The Day We Met Derek
March 23, 2013

You know, I whine a lot about music. The radio’s playing crap. David Guetta’s musical skill is pressing the play button. Foo Fighters gave the same song 15 different names and put them in “an album”. I whine a lot.

And it’s partly due to my lack of engagement with contemporary music. I fail to really connect with most of what is playing out there these days. There are the few odd ones e.g. Charles Bradley, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes. But the stuff that I really take time to listen to are from the past.

So I often tell my friends that I wish I live in a different era. When real musicians reigned and I could really look up to people who are actually producing music I couldn’t wait to listen to. I miss waiting for a particular act’s new album to come out. The last time that happened was probably when Rancid released “…And Out Come the Wolves” -- almost 20 years ago.

What frustrates me the most is how this whole dissatisfaction is making me sound like a music snob. Even reading the three paragraphs above makes me want to punch myself in the gonads. Whatever warrants me to be choosy anyway? I can’t produce good music to save my life either.

But if I could be honest, that’s how I’ve actually felt about music today. Until this little band from Jacksonville, Florida came out.

The Tedeschi Trucks band is made up of husband and wife Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi and some of the industry’s finest musicians. I’d first heard of Derek when he was playing for the Allman Brothers Band as a prodigy guitarist a few years back. And had the privilege of seeing him play live for the first time when he was touring with Eric Clapton in 2008. Susan has been in the circuit for a while and as destiny would’ve beautifully fated, met Derek when she toured with the Allmans. They got married and the rest was history.

They had performed separately initially. Derek with the Derek Trucks Band, and Susan on her own. After a while, they decided to set up an act together; which in my book is the single most important decision in music history. They’d released their first album Revelator in 2011, and won a Grammy for it. One of the more sensible recipients in view of other recent winners of the thing, e.g. Arcade Fire.

Revelator became an album I listen to in the car, at the office, when I run, everywhere. Never had I been so immersed in music made in the present day. I became so increasingly enamored by it that when it was announced that they would be playing in Singapore, it took me less than all of three minutes to purchase a ticket.

We flew south two days ago and throughout the flight up until we were in the venue compound, I only had one thing in mind: to meet Derek Trucks. They were scheduled to play last that evening, after rock legend Robert Plant’s band; whom the majority of the crowd were there for. So when Robert went up, all eyes were on them. All but the four of us, and the security guards at the back.

Our presence didn’t make much sense to guards. The guy on stage used to front Led Zeppelin. What were these four Malay guys doing hanging on the railing at the back?

The answer came when Derek and Susan walked out of their trailer to check on Robert’s show. We jumped like madmen and shouted their names, puzzling everyone -- who must’ve thought we were huge fans of the roadies.

The sight of the couple waving back at us in the dim-lighted area was a heartwarming moment but as Derek actually walked a good 25m to greet us, had a chat, and took some photos, our minds were very well blown. A good two minutes of his time which had just elevated our respect for this man ten-fold. We were left speechless by his humility. And everyone else, still confused by what had just happened.

As for their show itself, I could barely remember anything other than the greatest musical performance I'd ever experienced. They are after all, the best band in the world today.


everyone's a music snob of sorts, so don't let anyone put you off. and i will buy/iTunes TTB.

looking forward for your AKB48 review next.

awesome dude.

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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