Derek Trucks: Sweet Inspiration (Relix Revisited)
The Tedeschi Trucks Band will open their transcontinental year-end run tonight in Jacksonville at the Florida Theatre. Back in February 2009 Derek Trucks spoke with Relix about creating the home studio where he and Susan would later record, working with his wife and extended family as well as the arc of the Derek Trucks Band.
While it’s more than two and a half months before the official release of The Derek Trucks Band’s sixth studio recording on this unseasonably warm, late October evening in Connecticut, the impact of the forthcoming album resonates nonetheless.
The DTB is making its eighth consecutive fall appearance at The Mohegan Sun Casino’s Wolf Den, taking the stage in climate-controlled comfort with the lone distraction offered by the chiming of the surrounding slot machines disgorging their winnings in the key of middle C. There is some element of cognitive dissonance as the group’s deadly earnest band leader wields his Gibson SG before a faux-rock façade ringed by animatronic wolves. But on another level, this performance in a venue that his bandmates affectionately describe as surreal, also affirms Trucks’ view that music and not its adornment should be paramount: If the intent is true then the setting can be irrelevant (although one may have to push the pedal down a little harder to compensate for the slots).
The group’s visits to the Den have provided annual touchstones to assess the state of the band and its following. Judging by the entrance queue for this general admission show, which extends well beyond the gaming floor more than two hours before show time, interest in the group is at an all-time high. Correspondingly, it is no coincidence that when the sextet eventually kicks into its opening number, a spirited cover of Bob Dylan’s “Down in the Flood” that as a performance ensemble, The Derek Trucks Band is in fine fettle as well.
The song carries weight beyond the fact that it is the quintessence of a successful cover, which honors the original composition yet flavors it with local seasonings—it represents the first track and advance single from Already Free. “Down in the Flood” also merits note as it reflects a series of new tunes the band has placed into rotation after a extended stretch in which Trucks and the group engaged in a series of pursuits that helped to raise the profile of the DTB, yet limited its ability to invigorate performances with new material.
“I think we were a little log-jammed there, especially late last year, early this year,” vocalist Mike Mattison affirms. “But I think it’s all flowing again. When you start recording and you’re crafting new stuff, it’s a difficult time to add new music to the set. You don’t necessarily want to show your hand and a lot of the songs are still in flux. It’s nice now finally to be able to play the stuff we’ve worked so hard on. Then once you start playing live, it inspires you to go out and write more and bring more stuff into the fold. But yes, we did get a little bottlenecked there.”
It’s also fair to say, on an altogether different level, that given Derek Trucks’ prodigious talent on guitar, that the band will be more than a little bottlenecked for some time to come. Indeed, it is worth stipulating from the outset that Derek Trucks is one of the preeminent guitarists in the world today. Playing without a pick and typically placing a vintage glass Coricidin medicine bottle over his left hand ring finger (the same slide favored by Duane Allman), Trucks has long distinguished himself for the range of tones he can evoke, from gorgeous, often yearning melodic passages to sharp, stinging leads.
Bassist Todd Smallie, who has performed more than 2,000 gigs with Trucks over the past decade and a half, ever since Jeff Sipe and Jimmy Herring introduced him to the then 14-year-old guitarist, observes, “He just has a real natural sense to be lyrical. When I first joined the band he reminded me of a Wayne Shorter-type musician; he just had an incredible sense of tone and harmony. From the beginning he could really dig in to the melody and make it sound like a person singing. He talks like this is something he just got into lately but it’s been his trademark from the beginning, even if he didn’t know it.” The results have earned the guitar player a fair share of lofty admirers.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
- Relix Live Fridays: Trey Anastasio at The Fox
- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals "The Lion The Beast The Beat" (Official Video)
- The Allman Brothers Band Before Gregg?
- The M & Ms: Medeski, Mali, Mercurio, Moore at (Le) Poisson Rouge (A Gallery)
- Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger "The Pequod"
- Trey Anastasio with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center
- More Visions of the Hangout Music Festival 2013 (A Gallery)
- A Blowout for the So So Glos
- Interlocken Festival to Feature Neil Young, Furthur, String Cheese Incident, Black Crowes, Zac Brown and More
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers "Friend of The Devil" at the Beacon
- The Salvation of Page McConnell (Relix Revisited)
- Interlocken Adds Widespread Panic and John Fogerty, Furthur to Play Workingman’s Dead
- Warren Haynes and Joe Bonamassa "If Heartaches Were Nickels"
- The Final Ingredient in Dogfish Head’s Grateful Dead Tribute Ale Is…
- Stone Gossard Readies His Moonlander
- Trey Anastasio Band at The Hangout (Video Stream)
- Doctor’s Orders: So what should we call the Super Ball IX Newspaper?
- John Kadlecik Posts Statement on Bob Weir’s Collapse
- "I Wanne Be In moe.": The Latest Volunteers
- Bob Weir Escorted Off Stage During Furthur Show
- Furthur Cancels BottleRock Show as Bob Weir Is Out Of Commision
- Vote for Your Favorite "I Wanne Be In moe." Contestant
- Doctor’s Orders: What’s Your Favorite Furthur Song? (Win Copy of Relix Signed by Phil and Bobby)
- On The Verge Poll