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Published: 2010/03/15
by Dean Budnick

Butch’s Brew (The Jambands.com Reader Interview With Butch Trucks)

On early Friday afternoon, the day after the Allman Brothers Band opened its 2010 New York City run at the United Palace, drummer Butch Trucks set aside some time to answer questions from our readers. This is quite a busy period for Trucks, the founder of Moogis, which is in the midst of streaming all the United Palace dates, with additional plans in the offing as well. In the following conversation, which draws from over 250 reader questions, Butch shares the ABB’s upcoming plans, discusses what he has in the works with Moogis, explains that Bruce Willis is a bit more timid than one might think and muses on his memoirs.

In the wake of your first night at the United Palace, how would describe the energy in the room, as compared with the Beacon?

One thing I noticed when we first did the walk through, is that the building is constructed much better for acoustics. Now I have headphones on when we’re playing, so when we were on stage last night I couldn’t really tell. But Derek and Warren were real pleased with the sound and they each remarked on that to me.

A number of people asked about the rehearsal process before this United Palace run. How much time did you guys put in and what did you focus on during that time?

This year we came in and worked for four days. We started in the early afternoon and continued well into the evening.

We have about 12 new songs ready to go. Not new original songs because our songwriters have their own albums coming out this year but new covers and older material we haven’t played for a while. Last night we played “Kind of Bird.” We also have a Delaney and Bonnie song we’d work up for last year and plenty of others as well.

“In terms of Moogis, what did you learn last year at the Beacon which you can apply to this year’s shows at the United Palace?” Ted V.

The one thing that happened last year was we had some problems with the LED lights that we were using on stage. We’ve taken care of that this year.

After last night’s show ended, though, I discovered that some people were having problems. It seemed to clear up during the second set but I understand that there was some disappointment. I want to make sure we can make it up to everyone. Obviously they’ll never get the show back but we want to do right by them. So one thing we’re going to do is leave up last year’s run for some time. We were going to take it down but we’re going to continue to make it available.

“Beyond this year’s United Palace run, can you give us some insight into what other plans are in the works for Moogis? Are there any specific shows or events you can share with us, or perhaps even just hint at?” Craig F.

Well we don’t have particular shows I can tell you about but we do have a great team down in Florida ready with the technology to make this go. We’re going to place it in venues throughout the country and whatever show is taking place, people will be able to tune in. This is something we’ve been working towards for a while and at this point we’re real close to making it happen. When I get home in April after the shows I’m going to keep moving forward with that.

Here is the most popular question that people sent in. Many folks wanted to know if there is another Allman Brothers Band studio album in the works?

No, there isn’t and I don’t think we’ll see one. That’s just never been one of the strengths of the Allman Brothers Band. I don’t think we’ve really been ever able to use the studio to great effect. Not only do the versions of the songs fall a bit flat but it hasn’t been cost effective for us, especially in this day and age.

However, what we do record every show and we have new material that we’ve written since Hittin’ The Note. Oteil has his song “Egypt,” and Derek has a song so new it doesn’t even have a name yet. So what I would expect we’ll do, is once we have an album worth of material, we’ll put together the best versions from the live recordings and release that.

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