Derek Trucks is the nephew of long-time Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, so it should come as no surprise he chose the blues as his primary inspiration. However, to label Trucks as a "blues" musician would be too restrictive as his slide guitar wizardry takes him into limitless genres of the musical spectrum. Derek Truck's influences range from Elmore James's Straight ahead Blues, John Coltrane's Avant-Garde Jazz, Jeff Beck's Fusion, and Jimi Hendrix Blues-Rock to Wes Montgomery's Crossover Jazz.
Joyful Noise, Trucks third release, and debut for Columbia, finds the young virtuoso taking his music into uncharted territory in contrast to traditional blues. Besides the heavy Fusion and Jazz for which he has become known for, Derek incorporates World music this time out. In the company of Panama singer Rubén Blades, a Salsa timbre manifests on the track "Kam-ma-lay". Trucks expands his repertoire' even further with the help of Pakistani vocalist Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khanto's chanting on Middle Eastern flavored "Maki Madni". Despite his refreshing departures, Derek Trucks always returns to the blues. Solomon Burke lends his soulful voice to two cuts - "Home In Your Heart" and "Like Anyone Else" - while Truck's wife, Susan Tedeschi, rips through the mid-tempo shuffle, "Baby, Your Right".
Even though Derek Trucks has yet to capture an extensive audience in comparison to other young blues guitarist such as Kenny Wayne Shepard or Jonny Lang, his talent, range and style far outweighs any Stevie Ray Vaughn wannabe's.
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