When your husband is considered a guitar god, playing next to him isn't as nerve-racking as you might think
"I don't worry about it, I figure they're all watching him anyway," Susan Tedeschi says with a laugh about singing and playing guitar beside her husband Derek Trucks in the Tedeschi Trucks band.
"I can't even play the exact same solo twice, but Derek is so unique; he always changing stuff up. I don't really feel intimidated. We play in different tunings, too. The sky's the limit."
The couple, who have been married since 2001, played in various bands over the years before merging their solo groups together in 2010 to form the 11-member blues/soul/R&B ensemble that earned the a best blues album Grammy Award for its debut, Revelator.
Trucks already had some Grammy success leading his own group, the Derek Trucks Band, and his resume includes membership in the Allman Brothers Band -- his uncle is founding drummer Butch Trucks -- at the age of 20 and a stint in Eric Clapton's band. Last year he was named No. 16 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
By merging their two solo bands, the Jacksonville, Fla. couple have been able to spend more time together, which has been good for their personal and professional relationship, Tedeschi says.
"During the first half of our relationship we weren't together at all; we were parents together, but ultimately we were in four or five different bands. Now it's a different dynamic, but I think it's better. It's helping me understand our relationship better. We're able to communicate together on a daily basis and not just by cellphone time," she says.
The band has been spending a lot of time on the road this year and has dates booked through October in support of the new double disc set, Everybody's Talkin', a live album that shows the band in its natural environment.
The group will show the Winnipeg Folk Festival crowd what it can do in a live setting when the Tedeschi Trucks Band makes it local debut tonight and headlines the mainstage following sets by Junior Brown, Beth Orton, Matt Andersen and Sidi Touré.
"The first record, Revelator, is a great record, a beautiful record, but there are not tons of solos or a representation of the way the band is live, so we thought it would be great to show the growth of the band, the energy of the band," Tedeschi says.
"This band is really amazing, too. There's 11 people and every one of them could be a band leader. Everyone can write and sing. I think it gives us more freedom and an opportunity to go where (the song) has to go. It doesn't have to be blues or a soul tune, it can bet a left hook, an African breakdown or a jazz hook."
The new album is just one of a number of highlights for the group this year.
Two weeks after winning the Grammy Award in March, the band was invited to the White House to play a blues celebration dubbed Red, White and Blues with the likes of Mick Jagger, Booker T Jones, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Keb Mo and Gary Clark Jr.
"It was a thrill. Mick (Jagger) asked me to sing with him. I used to tour with the Stones years ago. He was so cute; he came up and said, 'Do you remember when you would tour with me?' I said, 'I was going to ask you if you remembered me?'" she says.
She devoted her soulful voice to Miss You and paid tribute to Etta James.
If that wasn't enough, she and Trucks were invited to perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem as part of a lineup with Eric Clapton and Keith Richards at a tribute show for the late Hubert Sumlin and performed with Steve Wonder and Herbie Hancock as part of an International Jazz Day Show at the United Nations.
"I told Derek if this is the end of the world, I'm all in. So far so good. Keep it coming," Tedeschi says.
Sidi Touré, 6 p.m.
Matt Andersen, 7:10 p.m.
Beth Orton, 8:20 p.m.
Junior Brown, 9:30 p.m.
Tedeschi Trucks Band, 10:40 p.m.
Big Blue @ Night Schedule
Chic Gamine, 7:30 p.m.
Emmanuel Jal, 9 p.m.
Besh O Drom, 10:45 p.m.