Tedeschi Trucks Band Live at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati, OH on April 26

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Tedeschi Trucks Band will make their Inaugural performance in Cincinnati, Ohio at the newly renovated Taft Theatre on April 26. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, January 20.

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As husband-wife couples go in the world of music, it is a challenge to find a duo as well-fitted and naturally prolific as that of singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks. They are both heavily steeped in the blues tradition, yet open to far-ranging influences including rock, gospel, jazz and World music. Each has produced recordings that share a sensibility best described as a swampy mix of rootsy, rockin’ American music. The two have guested on each other’s albums, toured together intermittently, and last year they each received individual Grammy nominations in the category of “Best Contemporary Blues Album” for their 2009 albums, Tedeschi for Back To The River and Trucks for Already Free (which he won). As well, they often perform together with the Allman Brothers Band—with whom Trucks continues to play as co-lead guitarist.

Reserved tickets, $72.50, $45.50, & $30.50 (plus applicable fees), go on sale this Friday January 20 at 10 AM at Ticketmaster, Taft Theatre, the Taft Theatre Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores. Charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000.

In fact, it was during an Allman Brothers tour in 1999 that the two first met. They fell in love, married in 2001, and began a family in Trucks’s hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. By early 2010, with two children in grade school and both of their careers in full-swing, they made a vow to put their individual musical projects on hold and devote themselves to a new joint ensemble they would co-lead, what Trucks then described as a “collective that will allow everyone in the band a chance to shine. We’re not sure yet what it will sound like exactly – we’re just going to let it come together and not force a vision on it.”

A year-and-a-half process followed, during which Trucks and Tedeschi minimized their live commitments to such high profile events as Eric Clapton’s Crossroads, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Fuji Rock Festival, and a noteworthy collaboration with legendary jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock. The couple’s primary focus through most of 2010 held fast to the goals of assembling a new band, writing new material, and recording an album of performances true to their new musical approach.

And true to a title that suggests both the gospel-flavored intensity and stunning, soulful impact of its twelve original tracks, Revelator includes smoky, blues-dipped rockers and heart-stilling ballads that show off, respectively, the gutsier and softer side of Tedeschi’s vocal ability, plus a series of emotive, story-telling solos shaped by Trucks’s uncanny agility on slide-guitar. With its focus on tighter song structures and lyrics rather than extended improvisations, the album serves as dramatic leap forward for Tedeschi and Trucks—one which makes sense in looking back.

“This album is an evolution of what we’ve all been doing before,” says Trucks. “Before with what Susan and I were doing, those were live bands that charged down the road, playing constantly and occasionally finding time to record. Now with this album, everything’s been thought out a little deeper, figuring out the music and what the tunes mean—more time given to the whole process. I think my album Already Free in 2009 was the first step in the direction of working with professional songwriters who take their craft as seriously as instrumentalists do.

Most notably, Revelator features the newly formed Tedeschi Trucks Band, an eleven-member ensemble overflowing with talent and musical familiarity. Harmony singers Mike Mattison and Mark Rivers have joined forces with brothers Oteil Burbridge (noted for his years as bassist with the Allman Brothers Band) and Kofi Burbridge (longtime keyboardist/flutist with The Derek Trucks Band), a pair of drummers J. J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, plus trumpeter Maurice Brown, tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and trombonist Saunders Sermons. (Additionally, Ryan Shaw and David Ryan Harris supply harmony vocals to various tracks on the album, and Alam Khan adds his masterful sarod playing to ‘These Walls.’) The fact that this aggregation includes so many musicians related by experience—and blood—clearly adds to the notion of Revelator as a true group album, the product of a musical family.

The fact that the DNA of the Tedeschi Trucks Band includes so many musical couplings has a lot to do with it. “It has such strengths, everyone’s a great songwriter in this band and everyone’s so good at listening to each other,” Tedeschi says. “There are also lots of pairs in the band—like the drummers. They’re fabulous together, creating space for each other. Then you have Oteil and Kofi who have known each other since they were born—when those two brothers are locking in together, it’s amazing, like ESP taking over. And Derek and myself know each other so well and inspire each other.”

Tedeschi and Trucks continue to tour the U.S. and Europe on the heels of the release of Revelator, performing the music from the album as well as old favorites. Trucks echoes Tedeschi’s sense of anticipation and pride in their new collective. “I’m really looking forward to hitting the road and letting things grow until each show feels like an event. It’s nice having all these new songs but also having that looseness and spontaneity that comes with a great group of musicians. There are few bands that do that—hold on to that element of surprise. One moment could be a train wreck but the next, it’s church.”

For at complete list of Taft Theatre shows visit: TaftTheatre.org

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Rick McCarty
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