Derek Trucks Sings Praises of New Tedeschi Trucks Band Album; Talks Status of Next Allman Brothers Record
During the last few years, Allman Brothers Band slide guitarist Derek Trucks has been focusing most of his energies another musical project, Tedeschi Trucks Band, the group he formed with his wife, singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi. That band's debut studio effort, 2011's Revelator, won a Grammy for Best Blues Album. Now the outfit has just released a new record titled Made Up Mind that Derek says is even better than the first.
"From the first 15 minutes that we were tracking the record, we knew that it was already going to be a better record," Trucks tells ABC News Radio of Made Up Mind, which bowed at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart after selling more than 26,000 copies. "I think the songs are stronger, everybody definitely knows each other better and everybody plays together better."
Derek says the album's title reflects the stubborn nature of Tedeschi Trucks Band's members and their focus on the type of music they want to make.
"We try to do things the old way and the right way, and you don't apologize for it and you don't make any excuses for what you do," Trucks explains. "There's no smoke and mirrors [with this group]. Everybody on stage can play and hold their weight and earn their spot."
Derek notes that the group put a lot of thought and work into the recording of Made Up Mind, while pointing out that when fans hear the songs from the album in concert, those songs likely will sound quite different than the studio versions.
"My favorite albums of bands that I loved growing up, whether it was [The Allman Brothers'] Eat a Peach or some of the great Hendrix records, it's a totally different take than getting a live tape from those guys," Trucks explains. "I feel like there's something wonderful about getting two sides of the same group, [so when] we go in the studio, you want that energy and you want the spontaneity and you want it to feel like it could go in any direction."
As for how he manages to split his time between The Allmans Brothers -- which he joined in 1999 -- and projects like Tedeschi Trucks Band and his now-defunct solo group, Derek admits that it's gotten easier for him in recent years. He attributes this to the fact that The Allmans aren't touring as much as they used to and that he now knows the group's material so well.
"Really, ninety-five percent of my focus has been on [Tedeschi Trucks]," Trucks admits, "and when we were making the record I wasn't thinking about anything else."
Currently, however, Derek is focusing on The Allman Brothers, who are winding down a series of tour dates with Steve Winwood that wrap up this Saturday in Wantagh, New York. After that, the 34-year-old guitarist will get back to concentrating on Tedeschi Trucks Band, who launch their own trek with an appearance this Sunday at the Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia.
Meanwhile, Allman Brothers fans continue to wonder whether the group will finally put out their own new studio album. Trucks says as far as he's concerned, the project really "hinges on" frontman Gregg Allman.
"As much as [singer/guitarist] Warren [Haynes] writes and with the ideas that I have floating around for an Allman Brothers record, we can easily make a really good to great record," Derek maintains, "but I feel like, to do a proper Allman Brothers release, that there needs to be a few Gregg tunes that he feels great about."
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