"Usually Derek and I write with (vocalist) Mike Mattison and our keyboard player (Kofi Burbridge).

"They're two of our biggest songwriters. We'll also write with the rest of the band and sit down and write with other bands who are close friends of ours that stylistically we think fit."

Some of those artists who "fit" are The Wood Brothers, Sonya Kitchell, John Leventhal and Gary Louris from The Jayhawks.

The result is sure to garner them a few more awards nominations, with Bluesfest fans guaranteed to get a special sneak peek at the new material.

The Byron Bluesfest plays the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm from March 28 to April 1. For more information and tickets go to www.bluesfest.com.au.



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