by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Tuesday, May 15th 

DEREK TRUCKS may not be quite sure some nights just where he may have laid his head to rest this past year or so; but no matter what city the tour bus may stop his heart is with his family. To the loving husband and proud father of two, family and music are synonymous. While he may have spent more time on the road than he may have liked in recent months it is the support of his wife Grammy nominee SUSAN TEDESCHI that has allowed DEREK to continue “Sailing On” his extraordinary musical journey.
    *The guitar phenom has been a road warrior since joining the ERIC CLAPTON world tour last May not to mention sprinkling in dates with the DEREK TRUCKS BAND the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND as well as tour dates with his wife SUSAN TEDESCHI on the Soul Stew Revival Tour.
*TRUCKS is just a few weeks short of his 28th birthday and his worldly composure on the road is unprecedented, the
Jacksonville, Florida native has been touring since the age of nine and leader of his own band for nearly half his life.
    *The DEREK TRUCKS BAND and its robust fusion of sounds have been captivating crowds with their “Joyful Noise” since the critically acclaimed 2006 release of “Songlines”.  The six piece band is truly a melting pot of artful musicians who have no boundaries and have quickly become the jewel of the jam band circuit.
    *As for TRUCKS the pleasantly unassuming guitar marvel has managed to extract all the essential elements that he has been exposed to and create his own unique template. His guitar style slides from finesse to fury in an instant, while his ability to unleash whatever it is that stirs this young mans soul is breathtaking to watch as he closes his eyes on stage. The future is limitless; it will be a great ride watching this fine young man and musician “Reach for the Sky”.
The Rock Report had the distinct pleasure to speak with DEREK TRUCKS as he was gracious enough to share some of his precious time with us on one of his brief stints at home.  The DTB started off their spring tour this past weekend and will make its way to the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts next Tuesday.  Check out the bands website @ for more tour information including a second stop for DEREK here in August with the ALLMAN BROHTERS BAND. 
Thanks so much for your valuable time DEREK it is greatly appreciated we look forward to your visit next week.  I can’t think of anyone in music that has been as busy as you have the last eighteen months or so.
    D.TRUCKS-It really has been a busy and unique time for me; the endeavors that have come my way recently have been a once in a lifetime opportunity, you kind of have to take it when you can.
*The band and I were really excited to see
Buffalo on the tour schedule again.  The University is one of the first larger rooms that the DEREK TRUCKS BAND performed in, we are definitely looking forward to coming back to town.  The audiences in Buffalo have been really supportive of the group from the very beginning and we really appreciate that.
One of those unique opportunities that you alluded to was the ERIC CLAPTON world tour that just recently wrapped up.  You once again where afforded the opportunity to perform material from guitar legend DUANE ALLMAN as E.C. had the chance to revisit the DEREK and the DOMINOS catalog.
    *Was it your accomplishments with the ALLMAN BROTHERS and your understanding of DUANES playing that made you the obvious choice to step into such a daunting role?
When I first got the call from ERIC he never really mentioned the DOMINOS thing at all. Our original collaboration was on the J.J. CALE record “
Road to
Escondido”,  a few songs into the session he asked me to join his band for the world tour.
    *As the tour went along we started to incorporate more and more of the DOMINOS tunes. I think he definitely wanted to revisit a lot of those songs; I think some of those songs had never been performed live, so needless to say it was nice to be a part of that for sure.
    ROSS CAT-  The 06-07 CLAPTON tour was a guitar lovers dream come true.  Not only did the bill include yourself and CLAPTON you where also joined by southpaw guitar slinger DOYLE BRAHMALL II, not to mention blues sage ROBERT CRAY who opened many of the shows.  That is an exceptional arsenal of strings on one stage.
Yeah as I said that was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist for many different reasons.
    * DOYLE was the one who turned E.C. on to my music and the ALLMAN BROTHERS Beacon DVD.  DOYLE had just finished working with my wife and me on her last record “Hope and Desire”, so he threw my name out there when they were discussing a third soloist on the tour, so I really have him to thank.
    *As far as the tour went it just got better as we went along, by the last leg of the tour the set list was absolutely amazing.  There were so many memorable moments; one night JIMMY VAUGHN sat in, another night I believe in
San Diego the great J.J. CALE joined in the jam.  It got pretty wild up their when there was five of us playing.
