Derek Trucks

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Derek Trucks
Derek Trucks with Gibson SG in 2009
Derek Trucks with Gibson SG in 2009
Background information
Born (1979-06-08) June 8, 1979 (age 44)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, sarod
Years active1990–present
Member of
Formerly of

Derek Trucks (born June 8, 1979) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and founder of The Derek Trucks Band. He became an official member of The Allman Brothers Band in 1999. In 2010, he formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band with his wife, blues singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi. His musical style encompasses several genres and he has twice appeared on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He is the nephew of the late Butch Trucks, drummer for the Allman Brothers.

Early life[edit]

A young Trucks (right) with musician Livingston Taylor
Trucks age 9–10 with the Gregg Allman band

Trucks was born in Jacksonville, Florida. According to Trucks, the name of Eric Clapton's band, Derek and the Dominos, had "something to do with the name [Derek] if not the spelling".[1]

Trucks bought his first guitar at a yard sale for $5 at age nine and became a child prodigy, playing his first paid performance at age 11.[2][3] Trucks began playing the guitar using a slide because it allowed him to play the guitar despite his small hands as a young guitarist.[4] By his 13th birthday, Trucks had played alongside Buddy Guy[5] and toured with Thunderhawk.[3][6]


Trucks formed The Derek Trucks Band in 1994, and[2][7] by his 20th birthday, he had played with such artists as Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, and Stephen Stills.[8] In 1999, he toured as a member of Phil Lesh & Friends.[9] After performing with The Allman Brothers Band for several years as a guest musician, Trucks became a formal member of the band in 1999[2] and appeared on the albums Peakin' at the Beacon, Live at the Beacon Theatre, Hittin' the Note and One Way Out. In 2006 Trucks began a studio collaboration with JJ Cale and Eric Clapton called The Road to Escondido and performed with three bands in 17 countries that year.[2] Trucks was invited to perform at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, and after the festival, he toured as part of Clapton's band.[2][10]

Merging talents[edit]

Trucks built a studio in his home in January 2008, which he and his band used to record their album: Already Free. Trucks and his wife, Susan Tedeschi, combined their bands to form the Soul Stew Revival in 2007, and performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2008.[11][12][13][14] In late 2009, Trucks and his band went on hiatus, after which the band dissolved. In 2010, Trucks formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band with his wife.[14][15] On January 8, 2014, Trucks announced that he and fellow guitarist Warren Haynes planned to leave the Allman Brothers Band at the end of 2014.[16] That band announced its retirement, with Trucks playing as a member through their final show on October 28, 2014, at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Musical style[edit]

Trucks credits guitarist Duane Allman and bluesman Elmore James as the two slide guitarists who influenced his early style, but he has since been inspired by John Lee Hooker, Ali Akbar Khan,[17] Howlin' Wolf, Albert King, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Wayne Shorter, Toy Caldwell, Johnny Winter, Freddie King and B.B. King.[17][18][19]

His music is rooted in blues and rock, embracing jam band, Southern rock, and jazz.[20][21] Trucks plays an eclectic blend of blues, soul, jazz, rock, qawwali music (a genre of music from Pakistan and western India), Latin music, and other kinds of world music[22] Trucks became a fan of Khan, a Hindustani classical musician known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod and popularising Indian classical music in the West, often in conjunction with sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. Trucks studied at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California.[23][24] Speaking of Khan, Trucks says "there are two recordings, which are part of my 'desert-island' disc… One is called Signature Series Volume II. Whenever I need to wipe the slate clean, I listen to it."[25]

Trucks playing a resonator guitar

Trucks plays guitar in an open E tuning,[26] using his signature glass slide by Dunlop, modeled off of an old Coricidin bottle but without the seam.[27]

In 2006, two vintage (1965 and 1968) Fender Super Reverb amplifiers, a Hammond B-3 organ, two Leslie speaker cabinets, and a Hohner E-7 clavinet were stolen from Trucks and later recovered by the Atlanta Police Department.[7]


Trucks has appeared twice in Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".[22][28][29] He was listed as 81st in 2003 and 16th in 2011. A 2006 article in The Wall Street Journal described him as "the most awe-inspiring electric slide guitar player performing today".[24] In 2007, Trucks appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone for an article called the "New Guitar Gods".[18] [dead link] Trucks is a creative guitarist according to his uncle, the late Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks: "He never does the same thing twice".[30] The Washington Post in 2009 described Trucks' guitar style as "notes and chords that soar, slice, and glide, sounding like a cross between Duane Allman on a '61 Gibson Les Paul and John Coltrane on tenor sax".[31] The Derek Trucks Band's album Already Free debuted at number 19 on the Billboard Top 200 chart,[32] and number one on the Internet chart, number four on the rock chart, and number one on the blues chart.[11][32]

In 2010, The Derek Trucks Band won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for the album Already Free. In 2012, Trucks and Tedeschi won the Grammy Award for Best Blues Album for the Tedeschi Trucks Band's debut album Revelator.[33] On February 12, 2012, Trucks accepted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award along with 10 other members of The Allman Brothers Band.[34][35] On February 21, 2012, Derek Trucks and his wife joined other blues musicians for a performance at the White House for President Obama and his guests.[36]

In September 2012, John Mayer and Derek Trucks joined B.B. King on stage at the Hollywood Bowl for an encore version of B.B.'s song "Guess Who". Concluding the performance, B.B. King made several remarks about Trucks's guitar work, ending with, "That's about as good as I've ever heard it—as good as I've ever heard it, and I mean it".[37]

Personal life[edit]

