Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Keep On Trucks-ing

As Alex Belth pointed out this morning, you can feel baseball getting closer. The air is starting to smell like spring just a little bit. I don't need to turn on my headlights on my drive home from work at the end of the day. Daylight Savings Time begins twelve days from now; the Spring Equinox comes six days later. Spring Training games start tomorrow.

Elsewhere in the world, the other rites of spring are taking place. The NHL trade deadline is tomorrow. NCAA Conference Tournaments begin over the next week and March Madness will soon follow.

For me, another rite of spring is the Allman Brothers Band's annual NYC residency. As we detailed last June, the ABB is vacating the Beacon Theater this year and heading waaaaay uptown to the United Palace Theatre for thirteen shows beginning March 11th.

Derek Trucks will be part of it, as he has been since joining the band at twenty years old following the 1999 Beacon run. We've talked about Derek quite often here, including detailing his family ties to former Tigers, Browns, White Sox, and A's pitcher, as well as the oldest living former Yankee, Virgil Trucks.

At MLB.com Saturday, Peter Gammons took an extended look at Virgil's career, in a great column that details how Derek's baseball fandom spurred him to seek out the relative he had never met:
Virgil Trucks had just turned 91 two years ago when this boyish kid who looked as if he were 20 showed up at his door. The kid introduced himself as Derek Trucks, Virgil's nephew's son, and they spent the day tying together the frayed generations of Trucks, of baseball stories Derek loved hearing, and music that Virgil says he didn't fully understand.

For years, Derek had Virgil "Fire" Trucks' baseball card on the back of his guitar, with the Allman Brothers or The Derek Trucks Band, with his wife Susan Tedeschi, playing lead on the Eric Clapton tour, backing Buddy Guy. That he told Virgil, and that Derek's uncle Butch, who has been the Allman's drummer since they formed in 1969, has often had another baseball card on his drums. "I haven't listened to the Allman Brothers too much," says Virgil. "They don't play them much on the Birmingham station."

When Virgil was told that Derek has a 1952 Tiger uniform with Virgil's 23 hanging in a trophy case, he said, "maybe I should start listening to the Allmans a little more."
For the Gammons haters out there - and you know I'm not one of them - you can take solace in the fact that Peter incorrectly claims Derek is Virgil's great-nephew. As we posted here in December, with thanks to Derek's cousin Vaylor, Virgil is the first cousin of Derek's grandfather, making them third cousins twice removed. That's the type of hard-hitting analysis you Fackers get here, something a Ford Frick Award winner can't bring you.

That notwithstanding, it's a great column. Head over and give it read. Just be sure to ignore the part about how the family of Derek's wife Susan Tedeschi are long-time Red Sox season ticket holders, or how they're taking their eight year old son to Red Sox camp this week. Hey - nobody's perfect.
As Jay detailed after we attended the Derek Trucks Band's concert at The Egg in December, the dTb is now on an extended hiatus. Derek and Susan are forming a new band, which at present appears to feature a rotating cast of musicians. They have dates scheduled through the spring and into summer, including stops as part of outstanding line ups at the Wanee Music Festival in Florida and the Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY.

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