    *What I thought was really great about the CLAPTON band was having DOYLE playing upside down left-handed, me playing slide and open tuning, and then you have ERIC being ERIC, it really brought together three unique styles of playing.  It isn’t often a situation arises where three guitars can work, I think this one had a natural fit we all have a mutual respect and admiration for each other and managed to stay out of each others way, it really was an unforgettable experience.
    ROSS CAT- Speaking of experience your life has been filled with music from a very young age, being the nephew of ALLMAN BROTHERS drummer BUTCH TRUCKS has given you backstage access to a family and the famous brotherhood. Did being part of that fraternity and family help you grow into the band which you finally joined in permanently in 1999?
    D. TRUCKS-
No question. Growing up I was immersed into the music of the ALLMAN BROTHERS. It wasn’t just my uncle being in the band, it was my parents playing “Eat a Peach”, “Live at the Fillmore East” and the “Layla” record, we were marinated in it. I remember seeing my dad when he would return home from traveling with the band, I could tell the experience visibly moved him. As a kid who respects his father that kind of thing really translates, I think it made me take that music a little more seriously than anything else I had heard.
    ROSS CAT- I had a chance to talk with BUTCH prior to your visit to Darien Lake PAC last summer.  When asked what it was like to look up at his nephew electrify crowds with the ABB he replied, “after about the first five minutes in I forget who he is and just  watch in amazement”. That’s a pretty powerful assertion from a founding member of the ALLMAN BROTHERS, not to mention someone who has shared the stage with all the guitar greats both past and present.
 D. TRUCKS- It’s kind of the same feeling for me, he’s my band mate.  I won’t say that there isn’t times I think about the fact that I’m playing the music that I cut my teeth to.  I’ve had the honor of playing with them for almost a decade now, there’s something nice about having a lineage to the band and the blood tie that I have with him.
The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND really does live up to the name it is really a brotherhood, like all families it has been far from perfect.  Has being part of the brotherhood both in the good times and bad helped you in building the DEREK TRUCKS BAND?
It really is like family, like all families it has been dysfunctional at times but I have to say right now it’s at the best place I’ve ever seen it from the inside and the outside.  The last two Beacon Theatre runs have been really amazing.  We really let it roll off the top this year, whether it was reworking some of the classics or doing some different cover songs; we had a blast one night jamming ZEPPELIN’s “Dazed and Confused”.
As far as the DTB goes that band was a work in progress even before I joined the Brothers so I don’t necessarily think that had much impact on the lineup.  I definitely think playing with the ALLMAN BROTHERS has helped me as a musician within my band not to mention a hundred other ways.
    ROSS CAT- Earlier this year Rolling Stone featured you on a cover calling you one of the “New Guitar Gods”, I believe you have been crowed the “Jam King”.  You seem like a laid back and humble individual, how does that label sit with you?
    D. TRUCKS- I’m not the type of person who takes something like that all that serious, I was pretty surprised when I was told about it.  As a musician you know where you stand the accolades are for other people to put out there.  It’s kind of funny in the sense that more then anything else it’s become fodder for my good friend guitarist JIMMY HERRING to bust my balls.
    ROSS CAT-Lets touch on your outstanding record “Songlines”.  This is the fifth studio album and the band is constantly evolving; this time out you added more vocals behind the strength of singer MIKE MATTISON, where the songs written with vocals from the beginning?
Yeah I’ve always envisioned this band adding vocal tracks it was just a matter of finding the right voice to fit.  I never want to force that into a song if it’s not there, when MIKE came along a lot of things fell into place.  It really has become more comfortable for us, when it’s mixed properly the music and lyrics can really strengthen each other.
    *As a matter of fact MIKE is here with me know and we’ve been writing on this little break, the band is coming in tomorrow to work on some new material.
That’s very cool a collection of new DTB cuts sounds choice.  Will this past year on the road being surrounded with so many great musicians have an influence on the direction of the new material?
    D. TRUCKS-
I think anytime you hang out with musicians of that caliber it better rub off on you or you’re in the wrong line of work.  The guys that I had the honor to jam with this past year are the masters in the field.
