IF YOU GO:
* What: Tedeschi Trucks Band
* When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21
* Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
* Admission: $35-$75
* Phone: 423-642-TIXS
* Website: www.ChattanoogaOnStage.com
So, here's the deal: You are a hotshot guitar player with designs on fronting your own band, but The Allman Brothers come calling and offer you a spot playing with them. At first it's more of an occasional thing, but then they want you in full time. You are young and full of energy and, besides, your uncle is one of their drummers, so you make playing in two bands work.
Then you get married, have a couple of kids and form another band with your wife. Suddenly, finding enough hours in the day becomes tougher. This might explain why Derek Trucks, along with Warren Haynes, made the somewhat surprising announcements last week that 2014 would be their last with The Allman Brothers Band. Haynes also does solo work and fronts Gov't Mule.
Only, it wasn't a sudden decision at all, at least for Trucks.
"I've been thinking about this for eight or 10 years," Trucks said in a telephone interview Monday.
"I never intended to join, but when they call, especially with the family connection, you don't question. You figure out how to make all of it work."
Which he did for 15 years, having been asked to join ABB at age 20. Trucks, the youngest living guitarist on Rolling Stones' Top 100 guitarists of all time at No. 16, said the band knew of his decision for a good while, and that it came out last week after his uncle, Butch, told people aboard a jam cruise that his nephew would be leaving.
"Reporters started calling, saying they were going with it, and I'm not one to say, 'No comment' or issue a [BS] press release, so I called Warren because I didn't want him to read it in the papers. It was not news to anyone inside the band," Trucks said.
"It feels liberating. It's sad too, but I feel like this incarnation of this band is back to a high level and has stayed at a high level, and one of the reasons it has stayed up there is the infusion of energy, and I want it to stay up there."
It is that same approach he wants to now give full time to the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which he formed four years ago with wife Susan, an award-winning blues singer and guitarist in her own right. The two, along with the other eight members of the band, will perform at the Tivoli Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 21. They are touring in support of their second album, "Mind Made Up."
Like the first, it was recorded in their home studio. Having the studio there allows them to care for their three children while writing, experimenting and recording.
"It's a pretty great feeling to have, to conceive it, to birth it and to swaddle it and then let it go," Trucks said of the record.
The first one was done not long after the group was formed, and Trucks said the last three years have made a difference, which is evident from the first note. It is a remarkable record that showcases the guitar skills of both, along with her voice and the tightness of the band. Each player understands his role, as well as the goals of the group as a whole, Trucks said.
"We've gotten to know each other. After a few years, you get a feel for how it moves and how it will handle. You get a feel for the gas pedal, I guess. It's a really talented group and a focused group. Everybody knows what the musical possibilities are, and we are trying to open it up more and more."
He said it was no different than when he first joined ABB.
"We had to live together and get to know each other," Trucks said. "It takes time and energy, and to do that something has to be sacrificed, and it's usually family."
For now, Trucks is excited about the future and the idea, at least, of devoting himself to one band.
"There are a thousand things I will do eventually, but this is the focus for a few full years anyway. If it keeps going musically, then we'll keep going."
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...