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Guitar hero, live

Live at Georgia Theatre
Live at Georgia Theatre
By the Derek Trucks Band

Columbia Records: 2004

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This review first appeared in the Autumn 2004 issue of Turbula.

Forget, if you will (at least for a second), the Allman Brothers Band. Yes, young guitar phenom Derek Trucks plays in the Allman Bros. now. And yes, his uncle, Butch Trucks, was a founding member of that seminal band and remains one of the drummers.

But if you really want to know where Derek Trucks comes from musically on his own, think the British blues bands: Savoy Brown. The Bluesbreakers. Or even heavier – The Yardbirds, perhaps. Wishbone Ash. Or Robin Trower.

Because that's the sensibility that Trucks brings to his stew of music: The blues on steroids, with lots of distortion, a thick backbeat, and a willingness to explore just about anything, anywhere.

His new double-live CD (only available online from his music store,, is by far the best album Trucks has released yet. The interplay with his band is at its highest level, Trucks' own playing is inspired. This is definitely jam-band territory, with long, extended solos and a definite party groove. But even those who don't think they like jam bands just might get pulled in by the stellar musicianship, solid songwriting and overriding sense of purpose.