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Tedeschi Trucks Band Talk About Their Influences

That the husband-and-wife namesakes of the Tedeschi Trucks Band are heavily influenced by African American music should come as no surprise. However, Derek Trucks tells us in an exclusive new video interview (embedded above) that he and his wife and bandmate Susan Tedeschi’s global travels have turned them on to the sounds of other cultures as well.

“There’s certainly places that you obviously feel the music that’s there,” he told us backstage at this year’s Mountain Jam festival. “Like, whenever you’re in New Orleans, you can’t help but hear that sound and feel that. We were just in India, and you certainly come away with a bit of that. I want to go and spend more time; I think it’ll be even stronger. Cuba’s another one. Certainly when you’re in South America or Central America…you pick up on those sounds. We’re constantly listening and searching.”

However, Trucks admits that the continuous exposure means that it’s easy to get creatively “stagnant.” And when that happens, he returns to the source of his musical inspirations. “But a lot of times,” he continued. “If I get worn out hearing guitar players I’ll go listen to Freddie King and Albert King for a while and you’re like, ‘That’s why it’s OK to play guitar. You remember where it came from.”

Tedeschi agrees, but for her, it’s about one particular gospel legend whose music helped bring the couple together. “The reason we probably started dating is because I knew who Mahalia Jackson was,” she said. “Derek’s like, ‘What? You do?’ I was like, “Yes, of course.’ But it goes back to the original people that I first heard before Mahalia, with people like Aretha [Franklin], of course, who were more mainstream, and then I discovered Mahalia as I really got into gospel music. People like Sam Cooke, maybe you get turned on to first, and then all of a sudden you realize that there are all these amazing, great gospel singers. I dig into that stuff all the time.”

Next: Our Favorite Mountain Jam Discoveries

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