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Author: Subject: "Susan's strength is traditional blues - which is not Derek's"

Universal Peach





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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:06 PM
I saw this quote in another thread and didn't want to hijack that thread, so I started this one.

I haven't been as critical of TTB as some, and actually really enjoy their music, but I think there is some truth to the statement in the title of this thread. While the whole TTB pro vs. con debate has been going on here for some time, this seems like a good angle on that discussion.

Many people who have a casual knowledge of Derek as a slide player assume that he is a straight-up blues player, but those of us who are more familiar with Derek know better. His playing is at least as informed by jazz, Indian music, and the "out" avant garde leanings of Col. Bruce Hampton as it is by blues.

Personally, I enjoy the Eastern side of Derek's playing above all else. I think that is where he is really breaking new ground, or at least building a bridge between Elmore James and Ravi Shankar. The intro to "Midnight In Harlem" is a good example of this kind of playing.

Susan, on the other hand, seems much more comfortable in a blues setting, or even an R&B context like the Sly and the Family Stone covers the TTB has been doing. While Susan is a good musician, her thing isn't taking 10 minute solos on Coltrane tunes or playing Indian ragas.

So what do you say? Can Derek and Susan synthesize their disparate influences into a whole that is truly more than the sum of their parts? Or are they holding each other back from excelling at their respective strengths?

 
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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:25 PM
You can never learn everything there is to learn about music. It's infinate.
 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:29 PM
^^^
true

I agree that my favorite part of Derek's playing is the east meets west, jazz / blues combined with Eastern music, modern take on Coltrane. I would love him to do more stuff like that.

I also enjoy TTB. Even though I prefer Derek's more "Coltanesque" playing, I wouldn't say that he is being held back. He is growing in other ways - songwriting for one.
Midnight in Harlem and These Walls are good examples of the styles mingling.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:38 PM
Derek is a great musician and can play anything. He is a blues based musician and just because he doesn't play the blues all the time, it is his roots. He played the blues like that straight when he was a kid. His playing is more sophisticated now. He is a very unique player. I never mistake his playing for anyone else's. Mostly I love that he follows his own muse and heart and could care less about what other people say. Rock on Derek. Do what you want.
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:38 PM
Good point about the songwriting, stormyrider. To me, by far the strongest part of TTB so far has been their original songs like Nobody's Free and Midnight In Harlem.

And yes, kudos to Derek for trying to grow in other ways. He's already proven himself a million times over as a hotshot guitar soloist. Now his focus seems to be on the songs, and the quality of the original material in TTB reflects that.

 
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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:43 PM
The real benefit for us fans is that Derek is still so young. We could be blessed for many years with the music of Derek in it's different styles.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 01:51 PM
the one other thing I'll add is that Derek's been moving in this direction.
in the studio, compare Songlines to Already Free

live, compare GA State to Roadsongs

anyway, as long as Derek keeps playing I'll be listening.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 02:23 PM
As that was my comment I'll chime in again. I feel this is why TTB is less than the sum of its parts. Soul Stew was fun; not earth shattering. TTB works best when highlighting Susan (Midnight in Harlem leaps to mind) with Derek adding great guitar; but not to his full Karma

My favorite ABB sit ins are Jazz fusion related (Sco, Bill Evans, Brecker) because Derek, Oteil and Warren (who can play everything) shine. It was the addition of the young guys who kept this band alive. Rather than doing 90 minutes at Westbury with an aging line up, we now really have the treat of seeing two bands. Half the show is Gregg led and traditional. Half is Warren led with his connections bringing in all these wonderful additions. We really see two shows for the price of one; and to me Derek has Jazz Fusion chops like no other.

So, in the TTB he is not front and center

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 02:37 PM
Great thread...I kinda prefer the blues side of Derek, but his bridge that brings Elmore James to Ravi (and I am quoting Rob here) is grounbreaking. I really think, as Derek grows, his playing will continue to evolve as long as chooses to follow His heart....and the fact that He is doing what He wants to do and follows His own heart reminds me of the spirit of Duane...

