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PHOTO BY MARK SELIGER The Tedeschi Trucks Band, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown. PHOTO BY MARK SELIGER The Tedeschi Trucks Band, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown.

It's the domino effect for Derek Trucks

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN Focus Editor in Focus

You might not have been surprised if Derek Trucks had named his band Derek and the Dominos.

After all, his parents named him after the Eric Clapton rock band, which released the 1970 landmark album, "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs," with Duane Allman playing slide guitar, Trucks says in a recent phone interview from the road during his tour.

And in the domino effect that happens in the world of rock 'n' roll, Derek became a blues guitar prodigy at age nine, playing public gigs with Buddy Guy and, yes, later, with Eric Clapton himself.

Trucks collaborated with Clapton in 2006 on "The Road to Escondido," which featured J.J. Cale. Trucks performed at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival and toured in Clapton's band.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band performs 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown.

The 11-member band, which includes Susan Tedeschi, to whom Trucks has been married since 2001, on lead vocals, was founded in 2010. The couple has a son and daughter.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band has released "Revelator," which won a Best Blues Album Grammy; "Everybody's Talkin'," the follow up, and "Made Up Mind," released in August on Sony Masterwork and debuting at No. 11 on Billboard's Top 200 Album, No. 1 on Blues, No. 2 on Rock, No. 4 on Americana and No. 1 on the Roots Music Blues charts.

Trucks won a 2010 Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for The Derek Trucks Band's "Already Free." In 1996, Trucks formed The Derek Trucks Band, which released 10 albums.

By his 20th birthday, Trucks had played with Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, Stephen Stills and joined the Allmans in 1999, appearing on the albums, "Peakin' at the Beacon," "Live at the Beacon Theatre," "Hittin' the Note" and "One Way Out." His uncle, Butch Trucks, was a founding member of the Allmans, having played drums.

Trucks and Tedeschi Trucks band-mate Oteil Burbridge received lifetime Grammys for their membership in The Allman Brothers Band.

Trucks has appeared twice on Rolling Stone magazine's "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list. He was listed 81st in 2003 and 16th in 2011. He appeared on the cover of the Rolling Stone in 2007 in an article about "New Guitar Gods."

The Washington Post described Trucks' guitar playing thusly: "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."

The Wall Street Journal called Trucks "the most awe-inspiring electric slide guitar player performing today."

Trucks plays a mix of blues, soul, jazz, rock and gawwali (a Pakistan and Eastern India genre). He studied at the Ali Akbar Kahn College of Music, San Rafael, Calif.

Trucks is modest concerning the accolades about his guitar-playing prowess.

He has collaborated on recordings by an amazing range of musicians, including Junior Wells, Gregg Allman, Widespread Panic, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, David Sanborn, Elvin Bishop, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock.

Trucks says, growing up, famous musicians didn't stop at his parents' Jacksonville, Fla., home.

"My parents were big music fans," hence naming him after Derek and the Dominos. "I remember seeing Miles Davis at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival."

Of taking an 11-piece band on tour, Trucks says, "If we were ever going to do it, now was the time."

Trucks says the band's third album is its best to date. "It's the evolution of a band. It's a band that's been on the road for a bit."