by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Concert Preview: DEREK TRUCKS BAND
University of Buffalo Center for the Arts
Sunday November 2nd

      FAMILY MATTERS….. While the St. John’s River in Jacksonville FLORIDA is known as one of the laziest flowing rivers in the world; along its banks a creative current surges inside the homestead studio of DEREK TRUCKS & SUSAN TEDESCHI.
To the twenty-nine year old loving husband and father of two music and family are synonymous.  The string savant has spent his entire life surrounded by the indelible musical influences afforded him growing up within the ALLMAN Brotherhood.
The pleasantly unassuming guitar marvel has managed to extract all the essential elements that he has been exposed to while amplifying his own unique musical template.
      His guitar style slides from finesse to fury in an instant while his ability to unleash whatever may stir his soul through his fingers is entrancing to witness.  While his eyes may be closed on stage he transcends a vivid vision through his songs.
The DEREK TRUCKS Band (DTB) is a melting pot of savvy players whose infinite musical vision has crowned them the jewel of the jam band circuit.  They bring their robust fusion of sounds to the U.B. Center for the Arts ( this Sunday Night.
Rock Rapport caught up with DEREK from his hotel room prior to taking the stage on opening night of the 2008 DEREK TRUCKS Band Fall Tour in Maryland
Ross CAT-Hello DEREK great to talk with you again, thanks so much for squeezing us in on opening night.
D.T. -No problem at all, yeah we’re really excited about kicking off the tour tonight here in Eastern Maryland.
Ross CAT-
I’ve been quite fortunate these past few weeks, I had the pleasure of speaking with your talented wife about her amazing new record “Back to the River” which hit the stores Tuesday October 28th.
The SUSAN TEDESCHI Band also made a tour stop at the University of Buffalo Performing Arts Center earlier this month and I have to say she set the bar extremely high for you with an electrifying performance.
D.T.-Nice, I heard it was a great show.  Her band sounded really tight during the final tour rehearsals at the house; she’s really in a pretty good place right now.
Ross CAT-
As I mentioned to SUSAN in our interview; “Back to the River” should land her at the winner’s podium at the Grammy’s next February.
D.T.-That’s nice to hear; I think it’s time too; she worked extremely hard on this record.
Ross CAT-
Tell us about your participation on SUSAN’S record.  I know you played on several tracks as well as producing the funky rocker “Butterfly”.
D.T.-It’s been very cool having the studio at home; it gives us the opportunity to turn out some tunes while spending quality family time together.
      I really enjoyed working with her band on “Back to the River”, they are loaded with talent and a blast to jam with.
      The studio has turned into a gathering place for all our family and friends especially those in the music business.
Ross CAT-
Before we get into your new record that is due out in January lets talk about the ALLMAN BROTHERS tour that just came to a close at the OBAMA Rally on the PENN STATE campus on Columbus Day where you joined the surviving members of the GRATEFUL DEAD.
      I had the chance to see the
ABB tour at the picturesque CMAC Performing Arts Center ( in Rochester this past August; the band seemed to be Hittin’ on all cylinders after the layoff, how was GREGG’S health the rest of the summer tour?
D.T.-Yeah it was great to get back out with the ALLMAN BROTHERS, the first handful of shows weren’t quite where we wanted to be, we really hit our stride on the second leg and GREGG sounded strong as ever.
      As you mentioned it ended on a really high note at the Rally; it was amazing to be able to perform in front of 16,000 people and share in the celebration with our friends reuniting from the DEAD.
Ross CAT-
2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of the ALLMAN BROTHERS Band, it will also mark the 10th anniversary since you became a permanent member of the legendary brotherhood.
Reports are already surfacing about this year’s Beacon Theatre Run; there’s lots of speculation about this already paramount event becoming an epic musical moment.
Tell us about your feelings in sharing in this momentous milestone with the ALLMAN BROTHERS Band
D.T.-There certainly is a lot of synchronicity within the groups history and I’m honored to have been able to share in a part of it.
      There are lots of ideas kickin’ around and being set into motion as we speak.  If even a fraction of what’s being talked about comes together it could be a pretty monumental tour for sure.
      We are most definitely looking forward to returning to the Beacon after missing last spring, that’s going to be a lot of fun.
      One of the ideas is to have some of the musicians sit in with us that played with DUANE ALLMAN over the years, people that influenced him and people that he influenced.
      The band is reaching out to artists like ERIC CLAPTON, ARETHA FRANKLIN and BOZ SCAGGS, obviously scheduling will play a part in it but even if half the musicians can share in the event it should be pretty amazing.
Ross CAT-
Let’s talk about the new DEREK TRUCKS Band album due out in early 2009, both SUSAN’S and your new albums are truly homespun efforts as you and the Mrs. Recorded them simultaneously, tell us about that experience?
D.T.-Yeah, we finished building our studio late last year and started to feel the place out as far as set up and gear.  We obtained a lot of older equipment like the KINKS RAY DAVIES console from the Konk Studios; we collected some great sounding older equipment with a series pedigree.
      As we continued to add equipment we we’re writing and recording every day; about a week into it we realized we where well on our way to making a record so we just kept plugging away.
      Our family is fortunate in so many ways including the fact that most of our friends happen to be world class musicians.  We just started inviting guys like DOYLE BRAMHALL out to the house for a week and we wrote half-dozen tunes and recorded them; WARREN HAYNES came down and we wrote a few new songs together as well.
