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Derek Trucks & John Mayer play for BB King

13 Dec

BB King was only a couple of weeks away from his 87th birthday when he played the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 5, 2012.  For the finale he was joined on stage by Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and John Mayer.

Even now BB King tours nearly 300 nights a year, clearly the love he gives and receives keeps him going.  I was lucky enough to catch BB King in a small lounge in Reno, Nevada in 1973 and it remains a vivid memory.

Here’s a tip, rent or buy his DVD about his life, it has interviews with Clapton, Santana, Derek Trucks, Dr. John and many, many more.  It is a wonderful film about an amazing person.

New York Times on Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi

8 Nov

 

Each week, Val Haller, the founder of the music Web site Valslist.com, matches music from her baby boom generation to music of her 20-something sons’ generation.

Val Haller has a nice piece in the New York Times that recommends the Tedeschi Trucks Band to Bonnie Raitt fans.  Her own website is worth visiting regularly, she helps “busy adults keep up with what’s happening in modern music.”  Also a big thank you to her for mentioning this site in her article.

My new interview with the Groovemaster Jerry Jemmott

10 Apr

Jerry Jemmott’s groove is the bedrock of guitarist B.B. King’s career defining hit, “The Thrill is Gone.” He was in the studio with Duane Allman and singer Wilson Pickett recording “Hey Jude,” a track that was instrumental in launching the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist’s musical career; and they were together again for flautist Herbie Mann’s Push Push (Atlantic, 1971), Allman’s first and only jazz sessions, and the last full album he recorded prior to his death on October 29, 1971. Jemmott was also there on December 13, 1968, when guitarist Mike Bloomfield called another six-stringer, an unknown Johnny Winter, up onstage at the Fillmore East—a Friday the 13th that turned out to be Winter’s lucky day.

Jemmott was with singer Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul herself, when she conquered San Francisco’s hippie community at the Fillmore West in March of 1971. The album, drawn from this series of concerts (with a surprise appearance by singer Ray Charles), earned her a gold record, and was something she would later refer to as a highlight of her career.

Jerry Jemmott’s blues credits are truly remarkable: in addition to B.B. King, Freddie King, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, there’s his legendary association with Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and King Curtis. In my last column, Jimmy Herring had this to say about him: “He’s a genius, there’s just nobody like him. He’s the sound that defined an entire generation. I love Jerry Jemmott, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Another of his seminal achievements, which will no doubt be watched by generations yet unborn, was his collaboration with Jaco Pastorius on the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1985). Even beyond its instructional value, because it was done so close to Pastorius’ death on September 21, 1987, it provides an invaluable insight into this extraordinary musician and composer. Pastorius had this to say about Jerry Jemmott: “He was my idol. That stuttering kind of bass line, bouncing all around the beat but keeping it right in the groove—well, they don’t call Jerry the Groovemaster for nothing. He’s the best.”

In this extensive interview Jerry Jemmott speaks about all this, as well as his wide ranging session work for Atlantic Records, and his current gig with blues/rock legend Gregg Allman.

Read the interview here.

Talkin’ Blues with Jimmy Herring

27 Dec

Check out my interview with Jimmy Herring on All About Jazz.

Tedeschi Trucks Band: So what does Revelator reveal?

19 Jun

Two wings of equal strength endow a bird with the capacity to truly soar. This principle also helps to explain why Revelator (Sony, 2011), the debut album of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has soared to #1 for blues releases on Amazon, #2 in rock, and #3 in all of music. This band brings together vocalist Susan Tedeschi, whose previous release in 2009 earned her a Grammy nomination, with slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who won the Grammy for his 2009 release. What’s particularly striking in this pairing is how evenly matched these exceptional talents are. Continue reading

My Interview with Susan Tedeschi

7 Jun

What a treat it was to interview Susan Tedeschi, the future looks bright for the Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band.  Read the interview on All About Jazz.

Allman Brothers Band – What Now?

21 Jun

So what do Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White have in common with Kid Rock, Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top?

All were part of the Allman Brothers Band’s three-week musical extravaganza at New York City’s Beacon Theater celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary. This year’s list of surprise guests also included Johnny Winter, Taj Mahal, Sheryl Crow, John Hammond, Boz Scaggs, Chuck Leavell, Levon Helm, Bruce Hornsby, Southside Johnny, The Juke Horns, Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Bramlett, Jimmy Herring, Robert Randolph, Sonny Landreth, Bob Margolin, John Popper, Trey Anastasio, and members of Los Lobos, Cowboy, Wet Willie and The Grateful Dead.

Please check out my recent piece on All About Jazz

The Allman Brothers Band – 40 Year Out

Eric Clapton’s 2007 Crossroads Festival

16 Dec
       

In case you missed it, PBS has a few clips online here. And here is the set list of the PBS broadcast of Eric Clapton’s CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL CHICAGO
Premiered on November 28, 2007 on PBS

MUSICAL SELECTIONS

The evening’s program was recorded live at Toyota Park in Chicago, Illinois in July 2007.

“Uberesso”
Sonny Landreth

“Poor Johnny”
Music and lyrics by Robert Cray
The Robert Cray Band

“Sitting on Top of the World”
Music and lyrics by Howlin’ Wolf
Hubert Sumlin with The Robert Cray Band and Jimmie Vaughan Continue reading

Derek Trucks – Guitarist Extraordinaire

3 Aug

With regard to the slide guitar, Duane Allman was such a commanding figure that any discussion of the instrument always comes back to him. Indeed, it’s rare to find an article about slide guitar that doesn’t mention Duane Allman. For decades it seemed like his unrivaled supremacy on the slide guitar would never be questioned. Then came Derek Trucks.

In the case of Derek Trucks, there are valid reasons to mention Duane Allman. First there are family ties. Derek’s uncle, Butch Trucks, was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. Derek’s parents named him in honor of the great LP “Layla” which resulted from the legendary recording sessions in Miami, Florida involving Eric Clapton and Duane Allman under the name of “Derek and the Dominoes.” The comparisons naturally increased when Derek Trucks took over Duane Allman’s slide duties when he joined the Allman Brothers Band. Finally, the buzz reached the world in 2006/07 when Derek recreated the original magic of the Derek and the Dominoes legacy by performing much of that recording on stage with Eric Clapton.

Despite all this, Derek is finally emerging from behind the giant shadow cast by Duane Allman and is being recognized as an extremely gifted player who has his own sound, style and artistic vision.

trucks_young When Derek Trucks looked like this, he sounded like this. By the age of eleven he was already performing professionally. Wade Tatangelo of the McClatchy Newspapers chain interviewed Derek in January of 2007:

Most twentysomething guitarists would be petrified at the thought of sharing a stage with Clapton. But Trucks has been blowing audiences away for more than a decade. His first brush with a genuine rock legend occurred in Clearwater, Fla., in 1992. Trucks, 12, was the opening act for Bob Dylan. Continue reading

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