Last Saturday (January 14), Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi made an on-field appearance prior to the NFL playoff game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers to deliver a powerful, electric guitar-driven rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.
Ahead of the match, Tedeschi and her microphone lined up alongside the Gibson SG-wielding Trucks to perform the national anthem, with the pair flexing their unrivaled musical chemistry by effortlessly doubling up the vocal melody with silky, slide-driven chords.
Speaking to First Coast News prior to the performance, Trucks and Tedeschi divulged what they believed to be the hardest part of the song: the beginning passage.
“The hardest part is actually the very beginning, because it’s so low – because the whole range of the song is actually pretty wild,” said Tedeschi. “Hopefully I’ll get it.”
At the same time, Trucks also teased his plans to put a bit of “flair” into the guitar part, and said his rendition would be inspired by his late grandfather, who recently passed away at the age of 101.
“I’ll put a bit of flair into it,” he commented. “[My grandfather] was very particular about his anthems. He wanted to hear it. He wanted to hear the melody of the song, so I always think about him a bit whenever I play it.”
Indeed, that flair was present in abundance by the time the pair took to the field, and that opening exchange that was slated to be particularly tricky came and went like a breeze. A few harmonic rings and gain-tinged slides later, the Tedeschi Trucks duo were truly well on their way, with Trucks combining chords and licks alike to prop up the vocal melody.
Trucks has personal history performing the national anthem for the Jacksonville Jaguars, having recorded a live cut of it for the team two years ago.
It’s not the first recent example of Jaguars fans getting treated to a rousing, guitar-heavy rendition of the national anthem, either. The other week, a Jacksonville native named Paul Wane delivered a shred-heavy version of the anthem via his US flag-emblazoned T-type model.
Last year, there were countless examples in the wider world of sports. Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett traded licks on the national anthem prior to a San Francisco Giants game, while Flea upped the fuzz for a particularly memorable run-through ahead of an LA Lakers game.