      This past year has been a really creative time for us on so many levels.  Ultimately this has been kind of a jumping off point for what we want to do with the studio and with the next handful of records that we do.
Ross CAT-
Both SUSAN and yourself are extremely grounded and family oriented people which is a challenging task to say the least considering your line of work; kudos to both of you on keeping your focus on the family.
D.T. - It is nice to be able to work from our home.  My son is 6 and my daughter is 4 so for the most part I can wake up in the morning and drive them to school and then get right back into the studio and start working.
      We like to call it a non-conventional normal life but it works.  We also have an incredibly strong support unit with our own families.  My parents and brothers and sister all live within 10 miles, like the old adage says, “It takes a Village”.  Most importantly the kids are great, they know that even though SUSAN and I work a lot they are still are main focus so there’s never any disconnect.
Ross CAT -
Have the kids shown any affinity toward music, they have some pretty serious musical bloodlines flowing?
D.T.-(Laughter) Yeah if they do decide to go into music I guess they have a pretty serious head start, we’ll see.
Ross CAT -
Do you have a title as of yet for your new record due out in mid January?
D.T.-Yeah it’s called “Already Free”.
Ross CAT -
The “Back to the River” record has some socially stimulating tracks on it like “People” and “700 Houses”, will we find a similar theme on “Already Free”?
D.T.-Yeah I guess maybe a little bit, SUSAN’S record is leaning that way harder then ours; I really love the fact that she wears it on her sleeve.
      When I think back to the great DYLAN records or the MARVIN GAYE, STEVIE WONDER and CURTIS MAYFIELD records during the Civil Rights movement, while they may have shaped the way people may have felt or gave a voice to the times it really wasn’t overtly political.
      When you start pointing people toward a specific direction it becomes easy to alienate them. I feel that throwing out the possibilities may allow you to draw people in, maybe expose them to the fact that there’s actually culture in music and human beings that live in this part of the world and not just the images you see flashed on the television.
      One of the tunes on our new record is an old DYLAN song we rediscovered that seemed awfully timely, he is a master at allowing the listener to read between the lines.
      This is truly a historical time for our country, when you have this type of Cultural Revolution it’s important to have a soundtrack to help push it along.
Ross CAT-
You mentioned that you had several musicians over to the house during the recording sessions, will there be any guest appearances on “Already Free”?
D.T. -SUSAN sings lead vocals on one of the tracks and background on a handful of other tunes; SUSANS’S band also tracked on three or four of the songs.  WARREN HAYNES and I wrote a few of the songs that made the record and DOYLE BRAMHALL plays on several tracks and sings on a couple as well.
Ross CAT -
We spoke a few years back when the critically acclaimed “Songlines” record came out you mentioned that you wanted to start laying more vocal tracks to your music yet you didn’t want to force it.  Will the new record feature more of MIKE MATTISON on vocals?
D.T. -Yeah MIKE appears on every track on the album with the exception of the songs SUSAN and DOYLE sing.
      We really feel like this album is a serious step forward for the band and our sound and what we can do together.  It has a feel of a bigger record without intending to; I think everybody who participated matured into it as we went along.
      The fact that we did it ourselves means a lot.  I got to produce the album from home without any time constraints which allowed the vibe in the room to constantly flow.
      When the sessions ended I think we had almost twenty-five tracks lying around, we narrowed it down to twelve tunes for the album.
      This was the first time I’ve ever left the studio feeling like there was twice as much as we needed for an album.  It was nice to have the time and space to be able to distill the record down to one coherent thought.
Ross CAT -
Will fans at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts get a taste of some of the new material this Sunday?
D.T.-You know I’m kind of conflicted about it; we just had a rehearsal and worked most of the tunes out.  With the release of the record being so far off and the way live shows get bootlegged and traded, I’m not quite sure yet how many of the songs we’ll break out.  We’ll most likely play a few of the new songs here and there.
Ross CAT-
Lastly DEREK, I was enjoying some of the talented live local music at one of the regions landmark venues the LAFAYETTE TAP ROOM ( when I spotted a photo on the hallowed walls of a twelve-year old DEREK TRUCKS wielding is ax, do you recall that visit some seventeen years ago?
D.T.-Yeah I remember that place very well, if I’m not mistaken I played there maybe three or four times, the room had a great vibe to it.  Fans in Buffalo have always been great to me and we’re looking forward to coming back to play this weekend.
While both TEDECSHI & TRUCKS are out on tour this fall the road leads “Back to the River” for the Holiday’s with a couple of SOUL STEW REVIVAL shows in Jacksonville and Atlanta.  Check out or for details.
      For anyone Cruisin’ for a Bluesin’ don’t miss out on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise which will feature the
SOUL STEW REVIVAL along with ETTA JAMES, TAJ MAHAL and the FABOULOUS THUNDERBIRDS to name just a few.  For more information on this January High Seas Jam click on to
      The Rock Rapport would like to thank the TRUCKS & TEDESCHI household for sharing their valuable time and musical vision with us.   Thanks as always to Renee Pfefer from On Tour PR for hooking us up.

************PEACE & HARMONIES************

Back to Main


Buffalo Web site hosting by
Professional Media and Web Site Services