    *I think the biggest benefit of being able to do a tour like that is being able to soak up how these guys carry themselves both on and off the stage.  Their at the top of this profession for a reason, being able to see them night after night continue to hone those already phenomenal skills is inspiring.
     ROSS CAT-
Lastly DEREK, while Rolling Stone may have crowed you “Jam King” the Queen in the TRUCKS castle is your wife, gifted guitarist SUSAN TEDESCHI who also is enjoying great success.  It must help at home having someone understand this business by your side.
    D. TRUCKS-
Yeah absolutely. It really is a tough thing to tour like we do. Marriage and raising children is difficult enough, when you add in two full tour schedules it throws another element into the mix. The great thing is she understands that being on tour isn’t the party that everyone outside the business thinks it is. The road is far from a vacation it really is hard work getting from city to city. The payoff is sharing the music with the people who come out to see us.
    We are also very fortunate that we have managed to tour together, we will be doing dates together in June, calling it the “Soul Stew Revival”.  The chemistry between us is pretty amazing in all aspects of our relationship we share a special connection it really shines both on and off the stage.
    *The ROCK REPORT would like to again thank DEREK TRUCKS for sliding us a little time. We would also like to thank Renee Phefer of On Tour PR for putting this together.

***************PEACE and HARMONIES***************

ROGER HODGSON (former singer/songwriter SUPERTRAMP)
Fallsview Casino Avalon Ballroom
Friday May 25 and Saturday May 26th

    TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME…..ROGER HODGSON the celestial voice and prolific songwriting musician formerly of SUPERTRAMP will make his triumphant return to CANADA this weekend. The Rock Report had the great fortune to see the luminary lyricist this past winter as he treated fans with a galvanizing performance.
    This solo Suarez is not only a memorable concert experience it also offers one of the most intimate interconnections between an artist, his music, and his audience.
    To put it simply HODGSON is a one man orchestra, while playing 12-string guitars, piano, and keyboards he manages to bolster the full sound of an entire band on stage. His definitive voice soars to the rafters leaving smiles from the stage to the last seat in the house.
    It would most certainly be the “Crime of the Century” for any SUPERTRAMP fan not to mention any fan of the art of music to miss this show at the Avalon Ballroom inside the Fallsview Casino Resort.
    The Rock Report had the great honor to chat with the kindred spirit as he was putting the finishing touches on his summer tour preparations.
   Ross CAT- Hello ROGER, I had the pleasure of seeing you over the holiday season at the Casino Rama and was truly blown away by your connection to the crowd and the passion the flowed between yourself and the audience.
    *Is it that exuberance that inspires you to sing the songs as if you where singing them for the very first time?
   ROGER- I have to say Ross, I’m having more fun than ever and believe my audience is too and yes, my songs are as alive and fresh for me as the day I wrote them. For me music has been a doorway to expressing love and when I’m on stage that’s what I’m trying to feel and trying to convey.  And hopefully that will be felt by the audience as well and they’ll go away filled up in some way with their hearts touched.
   Ross CAT- Congratulations on the success of your DVD “Take the Long Way Home”. This collection of songs and your soulful performance is a must see.
    There is no hiding in your shell in this solo performance, yet you’ve managed to capture all the key elements of the songs.  What made you decide to take this tour out as a solo endeavor as opposed to a full touring band?
   ROGER-Obviously I love playing with bands and the orchestra but there’s something about a solo show that allows me to get more deeply into the song and somehow sing from that special place in my heart. I wanted to present a show that people at home could play and have a very intimate experience with. And I feel I made the right choice as I’ve heard from fans that the DVD is like having me right in their living room singing just to them.
    *In my solo show you’re also hearing the purity of the music with just me singing accompanied by the instrument I wrote the song on. And as an artist I’m really appreciating the simplicity and the purity of how these songs sound in their more empty form or more essence form if you like.
   Ross CAT- You most certainly accomplished all those things in the DVD and within your live performance.  Being a multi-talented musician playing both the guitar and piano how does the songwriting process work for you, do you compose around the lyrics or the music?
   ROGER-I compose songs on both piano and guitar and generally the music comes first. Arranging is something that comes very easy to me when I’m alone. I actually have over 60 unreleased songs. My writing process is much like an artist painting a picture who keeps his painting close to his heart until the picture is complete before he shares it with the world.
