February 24, 2016 at 3:05 PM
In 2010, blues rocker Susan Tedeschi's "Back to the River" was up for a Grammy for best contemporary blues album. Tedeschi lost, but the trophy still came home with her: Guitarist Derek Trucks, her husband, won the award for his eponymous band's "Already Free."
Three months later, the couple played their first show together with a new joint project dubbed Tedeschi Trucks Band.
"Derek was at a point in his life where he just wanted to focus on one band," Tedeschi says of her husband, who was simultaneously juggling the Derek Trucks Band with his role as a guitarist in the Allman Brothers Band. (He tacked on a stint in Eric Clapton's band in 2006 and 2007.)
"[Trucks said,] 'Hey, I'm going to be put this band together. Do you want to join? Because if not, you're going to miss the train,' Tedeschi says."I really liked my band, but I also knew I'd always wanted to be in a band with Derek."
The decision to put both their solo groups on hiatus and start with a clean slate was difficult, but it made sense professionally and personally. Since their marriage in 2001, the couple (who have two kids) had spent much of their time on the road — often apart.
"Now I see him every day," she says. "When we do separate, it's kind of nice. We miss each other."
Though the couple had united for a couple of brief tours as Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi's Soul Stew Revival in 2007 and 2008, it wasn't until Tedeschi Trucks Band that they focused on making music together. (After the Allman Brothers dissolved in 2014, Trucks finally got to concentrate solely on Tedeschi Trucks Band.)
As a live act, the 12-person group, which features horns, two drummers and a handful of players from Tedeschi's and Trucks' solo bands, is a powerful force that can play blues, jazz, rock and more — driven in equal parts by his virtuosic leads and her soulful vocals.
Last month, Tedeschi Trucks Band released its third album, "Let Me Get By," arguably the group's most cohesive and focused work yet. Produced by Trucks, the record is a true collaborative effort, with every member of the band contributing to the songwriting and some of the songs evolving out of improvised soundcheck and studio jams.
"It was definitely set up to sound like a record," Tedeschi says, "but with more of what you're going to get live. Derek really wanted people to be able to get a feel for what the band is like live."
Tedeschi and Trucks' musical union has proven to be as strong as their marriage. In 2012 the two were nominated for best blues album at the Grammys, but this time they didn't have to compete.
They took home the trophy — for Tedeschi Trucks Band's 2011 debut album "Revelator" — together.
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