Jacksonville's Derek Trucks, 29, has established himself as the greatest guitarist of his generation: He's a genre-hopping band leader/solo artist, key Allman Brother and while on tour with Eric Clapton a couple years back the kid named after Derek and the Dominos helped Slow Hand wonderfully recreate classics from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Yeah, Trucks is the shit.
And so is his wife, Susan Tedeschi. She's a feisty blues guitarist, an accomplished songwriter and excellent soul singer. Her new album, Back to the River, features her crushing on emotive originals - several cowritten with Trucks, who also lends his slide guitar fineness to the disc - steeped in the sounds of the Deep South. Tedeschi's also a master interpreter of classic rock gems. One of the many highlights of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2008 was during the final moments when Tedeschi joined Derek Truck's group for a tent-raising rendition of The Band's "The Weight." I get chills and a smile comes to my face just thinking about that very special performance.