Personalities | Derek Trucks | Slide Sensation | Guitar Heroes

Derek Trucks was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1979. 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.

Trucks began playing the guitar using a ‘slide’ bar because it allowed him to play the guitar with his small hands. By his thirteenth birthday, Trucks had played alongside Buddy Guy and gone on tour with Thunderhawk. Trucks formed The Derek Trucks Band in 1996, and by the time he was 20, he had played with such artists as Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh and Stephen Stills.

Trucks credits guitarist Duane Allman and bluesman Elmore James as the two slide guitarists who influenced his early style. He was inspired by blues greats John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, B.B. King and Albert King, as well as the jazz players Miles Davis, Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Wayne Shorter.

After performing with The Allman Brothers Band for several years as a guest musician, Trucks became a formal member in 1999 and appeared on the albums Live At The Beacon Theater and Hittin’ The Note (both 2003). In 2006, Trucks began a studio collaboration with J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton called The Road To Escondido and that year performed with three bands in 17 different countries. Trucks was invited to perform at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, and after the festival, he toured as part of Clapton’s band.

Trucks built a studio in his home in January 2008, and he and his band recorded the album Already Free (2009). Trucks and his wife, guitarist Susan Tedeschi, combined their bands to form The Soul Stew Revival in 2007 and performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2008. In late 2009, Trucks and his band went on hiatus and then dissolved. In 2010, Trucks formed The Tedeschi Trucks Band with his wife. That same year, The Derek Trucks Band won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for Already Free. In 2012, The Tedeschi Trucks Band won the Grammy Award for Best Blues Album for the band’s debut album Revelator.

On 12 February 2012, Trucks accepted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, along with 10 other members of The Allman Brothers Band. On 8 January 2014, Trucks announced that he and fellow guitarist Warren Haynes planned to leave The Allman Brothers Band at the end of that year.

Essential Recordings

The Allman Brothers Band: Hittin’ The Note

J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton: The Road To Escondido

The Derek Trucks Band: Already Free

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Revelator

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