Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Now that we live in Oxford, it'll be much easier for us to pursue our passion for good live music. Being a college town, Oxford has quite a respectable music scene considering its size, especially in the fall and the spring.
Our first big show of the fall was guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks and his band at the Lyric Theatre. It was a huge treat getting to watch Derek up close as he demonstrated his incredible tone control, coaxing the smoothest, sweetest, purest sounds out of his guitar. Playing entirely without a pick and mostly with a slide, he thorougly captivated even the most casual listener with his soulful, melodic leads that alternately sang, roared, swooped and soared, plucked with such dexterity and precision that would-be guitarists in the audience could only shake their heads in disbelief.
(Note: the photo above was swiped off the Internet without permission.) The nephew of legendary Allman Brothers founding drummer Butch Trucks, Derek was a child prodigy, gaining notoriety and sitting in with big names like Buddy Guy and Bob Dylan while he was still a teenager. These days he plays lead in the current incarnation of the Allman Brothers, in addition to his critically acclaimed solo career.
Singer Mike Mattison is a great complement to Derek. His rich, soulful voice ranges from raspy baritone to smooth falsetto, and he delivers Derek's contemporary take on blues rock and R&B with class and style.
Rounding out the band was keyboardist and flutist Kofi Burbridge, as well as bassist Todd Smallie, drummer Yonrico Scott, and percussionist Count M'Butu. Their 2-hour show consisted entirely of original music, with Derek often delving deep into traditional blues stylings, yet always staying true to his distinctive musical vision. While we were mostly unfamiliar with his songs, we were thoroughly enthralled.
Our only complaint of the night was the totally wasted guy who was almost comical in his infringement of the personal space of everybody within a 10 foot radius of where he was whirling, jumping, swaying and hollering. Too many drugs, dude!
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