Guitar hero, live
From the Autumn 2004 issue.
Live at Georgia Theatre
By the Derek Trucks Band
Columbia Records: 2004
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Forget, if you will (at least for a second), the Allman Brothers Band. Yes, young guitar phenom Derek Trucks plays in the Allman Bros. now. And yes, his uncle, Butch Trucks, was a founding member of that seminal band and remains one of the drummers.
But if you really want to know where Derek Trucks comes from musically on his own, think the British blues bands: Savoy Brown. The Bluesbreakers. Or even heavier The Yardbirds, perhaps. Wishbone Ash. Or Robin Trower.
Because that's the sensibility that Trucks brings to his stew of music: The blues on steroids, with lots of distortion, a thick backbeat, and a willingness to explore just about anything, anywhere.
His new double-live CD (only available online from his music store, DerekTrucks.com, is by far the best album Trucks has released yet. The interplay with his band is at its highest level, Trucks' own playing is inspired. This is definitely jam-band territory, with long, extended solos and a definite party groove. But even those who don't think they like jam bands just might get pulled in by the stellar musicianship, solid songwriting and overriding sense of purpose.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).