In 2012, B.B. King performed on stage alongside John Mayer and Derek Trucks. At the conclusion, King remarked of Trucks’ ability, “That’s about as good as I’ve ever heard it.” On Sunday, Nov. 14, fans in Key West and across the country will converge to hear Trucks perform live at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater.
Trucks, a well publicized child prodigy who joined his uncle Butch’s famed band, The Allman Brothers, in 1999, has toured or played alongside other legends throughout his career — Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills. And yet perhaps the greatest talent to perform with Trucks has been his wife, Susan Tedeschi. Together, the famed pair created The Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010.
Today, the Tedeschi Trucks Band is considered by most musicians as a deity within the profession. Legendary performers, spanning dozens of genres from blues to rock, still clamor for an opportunity to join Trucks and Tedeschi on stage. And with accolades that include multiple Grammy Awards and a Rolling Stone cover (which also counts Trucks among its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time), Trucks has earned his way into the conversation of “Greatest of All Time.” Instead, the Jacksonville native maintains a humble approach to his greatness, constantly deflecting the praise back to those who have inspired him along the way.
This week we caught up with Trucks on our Florida Keys Weekly Podcast. During the segment, Derek talks about the last time he was in Key West at the age of 9, playing live at Sloppy Joe’s. And what it was like to perform with and honor his idol — the legendary B.B. King. We even asked Derek about the inside story behind that viral video after a 2016 Cubs game, where he and Eddie Vedder were filmed playing “The Weight” by The Band at a crowded bar, as Bill Murray jammed out in the crowd.
We hope you listen to the The Florida Keys Weekly Podcast interview with Derek in its entirety on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and other major outlets. Or just pull it up at keysweekly.com. We’ve provided a few teasers from the interview below…and for those lucky enough to attend the Tedeschi Trucks Band show on Sunday, we can assure you this will be a moment that stands still in time — and a memory you will proudly recount for years to come.
Have you been to Key West before or when was the last time you were here? Some of the first gigs I ever played outside of Jacksonville when I was 9 was down at Sloppy Joe’s with a band called Ace Moreland and the Westside Story, which was a blues band from up here. We played down there a handful of times when I was really, really young. But I haven’t been back since. Me and Sue took an early vacation, before kids, down to Key Largo and got certified to dive, but we didn’t make it all the way down, so I haven’t been back since. It’s a trip … 30-something years ago.
You’ve played with nearly every great guitar player, including B.B. King, who said you are as good as it gets. And you really are a bucket list guy they all want to play with, but are there any bucket list people you want to perform or play with? Man, I think B.B. really was that bucket list guy for me. Sue had toured with him a lot and I really never had gotten on stage with him, so those handful of times that I got to play with B.B. and hang with B.B., with Sue there, too. There are those moments in time when you are in that moment and you’re just like, ’This is it’ … this is one of the peak moments of your life, you’re in it right now.’ He really was what you thought he was. He was that sweet and that pure and a total treasure.
We have to ask you about that viral video from 2016, when you and Eddie Vedder were recorded playing “The Weight”by The Band at a crowded house party following a Cubs playoff game. In that video, Bill Murray can be seen jamming out in the crowd as well. So how did that all come together and what is the real story behind that moment? We were all there for those Cubs games. The last pitcher to throw against the Cubs in a World Series leading into that was Virgil Trucks, my uncle, so I was like, ‘I’ve got to get there for that first World Series game at Wrigley.’ We ran into Bill Murray quite a few times on the road. He’s an incredible guy — quite a character and a music fan. So we somehow ran into him that night. He was basically the mayor of Chicago at that point and we ended up at this bar across the street from Wrigley and Eddie Vedder was there and I was in no shape to play music, but somebody handed me an acoustic and it was just one thing after another. It was quite a night.
Hear the entire Derek Trucks interview at keysweekly.com or on all major podcast formats under The Florida Keys Weekly Podcast.
For tickets (as they remain) to The Tedeschi Trucks Band on Sunday, Nov 14 visit: thekeywestamp.com.