Trucks' late uncle, Butch Trucks, was a founding member and drummer of The Allman Brothers Band. His younger brother is Duane Trucks, who is a member of Widespread Panic and Hard Working Americans.[6] His great-uncle, Virgil Trucks, was a major league baseball pitcher in the 1940s and 1950s, winning 177 games in his career.[38]

In 2001, Trucks married singer and musician Susan Tedeschi, and they had a son in March 2002 and a daughter in 2004.[39][40][41] Trucks is a fan of the Atlanta Braves, the Florida State Seminoles,[42] and his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars.[43]


With the Derek Trucks Band[edit]

With the Allman Brothers Band[edit]

With The Tedeschi Trucks Band[edit]



  1. ^ Clash, Jim (2007). "Rocker Derek Trucks". Forbes Magazine's Adventurer Column. pp. Video version. Archived from the original on October 8, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tatangelo, Wade (January 4, 2007). "Derek Trucks on playing with Allman, Clapton, Dylan". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved June 4, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "The Derek Trucks Band Biography". 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  4. ^ "Derek Trucks: At Guitar Center – Influences and Slide". Guitar Center TV. June 1, 2010. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  5. ^ Braiker, Brian (January 20, 2009). "Derek Trucks Q&A: Guitar Hero on Jamming With Legends and Covering Dylan". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "The Derek Trucks Band Artist Bio". Promotional talent biography. Entourage Talent Associates. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Tennille, Andy (February 5, 2006). "Finding His Path". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  8. ^ Skelly, Richard (2006). "Derek Trucks: Biography". MSN Music. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  9. ^ "Derek Trucks Songlines". March 16, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  10. ^ Leslie, Jimmy (June 2009). "Derek Trucks (FEATURES: Blues) Interview". Guitar Player Magazine. New Bay Media.
  11. ^ a b "Derek Trucks/Soul Stew Update". June 29, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  12. ^ Derek Trucks Band Live at That Tent, Bonnaroo on 2008-06-16. mrsoul. June 16, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2008 – via Internet Archive.
  13. ^ Tennille, Andy. "Derek and Susan, It's a Family Thing". Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  14. ^ a b Bryson, Alan (June 7, 2010). "Susan Tedeschi: Dreams and Legends". All About Jazz. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  15. ^ "Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Reveal Band Lineup". March 29, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  16. ^ Doyle, Patrick (January 8, 2014). "Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks Leaving Allman Brothers Band". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Fricke, David (February 12, 2007). "The New Guitar Gods Mayer, Frusciante, Trucks on their Inspirations". Video and front page interview as one of the new "Guitar Gods" naming Trucks as the "Jam King". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  18. ^ a b Fricke, David (February 22, 2007). "The New Guitar Gods: John Mayer, John Frusciante and Derek Trucks". Rolling Stone. No. 1020. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2008.
  19. ^ Wilcock, Don (November 29, 2012). "Derek Trucks and the Difference Between Discipline and Obsession". Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  20. ^ "Derek Trucks Band on Mountain Stage". Interview and Band Performance on National Public Radio. 2009 NPR. May 11, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  21. ^ Machosky, Michael (August 19, 2009). "Derek Trucks backs luck with hard work". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Archived from the original on August 23, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  22. ^ a b MSN City Guide The Derek Trucks Band Archived October 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Allmusic accessdate 2008-08-18
  23. ^ Bhattacharya, Sumit (February 13, 2006). "New rock guitar god is Indian shishya". Retrieved June 1, 2008.
  24. ^ a b "Six-String Creation: The Derek Trucks Band". National Public Radio. March 25, 2006. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  25. ^ Bhattacharya, Sumit. "Derek Trucks on Ustad Ali Akbar Khan". Rediff. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  26. ^ "Derek Trucks Interview". Muzicosphere. May 9, 2009. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  27. ^ Schiebel, Christopher D. (December 30, 2022). "Derek Trucks Guitars & Gear (2023 Update)". Guitar Lobby. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  28. ^ Rolling Stone The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time 2003-08-27
  29. ^ "The Derek Trucks Band music, videos, stats, and photos". Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  30. ^ Wright, Jeb (2009). "The Moogis Industry: An Exclusive Interview with Butch Trucks". Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  31. ^ Suarez, Ernest (May 29, 2009). "'Already Free,' Trucks Rolls on the Guitar Hero Pays Homage to the Past". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  32. ^ a b WNEW; CBS Radio, Inc (2008). "Where Rock Lives; Derek Trucks Band". Derek, Conan and Cash. CBS Broadcasting. Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  33. ^ Lovejoy, Heather (February 14, 2012). "Jacksonville's Tedeschi Trucks band wins Grammy for best blues album". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  34. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (February 12, 2012). "Grammy award lifetime achievements". Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  35. ^ Marco R. delia Cava (February 7, 2012). "Allmans are all in for Grammys". USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  36. ^ "Performances at the WHITE HOUSE". Retrieved February 22, 2012 – via National Archives.
  37. ^ "BB King with John Mayer, Tedeschi Trucks, Finale, Hollywood Bowl 9-5-12 part 1 - YouTube". Archived from the original on August 16, 2022. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  38. ^ Gammons, Peter (February 27, 2010). "Gammons: Music connects Trucks family Former Tigers great, kin share love of the game". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  39. ^ Mayshark, Jesse Fox Mayshark (March 5, 2006). "MUSIC; Ramblin' Man and Woman, Married With Kids". Arts. The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2009.
  40. ^ "Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival". 2007. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  41. ^ Spies, Jessica (July 16, 2010). "An Allman Brother does his own thing". The Patriot Ledger. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  42. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  43. ^ Armonaitis, Dan (October 19, 2012). "Derek Trucks on his great uncle Virgil, the infield fly rule and other baseball thoughts | Sound Observations". Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.

External links[edit]