scottw at racerxill.com
Fri Apr 21 13:09:59 EDT 2006
WASHINGTON - In 1970, Eric Clapton joined Duane Allman and three other
musicians as Derek and the Dominos to record one of rock-and-roll=91s
masterwork albums, "Layla and other Assorted Love Songs."
Derek Trucks, a 26-year-old slide guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band =
leader of his own critically praised group, is to join Clapton=91s band =
European tour starting on May 5 that many fans hope will rekindle some =
the Derek and the Dominos magic.
The tour also marks another step in Trucks=91 evolution from an upstart =
player who shared stages with the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan at age =
to a musician critics including Rolling Stone magazine call one of the =
guitarists of his generation, with influences ranging from Indian =
music to jazz visionary Sun Ra.
Clapton, who reunited with his blues-rock band Cream last year, is =
few clues about this tour, and Trucks says he doesn=91t expect a Derek =
But Trucks, who was named after the group and whose slide style has been
likened to Allman=91s, has dusted off tunes from "Layla," for his own =
just in case.
"In a way it was kind of a warm-up, or at least to get those tunes back =
my head," Trucks said of the "Layla" songs.
"I think maybe we=91ll do a few tunes from that period and that record, =
it=91s an Eric Clapton tour," he said in an interview before a recent =
Two of the original Derek and the Dominos members -- Allman and Carl =
-- are dead. A third, Jim Gordon, developed schizophrenia and was =
after killing his mother in 1983.
Trucks began playing a yard-sale guitar at age 9. His father, Chris, a
brother of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, chaperoned him through =
rock-music world and taught him to avoid its excesses. Still youthful
looking, Trucks is cherub-faced with long blond hair usually worn in a
Intent on developing his own style, he said he stopped listening to =
guitarists for long periods and instead paid attention to singers, horn
players and Indian classical music.
Trucks is a meticulous player. He does not use a pick, and his slide =
slice and shimmer through vintage amplifiers, unmodified by the effects
pedals favored by many electric guitarists.
On Songlines, the new CD by his group, The Derek Trucks Band, original
tracks include the rocking "Revolution," and there are reggae, soul and
blues standards, as well as a song based on Islamic "qawwali" devotional
"I felt in some ways that this record "Songlines" was going to be a =
out of the band. It=91s going to turn a lot of people onto the group =
completely unfamiliar with it, and I think having the qawwali tune is a =
part of what the band does and we wanted to showcase it that way," =
Trucks says a key mentor was the experimental jazz-rock performer Col. =
"He turned me onto (John Coltrane=91s) "A Love Supreme," and Sun Ra and =
all these great records -- right when I needed it," Trucks said. "He =
musicians that have natural ability and just kind of shatters everything
they thought about music, and then you pick up the pieces and then you
figure out that there=91s a whole new world out there."
Music is a family business for Trucks, who is based in Jacksonville,
Florida. Besides playing in the Allmans with his uncle, he is married to
blues singer Susan Tedeschi. The keyboard player in his band, Kofi
Burbridge, is brother to Allmans bassist Oteil Burbridge. "It=91s =
have people around that you actually give a damn about," he said.
The Derek Trucks Band=91s roots go back to 1994. Its first CD was in =
The New York Times, which gave a generally favorable review to =
suggested Trucks=91 talents were outpacing his bandmates=91. "If I felt =
personally, I probably would have moved on , but I feel like there=91s a =
of music to be made with this group," Trucks said.
Last winter the band played posh concert halls. In April, it played a =
Davidson dealership. "When you play in a Harley dealership you don=91t =
the Indian classical tunes or the straight-ahead jazz tunes," he joked.
Trucks doesn=91t sing: He leaves that to bandmate Mike Mattison. In
performance he is a figure of concentration, revealing only an =
"When you=91re on stage and focusing ... You=91re hypercritical. You =
want to be
able to listen back to a tape and not just be horrified by what I hear," =
"There are actually times where you can actually watch yourself and the =
play, like you=91re almost stepping away from it," he said. "And then =
suddenly come back and there=91s a few wrong notes on the way back. On a =
night, you=91re a spectator too."
Rolling Stone in 2003 named Trucks to its top-100 list of guitar greats. =
was the youngest to join legends including Clapton and Allman. But =
acknowledges the era of iconic guitar heroes has passed. "I think =
for the better. Not many that were held up in that status survived it," =
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