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Published: 2014/03/07
by Dean Budnick

Butch Trucks Talks Beacon, Roots Rock Revival and A Possible ABB Revival

Photo by Larry Hulst

This evening marks the opening night of the Allman Brothers Band’s 2014 Beacon Theatre run. This may well be the group’s final series of shows at the venue, since Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks have announced that they will be leaving the band at year’s end. However, as ABB co-founder Butch Trucks shares in this interview, don’t count them out just yet. Butch spoke with us on Wednesday, a few days into rehearsal, and also discussed the post-show he will host next week, his Roots Rock Revival event and the book he will intends to write yet about his experiences with Duane Allman and the group that celebrates its 45th anniversary later this month.

You’ve been in rehearsals for a few days now. Since it appears that this may well be the final Allman Brothers Band Beacon run, have you been approaching things any differently?

No, not really. I will say though that this year we’re pulling out some songs that we haven’t played in a long time. They’ve been a bitch to learn so we’ve been working our butts off the last few days. But people are going to hear some stuff they haven’t heard in a long time, really good tunes that just kind of fell out and we’ve decided to work them up again.

Covers or originals?

I think every one of them is original.

By the way, was my initial presumption wrong? Is this indeed for all intents and purposes the final Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theatre run?

I don’t know yet. There is a possibility that we will continue in another form. The band as it is now is not going to continue. The changes that we’re talking about would be incredible but it would be different instrumentation, a different sound. It’s like what we did with Chuck Leavell after Duane and took it in another direction for a little while.

How is your physical health? I know there have been times in the past when it has been something of a concern for you heading into the Beacon run?

Oh, I’m fine. I got through practice in the last month at home and I’m strong as a bull. If that was a problem I wouldn’t try to fight to hold it together. If it wasn’t fun and I wasn’t in shape to do it then as far as I’m concerned I’d just say fine and call it time to hang it up. That’s what retirement is, I just don’t feel like retiring yet. I’m still haven’t too damn much fun. How long that lasts I don’t know and there are other factors that come into play that may make it impossible for this band to continue, we just don’t know. We’ll start working that out over this week.

I know that a lot of people would like to see this iteration of the ABB one final time. Can you share some sense of what 2014 will look like in terms of touring?

Well, it’s going to be pretty much what it’s been the last few years: we do the Beacon, we do Wanee, we’re going to do Mountain Jam, the Peach Festival and then, Interlocken. The schedule now is that in October we’ll do a run where we hit some bigger venues and then if this is going to be it and, if we can work it out, we’ll wind it all up at Madison Square Garden.

You mentioned that you still enjoy playing live. On March 14 you also have a post-show at BB King’s which is billed as Butch Trucks and Special Friends. What can you say about that?

It’ll be me and Oteil and Marc Quinones and Bill Evans. There’s a really good guitar player that Oteil’s bringing with him and we’re just going to jam. It’s the Roots Rock Revival but Cody and Luther aren’t able to be there. It’ll be fun though, I love playing with Bill Evans.

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There are 14 comments associated with this post

Terry March 7, 2014, 17:00:59

Thanks, Butch, 45 years of smiles from this fan.

40acres March 7, 2014, 17:23:34

The Southwest Rocky Mountain Peach Heads would love to see ya’ll out for a Red Rocks Revival or Telluride Blues and Brews gig for a last hooray!

KB March 7, 2014, 20:14:25

Butch, thanks for all the good times and PLEASE don’t forget about the South East. I need one more show to say good bye if this is indeed a good bye.

ATS March 8, 2014, 11:57:53

+1 40acres…ABB in Telluride…give the west coasters a chance to wish a farewell…

Andres March 8, 2014, 14:44:39

I pray every day to see you all at the beautiful red rocks Colorado…..... you guys are amazing and will miss you with all my heard…...... March 9, 2014, 20:30:58

I attended Roots Camp last year, and all I can say is get there! if you are an Allman Brothers fan this is a must. I will be there again this year!! jam on,

Lon Chaney March 10, 2014, 13:31:48

Hey Butch, glad MOOGIS was a big success.

King Rhino March 10, 2014, 17:49:51

Hey, Lame Chaney …. Choke on a dick.

JC March 11, 2014, 16:57:01

King Rhino, I don’t necessarily agree with Lon Chaney trashing Butch’s Moogis endeavor, but your comment is in pretty bad taste, as well as immature and adolescent.

~Aaron March 12, 2014, 20:46:38

I couldn’t make it to The Beacon this year, but I will catch the band at the Lokin Festival. If this is indeed their last outing then I certainly don’t want to miss. They remain one of the finest bands that this country has ever produced.

Soulshine March 12, 2014, 21:17:14

Thanks for all the incredible music & good times Butch! I’ll c u at least 4 times this year & likely more. Reading the 2 books out now so I have the fullest appreciation for what I’ll b hearing this year. TY!!! March 12, 2014, 22:00:53

why don’t you guys go to Roots Revival camp this year? Butch, Oteil, and other top name players will be there and you can get up close with them. Watch them play from only a few feet away! you dont have to play to come. enjoy 4 days of solid live music! in a beautiful setting. if you can swing it you gotta come! you never know who will,show up,

NOLATIGER March 13, 2014, 00:03:51

Don’t forget us in New Orleans…

lifetimefan April 10, 2014, 19:08:57

Do the right thing Butch, Gregg, and Jaimoe and call Dickey. No way the Brothers are finished even with Warren and Derek leaving after this year. End the feud Butch, call Dickey and a few of the Great Southern guys along with Ron Holloway on sax and boom you got another incarnation of the band right up to a 50 anniversary. Age means nothing with this band if the Brothers can stay healthy into the future.

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