WANT TO GO?
Tedeschi Trucks Band
WHERE: Clay Center
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday
TICKETS: $33.50, $58.50 and $73.50
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A lot of work can go into naming a rock band. The musicians who've banded together want something that attracts attention, sounds cool and doesn't make them look silly.
It can be more difficult than it sounds. Band names get repeated from city to city and state to state. Different groups of musicians use the same names over different generations.
Even simple names, like the Grammy-winning blues powerhouse Tedeschi Trucks Band, which plays Wednesday night at the Clay Center, isn't really that simple. The 11-piece ensemble, headed by Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks and his wife, singer/songwriter/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, takes its name from the duo, but even that was a torturous process.
Trucks laughed about it.
"It was a process," the 34-year-old affirmed. "Always, naming songs, naming albums, naming bands, that stuff takes forever."
Trucks and his wife have been in bands for most of their lives, and they each had their own solo musical outfits for years before deciding to pool their resources and go out on the road. While it might sound like the pair just decided to skip endless discussions about what to call the band, that's not what Trucks said happened.
"For months, we were asking friends, fans and band members, trying to come up with a name," he said.
They came up with a couple, but none of them seemed to stick. For a while they settled on "The Revelators."
"But it turned out there were two or three bands with that name already," he said.
So, instead, "Revelator," eventually became the name of their Grammy-winning debut record.
For a little while, he said they simply went around as the Derek Trucks/Susan Tedeschi Band, but when they were working on "Revelator" with producer Jim Scott, Scott wrote down "Tedeschi Trucks Band" on something and the name became the obvious choice.
"It just flowed," Trucks said. "Trucks Tedeschi just doesn't roll off the tongue as well."
A family band adds a member
While the Tedeschi Trucks Band has really only been around for a couple of years, Trucks is proud of the band they've become. Recently, they brought in a new bass player after Oteil Burbridge left the band to start a family.
Finding the right bassist took only slightly longer than naming the band.
"I guess over the past eight months, we've played with six or eight different guys and had a lot of different guys on the road play with us."
All of them, he said, were world-class players, each with very different approaches to the music, but none of them were the right fit.
Trucks said, "Talking to the band, we were like we'll know when we have the right player when it [the music] feels comfortable, but also feels progressive and new."
Over the summer, they brought in New York-based bassist Tim LaFave. LaFave came out on the road with the Tedeschi Trucks Band to fill in for a handful of shows the group was performing with The Black Crows.
"I think it was on the second show," Trucks said. "I remember we were two or three songs in and having the feeling -- this is what we've been looking for."