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Derek Trucks Band


Child prodigy.
His uncle was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band - drummer Butch Trucks.
He was named after the Eric Clapton/Duane Allman collaboration Derek & The Dominoes.
How could Derek Trucks be anything but a musician?

Born in Jacksonville, FL, Derek Trucks got his first guitar when he was 9. Bought it for $5.00. His first paying gig was just a couple years later. By the time Trucks was 15 he was fronting his own band. In addition, he performed with the Allman Brothers Band for nearly a decade before becoming a member in '99. He played on the Allmans' platinum "Live At The Beacon Theatre" DVD, as well as the '03 studio album "Hittin' The Note." That same year Rolling Stone magazine placed Trucks in the 81st spot on their list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." By the way, Trucks was the youngest guitarist (at age 24) to make the survey.

The accolades from Rolling Stone just kept coming when Trucks made a February, '07, cover with John Mayer and John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), billed as the "New Guitar Gods."





The Derek Trauck Band goes back over a decade earlier. In '95, with bassist Todd Smallie already in tow, Trucks brought in drummer Yonrico Scott and multi-instrumentalist (keyboards/flute) Kofi Burbridge. The latter's brother Oteil was the bassist for the Allmans (another connection). This line-up was augmented in '02 by the addition of vocalist Mike Mattison. Count M'Butu joined on African drums - though he doesn't always tour with the group.

So what is it like fronting your own group while being a member of a legendary one? It can make for some long days. Take '07's Farm Aid in Randalls Island, NY. Trucks performed with his band before jumping into a set with the Allman Brothers. The show was a family affair since his wife, Blues singer Susan Tedeschi, also performed with her band. Trucks and Tedeschi regularly merged their bands into what they call Soul Stew Revival.

A year earlier, Eric Clapton asked Trucks to help on an album. So impressed was Clapton that he asked Trucks to join his band for the Crossroads Guitar Festival. The Derek Trucks Band, with Tedeschi, was the opening act.

Trucks spent '08 touring with the Allman Brothers Band and Soul Stew Revival. Recorded in Trucks' home, the Derek Trucks Band released their 6th studio album (they also have a couple live ones) "Already Free" in early '09.

"Roadsongs" was recorded live in Chicago during the group's Already Free Tour. The '10 set contained extended versions of songs from the Grammy Award-winning album.
Derek Trucks Band Discography

Albums:

1997 The Derek Trucks Band
1998 Out Of The Madness
2002 Joyful Noise
2003 Soul Serenade
2004 Live At Georgia Theatre
2006 Songlines
2006 Songlines Live (DVD)
2009 Already Free
2010 Roadsongs

Except for an eclectic bend or worldbeat influence here and there, the Derek Trucks Band is essentially a down and dirty Rock Blues outfit. Trucks' playing has a sting while remaining fluid and his work never seems indulgent. The rest of the band are seasoned pros who are right there with him including Mattison who often employs a Joe Cocker-full throat delivery. One shouldn't overlook Tedeschi's contributions either. She comes from the Bonnie Bramlett school of Southern Rock.

"Already Free" opens with a Delta Blues take on Bob Dylan's classic "Down In The Flood" then it jumps into a pair of straight Blues numbers, "Something To Make You Happy" and Maybe This Time." The album incorporates Gospel and Spiritual styles but the real keepers are the riotous "Get What You Deserve" and the acoustic ballad "Back Where I Started," with Tedeschi's vocals.

'02's "Joyful Noise" with Rueben Blades, Solomon Burke and others, has the widest aperture but it's the funky "Home In Your Heart" and "Baby You Were Right" (with Tedeschi again) that score. Going back to '98, "Out Of The Madness" is notable for their cover of the Blues classic "Good Morning Little School Girl."


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