Last night I spent some time with a nice American couple. They’re both in their forties, they have some kids, they both have long blonde hair, only Derek Trucks’ hair is a bit longer than his wife Susan Tedeschi’s.
What’s unusual about this couple is not just that they are both fantastic guitarists, plus Susan has a glorious voice and Derek sings with his guitar. But they have assembled nine – count them – nine more superb musicians to play with them – black, white, two drummers, an incredible keyboardist who also plays a mean flute, two back up singers who also sing lead – especially when husband and wife are trading ferocious guitar licks, something I have never seen before – a bass player and a whole horn section. Together they’re the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and they took the roof off Massey Hall last night. And my roof off too. What joy.
I didn’t have a great seat, over on the left side tucked in behind the keyboard – couldn’t see the drummers at all and hardly the horns. So at the end I went to stand at the back, where I could enjoy the full blast of their sound and also, even more importantly, dance. Their music – how to type it? Blues, classic rock, rockabilly – Bonnie Raitt mixed with Sly and the Family Stone with some country, bluegrass, big band and jazz thrown into the mix. Great artistry and sheer pleasure, as solid a wall of sound as you are ever likely to hear.
It’s especially their extraordinary relationship that I celebrate, this week when we are thinking about the “obsolescence of men”. Here’s a married couple on the road with their band, equal stars on stage. There’s a short blonde wife and mother in high heels, a woman with ten men backing her as she sings her guts out. Something that couldn’t have existed a few decades ago – Susan, with all her sublime talent, would have been at home with the kids, maybe making records on the side. But there they are.
Many thanks to my friend Laurel and her husband Mike, for letting me know about these guys. Spectacular.