slide guitar

Roots music’s reigning creative power couple: Derek Trucks poses with one of his beloved Gibson SGs and Susan Tedeschi holds the Gretsch White Falcon used for the new albums’ sessions.

Photo by David McClister

Seeking a “hard reset,” Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi lead their rambling roots-music collective though an ambitious new four-part opus that tells Layla’s side of the story.

Sometimes the universe brings together timeless energies that seem destined to explode into a beautiful new creation. All they need is the right people to harness them and unlock their potential. In the case examined here, those energies included an ancient Persian love story, a legendary ’70s rock album, the sometimes-painful realities of relationships, and a worldwide pandemic. The people are the wife-and-husband guitar duo of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, along with the 10 other members of their Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB). The creation? A four-part multimedia masterwork titled I Am the Moon.

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Cristina Vane on Blind Willie Johnson's "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed"

The Italian-born, Nashville-based folk-blues songstress and slide guitarist honors (and carries on) the freewheeling energy and definitive exactitude exuded by the Texas bluesman.

Matt Sweeney's career amalgamates an uncommon blend of indie- and roots-rock-cred, high-profile session gigs, membership in the Billy Corgan-led supergroup Zwan, and collaborations with Josh Homme and Bonnie "Prince" Billy.

Photo by Chris Shonting

The Superwolf, Zwan, and Chavez guitarist's tone secrets: fingerpicking, flatwound strings, and overdriven amps.

Matt Sweeney thinks you should fingerpick. "I don't want to sound like some sort of dick who hates guitar picks," he says, after about 20 minutes railing against guitar picks. "But try it. It's worth it."

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