    *I often draw upon my own life experiences and convey a very personal message through my music.  For me music is the art of space.  What you don’t play is as important as what you do play. I have always heard the whole picture in my head or it became complete when I made a demo by myself.
    *I tried writing with Rick Davies on the first two SUPERTRAMP albums yet it didn’t really work because it wasn’t just the meaning of the lyrics, I have to resonate with it musically when I sing it. The songs had to feel like a part of my being, they had to roll off my tongue very easily and roll out of my heart very easily; it never really ever worked collaborating lyrically with anyone else.  Shortly after our second SUPERTRAMP album, Rick and I began writing separately; though like LENNON/McCARTNEY we maintained a joint writer’s credit throughout our SUPERTRAMP career.
   Ross CAT- It seems your music is coming full circle with the re-birth of some of the SUPERTRAMP classics.  Buffalo’s own GOO GOO DOLLS really tapped into the much needed message of “Give a Little Bit” while the GYM CLASS HEROS are topping the charts with “Breakfast in America”.  You also have been a mentor to Canadian Idol star Craig Sharpe
    *Being the creator of these awe-inspiring songs how do you feel about this generation’s new interpretation of your songs?
   ROGER-I am honored that bands cover my songs and I have to say, some versions I like better than others.  I know JAMES BLUNT opened his shows on his last tour with a rendition of “Breakfast in America” and from what I’ve heard it was very well received.
    Johnny Rzeznik from the GOO GOO DOLLS was touched by my song “Give a Little Bit” when he was asked to be one of the artists to perform it for a Gap commercial in 2001.  He later took it to his band and they recorded it live and also made a studio version which has been released on several of their albums.
    And yes. “Give a Little Bit” became an anthem after the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina and it is my personal message to the world.
   Ross CAT- Speaking of generations, after seeing you perform what really stood out was how humbled you seemed at the appreciation of the crowd for your body of work.  Does it surprise you how much relevance and impact the SUPERTRAMP songs still have on yourself and people some thirty years later?
  ROGER- It is amazing to me the timelessness of my songs, I can go around the world and still hear them being played on the radio.  I would have never dreamt they would have stood the test of time like they have.
    Although we recorded some of my songs with SUPERTRAMP, I don’t actually consider them SUPERTRAMP songs since many of the classics like: ‘Breakfast in America”, “Give a Little Bit”, “Dreamer”, “It’s Raining Again”, and “Soapbox Opera”, I actually wrote in my teens before I met Rick and we formed the band.
   Ross CAT- As part of your first European tour in over two decades you will be taking part in the Concert for Diana ( on Sunday July 1st.Tell us your feelings about being part of that spectacular event?
  ROGER- The Concert for Princess Diana is being organized by Prince William and Prince Harry. It will mark what would have been the 46th birthday of the PRINCESS of WALES. The charity concert will also broadcast live to millions of viewers in over 140 countries around the world.
   *For years people have told me how much she loved the songs I wrote for SUPERTRAMP; like so many others, Princess Diana captured my heart with her smile, her love of life and her compassionate spirit.  I am delighted and honored to be a part of this wonderful event celebrating her life.
   Ross CAT- Lastly, what does the future hold musically for you, can fans look forward to any new material to be released anytime soon?
  ROGER- Since my voice is stronger than ever I plan to continue my orchestral and solo performances; I’m also looking at putting out a live CD in 2008 that will include some of my over sixty unrecorded songs.  The best way to keep up with what’s going on is through my website at I look forward to seeing everyone this weekend at the Fallsview Casino Resort.
    The ROCK REPORT would like to thank ROGER HODGSON for sharing some time with us. We would also like to thank Linda Tyler of Harmonic Management for putting this interview together.

