Tedeschi Trucks Band bound for Boone
The Tedeschi Trucks Band will perform at the Schaefer Center
for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University for the first time Friday, Nov. 1.
However, the band’s co-founder, Derek Trucks, is no stranger to the town of Boone, as he performed here long before enjoying his current worldwide success.
At the heart of the Tedeschi Trucks Band is the husband and wife duo of Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Trucks, considered one of the best guitarists on the planet, also performs with the legendary Allman Brothers Band. Tedeschi is a celebrated guitarist and vocalist who was an established band leader by the time the two met.
After a couple of kids rounded out their family, Tedeschi and Trucks decided to form a new band, and they expanded their collective sound with a 10-piece group that includes a top-of-the-line horn section. Their latest album is called “Made Up Mind,” and it has been in heavy rotation on WNCW-FM since its release in August.
Many music lovers who have lived in or near Boone for a long time remember seeing Trucks perform as a young man at Sollecito’s Restaurant, which was run by Mike Sollecito, who died this past March.
“Oh yeah, it was a pizza joint,” Trucks said. “Those were great gigs back in the early years. I remember that the owner of that place had one of those portable cassette recorders, and he would bring it to the table and play an instrumental version of ‘That’s Amore,’ and he would sing along with it to the female customers (laughing). I used to love playing there. In those days, we would play anywhere with a stage or a floor. I definitely remember that place. It stuck out. But we played all kinds of venues. In the beginning, you’re just trying to get enough gas money to the next town and food along the way. I think we also played a place called Klondike (Café) in Boone, as well.”
Trucks and his Derek Trucks Band also performed at the now-closed Rafters on Howard Street, although he has other connections to the High Country going back to his teenage years.
“We have a lot of friends there,” Trucks said. “I finished my last years of high school through Watauga High, while home-schooling, and I met a lot of people there. So, we have a lot of connections to Boone, including friends and teachers that I worked with at the school, and we spent a lot of time there. It’s been a long time, so I am anxious to get back. It’s been years since I’ve been through there. It’s a great spot.”
The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s first-ever appearance at MerleFest came in 2012, which was the last one for the festival’s host, heart and soul, Doc Watson.
“We played that last MerleFest with Doc Watson, and you could kind of sense, in that I think the inner circle knew, that maybe it was his last public appearance,” Trucks said.
“It was pretty heavy being there. I’ve been hearing about that festival for years, and I finally made it. And for it to be his last, it wasn’t lost on us. We were fully aware of what we were witnessing, so we were honored to be a part of it and get to see him perform. We were there for one of his sets with his long-time musical associates that were onstage with him. It was pretty great. We met him briefly. He was a sweetheart, and it is always something I wanted to do. It was unfortunate that it was his last go around, but he went out right.
“They had mentioned (that Doc would listen to the music of the Allman Brothers Band with his son, Merle, and Sam Bush back in the day) to me, and I guess our band being there was kind of the closest they had, at that point, to the Allmans. They never got the band there. I guess it wasn’t until a few years ago that they started having electric acts, really, so there was a little bit of a full circle going on.”
The circle continues with Trucks’ Nov. 1 performance. For more information, visit http://pas.appstate.edu/schedule/id/277 and http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com.