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The Derek Trucks Band

Friday, April 22, at the Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.

If the ubiquitous Warren Haynes is the busiest man on the jam band scene, then Derek Trucks -- his fellow Allman Brothers Band guitarist -- runs a close second. In addition to Trucks's frequent guest shots with Frogwings and Phil Lesh and Friends, Trucks fronts his own band. And it is here that he creates much of his most satisfying and adventurous music.

Trucks was a child prodigy. He picked up his first guitar -- a battered $5 acoustic bought at a garage sale -- at age nine, and just three years later, he was on the road with his first band. He later signed on with ABB full-time, joining his drumming uncle Butch in the venerable band. But it's in the DTB where the slide master really shines -- and his is that rare group that can turn out both a solid studio record and a great live effort, as both the laid-back, wonderful Soul Serenade and new album Live at the Georgia Theatre amply attest.

Like the ABB, the DTB has a lot of R&B/jazz influence in both its choice of covers (Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Mongo Santamaria, Curtis Mayfield) and its originals. But Trucks's own interests in Indian and East Asian music really set his band apart, and it also helps that Trucks has a talented band in keyboardist/flutist Kofi Burbridge, bassist Todd Smallie, percussionist Yonrico Scott and singer Mike Mattison. Burbridge -- brother of ABB bassist Oteil -- in particular adds much to the music, which unfolds at its own damn pace, but is never meandering or boring.

 
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