    BEST OF TIMES…..One of album Rocks most explosive live bands will be sharing the music and love with their fans this weekend at the beautiful Casino Rama Entertainment Centre.  The band will perform this Thursday, Friday and Saturday May 24-26 as part of STYX FEST weekend. The three day celebration is sure to offer up the “Best of Times” for any STYX fan, the event will include; auctions, games, food, prizes and surprises, anyone interested in pre-registration can do so at

    *Although the Western New York area was fortunate enough to see the band twice last summer @ the Darien Lake PAC as well as Artpark no dates are planned thus far this summer.  This may be the only opportunity to catch the band as they are still touring on the strength of the must have concert CD/DVD STYX: One with Everything.  The show was shot last May in Cleveland and includes the Contemporary Youth Orchestra.  The “Renegade” Rock and Roll “Superstars” shared the spotlight with a group of 171 enthusiastic teenage musicians as they helped “Light Up” the bands classic catalog of hits.
    *STYX is about to set sail for another jam packed tour which kicked off this past weekend in Kansas City and will run into late November.  They will be joining British Rockers DEF LEPPARD for one of this summers most anticipated tours. Go to for dates and ticket information for this weekends STYX FESTIVAL.
    *The ROCK REPORT shared some “Borrowed Time” with our bud from over the border keyboard swami LAWRENCE GOWAN.  The dexterous singer/songwriter has not only been enjoying the success of the latest STYX DVD; his solo DVD GOWAN: Live in Concert is topping the charts in CANADA.  The show was shot in 1990 and captures the “Criminal Mind” at the height of his majestic solo career as he and his band “Fire it Up” at the Spectrum in MONTREAL. The DVD is available for purchase at
    Ross CAT- Hello LAWRENCE as always glad to have a chance to chat about what’s in store for yourself and STYX.
    GOWAN- Thanks so much always a pleasure. Yeah things have been going really really well for us. Our recent trip to the U.K. was absolutely tremendous; we played Wembley Stadium with DEEP PURPLE and THIN LIZZY. It was the first time STYX had performed there in over twenty-five years, for TOMMY SHAW, JY, and CHUCK PANOZZO it was really phenomenal. One of the “Cornerstone” moments of the show was when TOMMY joined DEEP PURPLE on stage and jammed “Smoke on the Water”.
    *As for me it was really something special, since I’m originally from there to say that I finally played Wembley words can’t really describe the feeling.
    Ross CAT- This weekend will be quite exciting for STYX with the big fan festival at the Casino Rama.           *What makes it even more exciting for you is that it’s in your own backyard just outside of Toronto.
    GOWAN- We are really looking forward to kicking off the summer tour at the Casino Rama, the venue is just fantastic for a live show.
    *For sure it’s always nice to come home, it gives me the chance to reconnect with the people who help me build my solo career, as well as share with them the exceptional music I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of since joining STYX.
   Ross CAT- Will original bassist CHUCK PANOZZO ( be joining the band for these shows?  I know he plays some of the bands gigs throughout the year while he continues his valiant fight against HIV.
    GOWAN- He intends on being part of the weekend festivities as well as performing a few songs during the set.
  I believe he will be doing an exclusive book signing as welll.  His new book just came out called The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and my Life with STYX; I haven’t had the chance to read it yet but TOMMY has and absolutely loved it.
    Ross CAT- The band is part of one of this summers biggest tour packages with DEF LEPPARD, not to mention FOREIGNER on some select dates. The band shows no signs of slowing down as the tour extends through the end of the year.
   GOWAN-This really is a big tour, we are doing over fifty shows with DEF LEPPARD and tickets are selling like crazy, we are stoked. We spoke with the guys in JOURNEY who toured with them last time out and we where told they are in top form. I think this is a great tour package for fans.
   Ross CAT- The “One with Everything” combo disc has really taken off; it also includes a couple brand new songs, any plans for a new STYX record anytime soon?
    GOWAN- We are kind of still riding high on that, the response to the whole project was better then any of us could have anticipated. The band was really on that night and the performance of the orchestra was breath taking.  It’s aired several times on HD Net and has garnered great reviews.
    *TOMMY just sent me over a bunch of footage he’s been putting together from the past few months including a video from the new single “Everything all the Time” which is on the CD/DVD.
    *As for new material we are always writing and working when we are on the road.  We have a bunch of songs and ideas that we would like to bring into the studio, we hope to do so later this year when the tour winds down.
    *The ROCK REPORT would like to thank LAWRENCE GOWAN once again for his valuable time and STYX Special Projects Manager TERRY GIBSON for making it happen.

***************PEACE and HARMONIES***********************

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