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 02:48 PM
I'm not so sure I agree. Yes, Derek's Eastern playing is exceptional. However, the man can play some blues. One of my favorite Derek concerts was his Already Free tour. I hadn't heard any of that material before and when he started playing that raw bluesy sound of Down in the Flood and Don't Miss Me, I was ecstatic. That killer guitar in Back Where I Started...Personally that is the direction I hope he pursues.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 03:01 PM
For me, Susan is like Gregg. Blues and R&B. Derek is like Duane. He can play EVERYTHING.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 03:05 PM
You say traditional blues is not Derek's strength but I disagree after watching clips like these. It may not be his biggest strength but I would say that he is pretty damn strong at playing traditional blues. Extremely strong IMO!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5r2s4vr3kM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UauECrCIYl8



[Edited on 2/26/2012 by sixty8]

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 03:43 PM
quote:

Can Derek and Susan synthesize their disparate influences into a whole that is truly more than the sum of their parts? Or are they holding each other back from excelling at their respective strengths?


There are no definitive "yes" or "no" answers to these questions. There can only be opinions, and we've all got them.

My opinion to your first question - Yes and they're already well on the way.

My opinion to your second question - Definitely not.

One final point - Derek & Susan are doing musically what they choose to do and seem to really be enjoying it.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 03:49 PM
quote:
Or are they holding each other back from excelling at their respective strengths?



I have been saying this for 2 years now

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 04:47 PM
quote:
Or are they holding each other back from excelling at their respective strengths?


I believe they are....definitely feel shortchanged with the ending of the dtb.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 05:24 PM
This is how I like to hear the boy play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clkrASgM8Rc&feature=related

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 05:42 PM
married, kids and three touring bands had to be hard. playing in the same band makes sense.
i wish them well.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 05:53 PM
quote:
married, kids and three touring bands had to be hard. playing in the same band makes sense.
i wish them well.


I wish them well too; but I do miss this sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d38eQVOCaJg

no throw me in a bit of Brecker, Evans and top it with pickled Herring and I'm in

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 06:10 PM
I love TTB, and I love Derek. Let him grow musically and let his personal life prosper. I loved The Derek Trucks Band as much as anyone, and yes I was disappointed when they called it a day but let the poor guy move on to the place he wants to be and if you don't want to move with him so what!!! Lot's of people do

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 06:19 PM
They're both great musicians and entertainers. The seem to enjoy what they're doing and they're making a living doing it.

I say BFD to whatever either one's strength is. I've seen both perform and have had fun every time.

[Edited on 2/27/2012 by StratDal]

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 06:28 PM
quote:
I love TTB, and I love Derek. Let him grow musically and let his personal life prosper. I loved The Derek Trucks Band as much as anyone, and yes I was disappointed when they called it a day but let the poor guy move on to the place he wants to be and if you don't want to move with him so what!!! Lot's of people do


Youwouldn't expect a bunch of people obsessively replaying notes played 43 years ago to let go of the past easily, would you?

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 06:52 PM
quote:
quote:
Or are they holding each other back from excelling at their respective strengths?


I believe they are....definitely feel shortchanged with the ending of the dtb.




To me, Susan is just another female singer; there is nothing fresh or new about her where Derek keeps pushing the envelope. Obviously, they have their reasons for collaborating.

BTW, it was George Harrison who first married the blues with eastern music 40 years ago.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 07:19 PM
quote:
quote:
Or are they holding each other back from excelling at their respective strengths?



I have been saying this for 2 years now


I agree
Derek is a horn player trapped in a guitar players body.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 08:41 PM
There are only 2 kinds of music, the blues and the "zipity do da"

[Edited on 2/27/2012 by spacemonkey]

 

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  posted on 2/26/2012 at 09:12 PM
I think what they are doing is the next great step for both of them and you can see that they are clearly enjoying the ride together.

For an OBTW, if Susan guests during the Beacon run,I hope they do "I'd Rather Be Blind" with Warren like the did at the White House

 
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