Good sounds are coming from young bands, Allman's Truck says

August 26, 1994|By J. D. Considine | J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

Playing at Woodstock '94 was a lot of fun, says Butch Trucks, one of the drummers with the Allman Brothers Band.

Granted, playing so early in the day Sunday meant that the crowd had a little warming up to do. "It took us a while to get 'em," he admits, over the phone from a tour stop in Richmond, Va. "They were out there wallowing in the mud and dancing, and I think we were about halfway through the set before they realized we were up there."

He laughs, and adds, "Once they did, we seemed to really strike a note."

If you want to hear Trucks wax ecstatic about a festival crowd, however, get him talking about the H.O.R.D.E. (that is, Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) tour the Allmans are currently headlining.

"We played last night in Knoxville [Tenn.], and the audience was probably 95 percent under 25 years old -- and most of them under 20," he says. "I probably didn't see 10 people my age. They're all kids, college age and younger, and I mean, that was one of the most fun gigs I ever played in my life. We just had a ball.

"This H.O.R.D.E. thing is an all-day festival, so I went over and spent the day," he says. "It was just unbelievable. There's this new band that just started with us, called the Dave Matthews Band. My God! I mean, I like those guys. Plus, Dave Matthews looks just like Forrest Gump. He's incredibly good, and it's a very unique band. I mean, I was really inspired after watching those guys. Blues Traveler is hot, and Big Head Todd, the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies -- all of 'em. It's really fun. We'll hang out and jam with them, and then they jam with us at night. It's really a nice community.

"It was like the kind of things we wished we could have done back in the '70s, but we weren't that together yet."

That's one reason Trucks hopes to encourage the younger H.O.R.D.E. bands. "I've been wanting to do this for two or three years, because there aren't that many bands that are kind of picking up the torch that we're leaving off," he says. "There's a lot more going in the direction of Nine Inch Nails and that kind of thing. It's much less music, and more -- I don't know what you'd call it. Entertainment, or something else.

"I'm not saying it's any better or worse," he adds. "I'm just saying it's not the way we do it. Our approach is more the jazz approach, where you learn to play your instrument as well as you can, develop your craft, and then communicate with each other. That's the focus, not trying to give some message or entertain or have a good light show or whatever.

"And we've found these kindred spirits. These younger bands seem to have that philosophy and that approach. So it's working well."

Hear the Allman Brothers

To hear excerpts from the Allman Brothers Band's latest album, "Where It All Began," call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service at (410) 783-1800. In Anne Arundel County, call 268-7736; in Harford County, 836-5028; in Carroll County, 848-0338. Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6157 after you hear the greeting.

The H.O.R.D.E. is coming!

What: The H.O.R.D.E. Festival, featuring the Allman Brothers Band with Little Sister, Blues Traveler, the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Cycomotogoat, the Dave Matthews Band and Rusted Root

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion

Tickets: $40 and $27.50 pavilion; $16.50 lawn

Call: (410) 481-7328 for tickets, (410) 730-2424 for information

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