Pittsburgh:Derek Trucks Review by Monica Yasher

Posted on 9/04/2009 by Monica Yasher

Maureen and I trekked to Johnstown, PA to the Flood City Music Festival. The festival gets it’s name from the Great Johnstown Flood. For those that haven’t heard of the Johnstown flood, this flood was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the then new American Red Cross. This occurred in 1889. If you are interested, you can go to the museum the next time you are in the area.

As we approached the venue, we could see a carnival like atmosphere. There were three stages at the festival, with one stage going with some great entertainment at all times. For those of you that didn’t get there this year, perhaps you would like to consider a weekend in Johnstown, PA next year? It was an excellent weekend!

Now for the show…The Derek Trucks Band. Mr. Derek Trucks seems to be a very quiet man in person and on stage. I think he mostly talks through his red Gibson SG guitar. I remember saying to Maureen on the way home that Susan Tedeschi, his wife, must be the talker of the two. I hope to interview her someday! She is a huge influence on my blues work. The only time that the fans heard the voice of Mr. Trucks was when he introduced the band. That’s pretty much all he said….who they were and what they played. He was finally introduced to the audience (but, we all knew who he was anyway!) by Yonrico Scott. I don’t have to tell you about the huge applause after those three words. Mr. Derek Trucks.

Being female, I do understand the power of being silent. Sometimes a mere look with nothing said will get things done. And, though Mr. Trucks never said a word, he did play the band with a mere nod of the head. With a simple nod, Count M’Butu featured his Congas. Mike Mattison would sing on queue (pictured left). Kofi Burbridge would do some awesome keyboard work. And, all the while, Mr. Trucks maintained his presence on center stage. Silent. Yet, speaking constantly to us through his guitar. And, playing the band. Todd Smallie played his bass and seemed to smile all night. Maureen and I talked about bass players on the way home that night. They seem to be always smiling on stage. I need to interview a bass player and find out why they seem to smile more than other players on stage. Anyone like to comment?

I’m not a guitar virtuoso. But, I love his slide guitar work the best. That always caught my attention, and everybody else’s, to say the least. The crowd would be seated and when Derek would break out into these awesome slide guitar riffs, the crowd would come to their feet as if it was the end of the show. Sort of like a mini standing ovation. But, there was always more to come.

It was the end of summer that night and you could feel the chill in the air. It was the kind of day when you would roast in the afternoon and when the sun went down you needed a nice warm sweatshirt hoodie on, which leads me to my favorite song played that night. Greensleeves. I know it’s too early to think about Christmas. But, I was feeling kinda chilly that night and the soft jazz tones to this song just made me feel warm inside. And, I thought, you know life ain’t that bad. As I looked around the crowd, I thought probably everyone here has a problem or two. Some are big. Some are not. Some just are. That’s what the blues are about. Having a problem you never should have had. One you didn’t deserve because something or someone didn’t treat you right. But, hey. Life goes on so grab the moment when you can. There were a lot of people grabbing a moment that night. They lived the moment with Mr. Derek Trucks and the band. And, though he never spoke a whole lot to any of us that night, he definitely said a whole bunch to all of us that night with that red Gibson SG guitar. I think he was living a moment. It was way cool it was with all of us in Johnstown that night!


I was lucky enough to have a set list handed to me by Yonrico Scott. I’m getting spoiled by accumulating “things”. I have band name press passes, Cd’s, autographed pictures of entire bands, pictures of me with the artist (though I usually hate how I look) and now a set list! I’m going to have the coolest wall in my music room! Here is what the set list looked like for that night:

At the end of the night, I was able to tell Mr. Trucks thank you for a GREAT show!

Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2009 Copyright Maureen Ceidro. All Rights Reserved.

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