tedeschi trucks band

George Alessandro, SG in hand, stands in front of his 1/2 AZZ v2 prototype, which runs through an exquisite pair of vintage Marshall 4x12s.

Photo by Nick Millevoi

A shop visit with the legendary amplifier wizard who has helped shape the tones of Derek Trucks, David Gilmour, John Mayer, and so many of your favorite guitarists.

“Once the first one’s done, I lose all interest,” George Alessandro tells me. A classic problem solver’s reaction to a challenge—in this case, designing some of the world’s most high-profile boutique amps.

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For Trucks and Tedeschi, a song has to hold up with just voice and acoustic guitar—a real bare-bones approach. Photo by Mark Seliger

Blues-rockers Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi talk about collaboration, Duane Allman’s “Fillmore” amp, and what it takes to keep an 11-piece band on the road.

“Everyone is more confident onstage. It’s a whole different beast,” says guitarist Derek Trucks, when asked how he feels the band has changed since their first studio album, 2011’s Revelator. That “beast” is the Tedeschi Trucks Band, an 11-piece blues-rock behemoth that Trucks co-leads with his wife, vocalist and guitarist Susan Tedeschi. Sporting a full horn section, backup singers, and two drummers, the TTB is equal parts Memphis soul, Southern rock, and Delta blues.

Taking musical cues from Delaney and Bonnie, Derek and the Dominos, and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen songbook, the group combines rootsy Americana with virtuosic musicianship. “You have those archetypes in mind, but once you put a band together and start gigging and writing tunes, it just takes on a life of its own,” laughs Trucks. “When you see footage of Mad Dogs and Englishmen running down the road, you think, ‘That looks like fun. Let’s put a bunch of crazy bastards in a vehicle and roll.’”

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