Festival preview: Tedeschi Trucks Band ready for its SweetWater 420 Fest closeup

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is renowned for its commitment to meaty, visceral concerts.

Last summer, the 12-piece musical crew led by Susan Tedeschi and her husband, Derek Trucks, rolled into the Fox Theatre for a memorable night on its annual “Wheels of Soul” tour. It was also Trucks and Tedeschi’s return to Atlanta since performing at Col. Bruce Hampton’s fateful birthday concert in May 2017, which, naturally, triggered much emotion.

They’ll be back on the road with “Wheels of Soul” in June, but TTB’s immediate future is centered on a spate of headlining dates and, this weekend, its inaugural appearance at the SweetWater 420 Fest (on Saturday, for an extended set).

In between, the ever-busy outfit is working on a new studio album — its first since 2016’s “Let Me Get By” — in its home base of Jacksonville, Fla.

Last week, the always-gracious Trucks checked in from TTB’s first tour stop in Fort Myers, Fla., to discuss their 2017 Fox show, the challenge of playing festivals and what fans can expect from the new record.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi lead the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Photo: Stuart Levine
Derek Trucks shows off his specialty. Photo: Stuart Levine

This will be the first record with this band that we recorded all to 2-inch tape with classic microphones, an old console … it’s a different pace. You can record so quickly with Pro Tools, but there’s something nice about having to rehearse your parts and it’s like a performance. I’ve been enjoying that part of the process; the sound is so warm and inviting. It’s been a long few years between the last studio record, and a lot of life has unfolded. A lot of the tunes are reflected that way. As long as you’re making honest music, people know that.

With the String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sturgill Simpson, Vulfpeck, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, SOSA and more. Friday-Sunday. $138 (three-day general admission); $392 (three-day VIP); $66 (single-day general admission); $170 (single-day VIP). Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. W. NW, Atlanta. www.sweetwater420fest.com.

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  
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