The DEREK TRUCKS BAND
UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Tuesday, May 15th
KEY TO THE HIGHWAY…..
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
*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 @
www.derektrucks.com for more tour information
including a second stop for DEREK here in August with the ALLMAN
ROSS CAT- 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
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
have been really supportive of the group from the very beginning and we really
ROSS CAT- 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?
DEREK TRUCKS- 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
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.
TRUCKS- 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
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.
ROSS CAT- 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?
D.TRUCKS- 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?
D.TRUCKS- 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.
ROSS CAT- 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
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***************
HODGSON (former singer/songwriter SUPERTRAMP)
Casino Avalon Ballroom
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
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
*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
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
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 (www.concertfordiana.com)
on Sunday July 1st.Tell us your feelings about being part of that spectacular
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
*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 www.rogerhodgson.com.
I look forward to seeing everyone this weekend at the Fallsview Casino
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 www.styxfest.com.
*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 www.styxworld.com
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 www.gowan.org.
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
Ross CAT- Will original bassist CHUCK PANOZZO (www.chuckpanozzo.com)
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
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
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
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
*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***********************