March used to mean a series of Allman Brothers Band shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York, but that will not be happening this year, since the band’s October Beacon run was billed as its farewell. But Butch Trucks, one of the band’s drummers and co-founders, will be traveling from his West Palm Beach, Fla., home to the Northeast, anyway. He’ll play with the School of Rock Allstars at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, Sunday afternoon, after making an appearance at the Words bookstore in Maplewood on Saturday.
Trucks, 67, says he first become involved with the School of Rock through their West Palm Beach area locations. He met with the students, and played with them. “We had a good time and, actually, I think they possibly did learn something,” he said in a phone interview. “Some of them are actually good, but all of them are very, very enthusiastic. From 8 years up to … actually, they have guys my age taking lessons, guys who always wanted to play in a band, and now they have time, and they can do it. But mostly, at the shows, it’s young kids, and it’s just really fun to see them get up there and have so much fun, be so enthusiastic. They think I’m a rock star!”
In New Jersey, he said, “We’re going to do a couple of Allman Brothers songs, and a couple of other tunes that are kind of related. I don’t know. We’ll just wait and see. The one thing that’s real cool about being a drummer is you don’t have to learn chords and arrangements. You just whack away on shit, and it works.”
He is also planning to let the musicians know about the Roots Rock Revival music camp in upstate New York, where he will be an instructor this summer.
“We’re going to talk about that a whole lot,” he said. “In fact, to be brutally honest, it’s how this (trip to Jersey) got started. We picked up a few campers from (the School of Rock) down in Florida, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s New York, New Jersey, Boston … that part of the country is Allman Brothers Central.
“So, this is fun, it really is. I really thoroughly enjoy myself. But we’re also coming up there to help promote Roots Rock Revival. We’ll tell ’em all about it.”
Asked what else he is working on, he answers, mysteriously, “it’s a secret.”
Asked if it feels weird not to have future Allman Brothers Band shows to look forward to, he says, “Well, it’s a secret. That’s all I can tell you.”
He says he misses, more than anything else, the Beacon Theatre runs. “I would like to be coming to the Beacon Theatre, but it’s not going to happen this year. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
The Mexicali Live show takes place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20; visit mexicalilive.com.
Saturday at noon, Trucks and Alan Paul, author of “One Way Out: The Inside Story of The Allman Brothers Band”, will make a joint appearance at the Words bookstore in Maplewood. Trucks wrote the book’s foreword. Trucks and Paul will talk about the band, answer questions, and sign books. Visit wordsbookstore.com.
Aug. 17-21, Trucks will be one of the instructors, along with Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge, Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, saxophonist Bill Evans and keyboardist Craig Keil, at the Roots Rock Revival Camp at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian (Ulster County), N.Y. Visit rootsrockrevival.com.