Butch Trucks & The Freight Train Band
August 21, 2015 - The Paramount Theater, Huntington, NY
Rock, Roots, & Blues – Live
Since the final performance of The Allman Brothers Band in October 2014, the exceptional music that band was known for lives on thru the pursuits of its’ former members. There is no stopping these guys.
Butch brought together a stellar group of musicians at the Wanee Festival in April 2015. The band included son Vaylor Trucks on guitar, playing with his father for the first time, Dave Yoke - guitar, Bruce Katz - keyboards, former ABB bandmates Oteil Burbridge - bass and Marc Quinones - percussion; and Lamar Williams, Jr. on vocals, the son of 70’s ABB bass player.
Butch and friends returned at the Peach Festival in August, this time with Jack Pearson and Pat Burgeson on guitar, and Bill Evans on sax, and the band was referred to as “Les Brers”.
August 21, 2015, marked the debut of Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band.
For forty-five years, Butch “Freight Train” Trucks was the power engine driving ABB, aided and abetted by brother Jaimoe in the best-known double-drummer combination ever.
Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band features Trucks, bassist Berry Oakley, Jr. - the son of The Allman Brothers Band’s founding bassist - and a rotating mix of guests.
Joining the band at the August 21 show at The Paramount, in Huntington, NY, was Butch’s son, Vaylor Trucks, on guitar. I think the question in the minds of most in attendance was “Where the hell has this guy been?” Playing in his own angular jazz-influenced style (think John McLaughlin/Frank Zappa) Vaylor added a unique fresh take on blues standards, and ABB classics.
Completing the quartet was veteran keyboardist Bruce Katz (Ronnie Earl, Delbert McClinton, Gregg Allman Band). Bruce is a monster on both piano and B-3.
The band hit the stage with a powerful, smokin’ version of “Hot ‘Lanta” that pulled everyone in and blew them away. Berry Oakley, Jr. handled the vocals on the blues songs, and the soul-jazz classic “Compared To What”. An extremely talented musician, Berry is a natural fit in the band, and the sight of him performing with Butch is a “round-trip” for those who had the good fortune to see the original ABB perform.
And Butch had a couple of surprises up his sleeve.
First he brought out Heather Gillis, a discovery from the Florida music scene, performing the Bill Withers classic “Ain’t No Sunshine”, displaying her vocal prowess and steady guitar chops.
Then Butch brought out 17 year old Lara Cwass from Queens, NY. The young guitarist featured a mature tone and feel beyond her years on the ABB classic “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”. A very auspicious start to what should be a great career. We will surely be hearing more from her in the future.
The setlist: 1. Hot ‘Lanta, 2. Outskirts of Town, 3. Glad (Traffic), 4. Help Me, 5. Jessica, 6. Politician (Cream), 7. Sweet Little Angel, 8. Dreams, 9. Statesboro Blues,10. Compared To What, 11. Ain’t No Sunshine,12. Liz Reed, encore: Done Somebody Wrong
Bruce Katz, immediately after the show: “Just a spectacular night playing with Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band”
The Freight Train Band will next appear for two shows in Florida.
- Sept.18 at Ace’s Lounge in Bradenton, Florida. Joining Butch and Berry will be Damon Fowler - guitar, Matthew Frost - keyboard, and Thurston Moore - guitar.
- Sept.19 at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Florida with Damon Fowler - guitar, Vaylor Trucks - guitar, and special guests. Expect Funky Biscuit owner/impresario Albert Poliak to sit-in on B-3.