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The Derek Trucks Band
LIVE AT GEORGIA THEATRE
(derektrucksband.com)

When guitarist Derek Trucks made his debut recording seven years ago, he was full of fire, relentlessly exploring a distinctive approach to slide guitar that incorporated Eastern tonalities and scales and raw bursts of improvisation. It takes him 10 songs to reach that level of playing on this two-disc live set, which is available only through his Web site and the iTunes store. Like this summerís Allman Brothers show at the Tweeter Center, which featured Trucks and fellow Allman guitarist Warren Haynes, the overall performance caught on these CDs is hard to fault, but itís also hard to find much excitement. Kofi Burbridge seems to make more creative statements than the groupís leader, especially on flute, bringing a fresh melodic voice to whatís generally repetitive jamming. One problem may be that in refining his technique, Trucks has trimmed too many of its edges. His tone is flawless and heís always tasteful, even when he commands his instrumentís strings to speak in staccato phrases at the conclusion of "Joyful Noise." That makes for too-easy listening. Itís obvious in numbers like "Sonido Alegre" that Trucks, whoís only 24, can still step up and howl directly from his heart on guitar. He just needs to do it more often.

(The Derek Trucks Band perform November 20 at Avalon, 15 Lansdowne Street in Boston; call 617-931-2000.)

BY TED DROZDOWSKI


Issue Date: October 22 - 28, 2004
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