Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band gigs start the day after Christmas in Florida. Butch Trucks, Berry Duane Oakley, Damon Fowler, Vaylor Trucks, Bruce Katz, Tad Isch, and special guest Heather Gillis comprised this excellent group.
Take a good look at the personnel here. Butch you know, of course, as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. His work keeping the band together and on the road eventually led to the creation of the Wanee Music Festival. Bassist Berry Duane Oakley is son of the original ABB bass player, Berry Oakley. Oakley leads his own band, Skylab, which played at Wanee. Vaylor Trucks is Butch’s son. The first time he ever played guitar with his father was during a spectacular Butch Trucks and Special Friends set at Wanee 2015, and he was superb.
Bruce Katz is a superb keyboard player who first came to prominence as a member and songwriter with Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. He was a member of Gregg Allman’s band for years and played with him at Wanee 2015. He also played with Butch and with Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, when the band played one of Katz’s signature tunes, “Hippology.” Katz also leads his own band.
Damon Fowler is one of Florida’s favorite sons on guitar and lap steel. He leads his own band and is a member of Southern Hospitality. Heather Gillis is a brilliant 20-year-old guitar slinger from Tampa and Tallahassee who sat in with Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) at both of his sets at Magnolia Fest and has been touring with her own band. Tad Isch is a drummer who will work with Butch to create that unmistakable two-drum attack.
In addition to Heather Gillis as special guest, there is an opening band each evening. Here’s the schedule:
12/ 26- The Funky Biscuit, Boca Raton w/ Ben Sparco Band
12/ 27- Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra Beach w/ Bonnie Blue
12/ 28- Terra Fermata, Stuart w/ Nouveaux Honkies
12/ 29- Ace’s Live Music, Bradenton w/ Kettle of Fish
12/ 30- Plaza Live, Orlando w/ Thomas Wynn & the Believers
12/ 31- Capitol Theatre, Clearwater w/ Ries Brothers
A special note about Thomas Wynn & the Believers. Thomas is the son of Tom Wynn, drummer for Cowboy, who also recorded on Capricorn and toured with the Allman Brothers in 1971.