Preview: DEREK TRUCKS BAND
University of Buffalo Center for the Arts
While the St. John’s River in
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
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
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
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
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
for the Arts (www.ubcfa.com)
this Sunday Night.
Rock Rapport caught up with
from his hotel room prior to taking the stage on opening night
of the 2008 DEREK
Fall Tour in Maryland
great to talk with you again, thanks so much for squeezing
us in on opening night.
problem at all, yeah we’re really excited about kicking off the
tour tonight here in Eastern Maryland.
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.
SUSAN TEDESCHI Band
made a tour stop at the
of Buffalo Performing Arts Center
month and I have to say she set the bar extremely high for you
with an electrifying performance.
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.
I mentioned to
in our interview;
“Back to the River”
should land her at the winner’s podium at the Grammy’s next
nice to hear; I think it’s time too; she worked extremely hard
on this record.
Tell us about your participation on
record. I know you played on
several tracks as well as producing the funky rocker “Butterfly”.
been very cool having the studio at home; it gives us the
opportunity to turn out some tunes while spending quality family
I really enjoyed working with her band on “Back
to the River”, they are loaded with talent and a blast to
The studio has turned into a gathering place for
all our family and friends especially those in the music
we get into your new record that is due out in January lets talk
about the ALLMAN
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
tour at the picturesque CMAC Performing Arts Center (www.cmacevents.com)
in Rochester this past August; the band seemed to be Hittin’ on
all cylinders after the layoff, how was
health the rest of the summer tour?
it was great to get back out with the
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.
2009 will mark the 40th
anniversary of the ALLMAN
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
about your feelings in sharing in this momentous milestone with
the ALLMAN BROTHERS
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
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.
Let’s talk about the new
DEREK TRUCKS Band
album due out in early 2009,
SUSAN’S and your new albums are
truly homespun efforts as you and the Mrs. Recorded them
simultaneously, tell us about that experience?
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
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.
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
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.
Have the kids shown any affinity toward music, they have some
pretty serious musical bloodlines flowing?
Yeah if they do decide to go into music I guess they have a
pretty serious head start, we’ll see.
Do you have a title as of yet for your new record due out in mid
it’s called “Already Free”.
The “Back to the
River” record has some
socially stimulating tracks on it like
Houses”, will we find a similar
theme on “Already Free”?
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
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.
You mentioned that you had several
musicians over to the house during the recording sessions, will
there be any guest appearances on “Already
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.
We spoke a few years back when the critically acclaimed
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?
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.
Will fans at the
of Buffalo Center for the Arts
get a taste of some of the new material this Sunday?
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
I was enjoying some of the
talented live local music at one of the regions landmark venues
the LAFAYETTE TAP ROOM (www.lafayettetaproombbq.com)
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
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 &
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
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
The Rock Rapport
would like to thank the
& 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************