Some may recognize the name Derek Trucks because it is remarkably similar to the name Butch Trucks. Oh wait, that’s his uncle, the drummer for The Allman Brothers Band.

I’m guessing Derek got some pretty good music lessons when he started playing guitar at age nine, because he’s freaking awesome.

Trucks’ wailing bluesy slide guitar solos on this album seem to mark him as an apprentice to slide guitarist great Duane Allman.

Derek’s third album, “Joyful Noise,” is a cornucopia of musical variety. The band explored so many musical styles in making this album that it’s surprising that one listener can sit down and enjoy the whole thing without being put off by an awkward track.

However, I liked the whole thing, the only reason it works is because Derek holds his piercing, clean tone slide guitar sound throughout the whole CD, supporting vocalists and going off into huge jams.

The album jumps into a very cool groove from the start with the title track, which is like a funky gospel session. The band shows its blues roots many times throughout the album with guest singers Susan Tedeschi and Solomon Burke, who sounds just like a younger B.B. King on his two tracks.

Trucks also experiments with some very interesting fusion tracks with both an Indian style of music and some Latin action with a very jazzy salsa beat. The band then finishes it up with some cool spacey organ jams.

I’m giving this one a positive review. If you like relatively new artists who actually try to do something creative with their work, try this CD. If you dig the pop music, then stay the hell away.

If you’re looking for another opinion, my roommate says that “this album is groovy.” Take his word for it if.

Babcock can be reached at

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