Tedeschi Trucks Band to rock the Bessborough Gardens

The Tedeschi Trucks Band will headline the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival on Sunday night. Guitarist and co-founder Derek Trucks spoke with Saskatoon Morning's Leisha Grebinski.

The 12-piece band headlines the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival's mainstage on Sunday night

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi put their solo projects on the back burner to focus on the Tedeschi Trucks Band. They'll be headlining the main stage tonight at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival. ((AP Photo/Joe Giblin))

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is headlining the mainstage tonight at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.

Derek Trucks is the guitarist and co-founder of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

He's best known for his slide guitar style and has been called one of the greatest guitar players of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. He's been around the world, but it's his first time playing in Saskatoon.

Trucks spoke with Saskatoon Morning host Leisha Grebinski in advance of the show.

An early start 

Trucks has played to crowds since he was a pre-teen. 

"The excitement of travelling and getting to play music and just being different places was as intoxicating as playing music at that point."

Early exposure to the music scene enabled Trucks to learn from a variety of other musicians. 

"A lot of my growth was really being around the right people at the right time and being open to it." 

Award-winning guitarist Derek Trucks of the Tedeschi Trucks Band previously played with the Allman Brothers Band. Now, he's joined on stage by his wife Susan Tedeschi and their band mates. (The Associated Press)

The guitarist said he didn't encounter the challenges that can arise after an early introduction to the industry.

"There's all kinds of things that are wide open to you when you're in this scene," he said, adding he limited his indulgences to "just a toe in the water, here and there."

Trucks said a combination of supportive people and his nature have helped him avoid the negative side of the business while continuing to make music.

The evolution of sound 

The musician's earliest memories of guitar are when he and his brother would listen to his father's blues-oriented vinyl collection. 

It was the only thing interesting and I had a five dollar bill burning a hole in my pocket.-Derek Trucks

"That music was always there and felt important."

Trucks didn't pick up a guitar until he came across one at a garage sale. 

"It was the only thing interesting and I had a five dollar bill burning a hole in my pocket."

Decades later, he's since developed a personal style and often forgoes the pick in favour of a slide.

Recently while in Japan, he participated in a video interview and the musician said the interviewee wanted him to explain his technique.

"I remember looking down at my right hand, 'cause I never look at it — it just kind of happens — and then I realized I had no idea what was going on. I couldn't explain it."

Sunday night in Saskatoon

Trucks' wife, Susan Tedeschi, joins him on stage. The two put their solo projects aside to focus on this band.

"I've been on the road for a long time and been a part of some really amazing groups, but I've never been in a band quite like this," Trucks said.

Bass player Tim Lefebvre is the newest addition. He notably played on the late David Bowie's last album. Trucks described flutist and keyboard player Kofi Burbridge as a "musical genius" and the "secret weapon of the band."

The 12-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band plays at 9 p.m. CST.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning