Claude Hudson “Butch” Trucks (born May 11, 1947 in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American drummer who is one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band.
One of Trucks’ first bands was local Jacksonville band The Vikings, who made one 7-inch record in 1964. Another early band was The 31st of February which formed and broke up in 1968. This group’s lineup eventually included both Duane Allman and Gregg Allman. They recorded a cover of “Morning Dew”, by 1960s folk singer Bonnie Dobson.
Trucks then helped form The Allman Brothers Band in 1969, along with Duane Allman (guitar), Gregg Allman (vocals and organ), Dickey Betts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), and fellow drummer Jai Johanny Johanson.
Together, the two drummers developed a rhythmic drive that would prove crucial to the band. Trucks laid down a powerful conventional beat while the jazz-influenced Johanson added a second laminate of percussion and ad libitum cymbal flourishes, seamlessly melded into one syncopated sound.
Said founding member and co-lead guitarist Dickey Betts of Trucks’ addition to the original band lineup, “…When Butch came along, he had that freight train, meat-and-potatoes kind of thing that set Jaimoe up perfectly. He had the power thing we needed.”
Trucks continues to record and perform with the Allman Brothers Band today.
Along with band members Gregg Allman, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, and Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks is named as plaintiff in a lawsuit against UMG Recordings. The suit, initiated in 2008, seeks $10 million over royalties from CD sales and digital downloads services such as Apple’s iTunes. Trucks sees the license given to users for downloads as legally unsound. Butch actually embraces Internet technology for the group and has plans to use Moogis.com to make the Web a real venue for the Allman Brothers and other jam bands.
Trucks has had a long interest in philosophy and literature; in 2005 he published a letter in the New York Times Book Review criticizing a review of a decades-old article about the band in which the members were made to look like uneducated characters from a William Faulkner novel.
His nephew, guitarist Derek Trucks, is the frontman and bandleader of The Derek Trucks Band and joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1999. His oldest son, guitarist Vaylor Trucks, is part of a trio called Bonobos Convergence based in Atlanta. He is also the nephew of MLB pitcher Virgil Trucks.
Trucks currently lives with his wife in Florida.
Butch Trucks July 19th, 1970