Derek Trucks was performing in bars and nightclubs in Augusta, “When maybe I was 10, 11… 12?”
Besides the Walton Way institution the Red Lion Pub, Trucks remembers the former Post Office and its pool table.
“In hindsight, it was pretty unique,” he said. “My dad traveled with me. He made sure I was aware of what was going on around me. He shielded me from some stuff, but just enough to let me get an understanding. Usually when parents are supporting their kids in that way they are trying to extract something. My dad made it clear we could stop at any point. He wasn’t living his music career through me. I was lucky. We have a very close family that way.”
Trucks has kept that family vibe as an important part of his music career. Now nearing 40 years old, he tours with his wife, Susan Tedeschi, a musical giant in her own right. The Tedeschi Trucks Band visits the Bell Auditorium Tuesday, June 13, with Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat joining the couple on stage.
That music is a family affair is something Trucks credits for keeping him grounded and away from the darker side of the business that many musicians fall prey to.
“You would see people who would just let their ego get away from them and the music would suffer,” he said. “A lot of darker things too: people that would OD, a lot of broken families, a lot of those things. You certainly are better for it when you survive those things or, in my case, watch those things.”
To hear more of what Trucks had to say to Metro Spirit writer Amy Christian, including his memories of being on the Fox Theatre stage in Atlanta when Col. Bruce Hampton, who was like a second father to him, collapsed and died during his 70th birthday all-star show, pick up next Thursday’s copy of the Metro Spirit, on stands June 8.