Novelist Darin Strauss on Derek Trucks

23 Feb

In the New York Times on February 20th, 2008 novelist Darin Strauss posted a playlist in which he postulates that Derek Trucks might be the greatest slide guitarist who ever lived. Strauss is the author of

From his website: “Darin Strauss is the author of the international bestseller Chang and Eng, and the New York Times Notable Book The Real McCoy, one of the New York Public Library’s “25 Books to Remember of 2002.” His work has been translated into fourteen languages, and he teaches writing at New York University, for which he won a 2005 “Outstanding Dozen” teaching award. Also a screenwriter, Darin sold the rights to Chang and Eng to Disney, and is currently adapting the novel for the screen with the actor Gary Oldman.

Darin was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. ”

Here’s what he has to say about Derek Trucks:

The Derek Trucks Band. I’m no fan of jam bands. You can take your Gov’t Mule, your Phish, your Rusted Root. But Derek Trucks is a special musician – perhaps the greatest slide guitarist who ever lived. Really. On par with Blind Willie Johnson and better than Ry Cooder. And better, too, than the man he replaced in the Allman Brothers – the legendary Duane himself. Problem is, Trucks’s songs are often mediocre, and his band’s singer is terrible. But on this instrumental track, he mixes up lydian, mixolydian and aeolian scales to approximate the Qawwali music of Pakistan, specifically that of its most famous practitioner, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (whose “Maki Madni” and “Sahib Teri Bandi” together make up this loosely-adapted cover version). Trucks expands not only what was thought possible with a slide guitar, but the sonic vocabulary of the electric guitar itself.

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One Response to “Novelist Darin Strauss on Derek Trucks”

  1. Tony Stephens May 13, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    Wish I could sing as terribly as Mike Mattison…

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