How a Southern rock legend’s daughter, son are trying to keep his tunes alive

As a infant, Melody Trucks would be asleep backstage in one of her father Butch Trucks’ highway instances while he was onstage playing drums with the Allman Brothers Band. As a young youngster, Melody’s brother Vaylor Vans appeared on the include photo for the Allman Brothers’ only quantity-one particular album. That album, introduced in 1973 and that contains the Southern rock anthem “Ramblin’ Person,” was titled “Brothers and Sisters.”

Almost 50 years later on, Melody and Vaylor are honoring the legacy of their father, undertaking classic Allman Brothers tunes like “Midnight Rider” with their own band. That band is appropriately dubbed Brother and Sister.

“The audio is timeless,” Melody claims of in the course of a modern phone interview. “And it can help me to feel related to my father and what they (the Allman Brothers) did, so which is why I do it. What they did was build these kinds of an wonderful room for musicians to converse, and to achieve that next spot that we’re often chasing.”


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Melody’s mom and dad divided when she was quite young. Still, she has treasured reminiscences of traveling to Butch, him enjoying his grand piano for her and them listening to classical new music information, these types of as Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” collectively.

Later on on, following starting up off with flute and then saxophone and other devices, Melody normally gravitated to percussion on her very own. The main issue she acquired about rhythm from her dad, who made beats in the Allmans with co-drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and afterwards percussion Marc Quinones, “was to shut up and pay attention.”

Melody proceeds, “You’ve bought to let your ego go. And Jaimoe and my dad had these kinds of an wonderful way of locking in with each individual other for the reason that they had been constantly listening to every other. And the same way with Marc as soon as he came in. If you really don’t pay attention to what the other persons are executing, you just cannot connect like that.”

Brother and Sister divvy up most of the direct vocals concerning Vaylor, Melody and gifted guitarist Willis Gore. The group also attributes drummers Eric Sanders and Garrett Dawson, bassist Matt Stallard and keyboardist Pete Orenstein, who also contributes some direct vocals. Music Melody sings direct on incorporate “Stand Back” and “Not My Cross To Bear.”

Brother and Sister

Melody and Valor Trucks of the band Brother and Sister onstage. (Courtesy Frank Allen Sr.)

The Allman Brothers recorded some studio essentials – significantly the Macon, Ga.-based mostly combo’s 1969 self-titled debut LP, sophomore album “Idlewild South,” “Brothers and Sisters” and the 6 studio tracks on 1972 studio/stay disc “Eat a Peach.” Tunes like “Dreams,” “Revival,” “Blue Sky” and “Jessica,” to name a handful. “Those music are stitched into my DNA,” Melody recalls of developing up in a rock & roll household. “It’s all just section of my story.”

It was the stage the place Allmans music grew to become magical, accomplishing prog-blues transcendence, fueled by a jazz-seeker soul and, Alright, a couple chemicals as well. The 1971 Allman Brothers double-album “At Fillmore East” is generally regarded as the very best are living release at any time. It is alchemic spirit encouraged numerous subsequent Southern rockers and jam-bands.

The first 5 Allmans releases are untouchable within this realm. But Melody is also fond of albums the band produced in the ‘90s, notably 1991′s “Shades of Two Worlds” and 1994′s potent “Where It All Starts.” “Those have been coming out in my late teen and early grownup years. So I relate to all those records pretty a little bit just simply because of the enjoyment of them (the band) making this significant comeback.”

And although Gregg Allman and Allmans guitarist/singer Dickey Betts are ‘70s Southern rock gods, for Melody on the lookout back again on occasions all-around them is “like acquiring memories of your uncles.” She has imprecise memories of staying quite tiny and living on The Farm, the 400-plus rural Ga land the Allman Brothers obtained as a band. She fondly recollects Pink Pet dog, the group’s longtime roadie who was depicted in the film “Almost Famed,” as getting “always so sweet and type. The crew was wonderful, and taught all of us youngsters how to be backstage devoid of staying in the way.”


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The identify Melody seems like a poetic appellation for a musician’s daughter. Funnily adequate, she says her title had absolutely nothing to do with audio. “My mom was at a doctor’s office and she was reading I consider it was a Reader’s Digest or anything like that, and they had a record of the 10 most stunning words and phrases in the English language and melody was on it. And so that’s how I obtained my name.”

In college or university, Melody studied Balinese gamelan and Brazilian sambas. Meanwhile, Vaylor was coming up much too, performing more on the fusion side of matters, with musicians like Col. Bruce Hampton. At some point, when their father’s aspect venture Butch Vehicles and The Freight Prepare would tour in the Southeast, Melody would join the trek, stepping up to single vocals on tunes like “Statesboro Blues.”

As awesome as it was for daily life to come full circle and Melody engage in music with her father, “the actually great issue about that wasn’t necessarily the displays,” she states. “While we were on the street, Dad would trip with me in the automobile. And so we had several hours and hours with just me and him. And it was 1 of the only situations in my lifestyle where I was in a position to expend that considerably time with my father, just the two of us. And that is what I acquire most from that time is just having to expend time with him just one on a person.”

So what type of discussions would she have with her father, who back in the day place in some numerous miles with the famously hard-residing Allman Brothers? “Oh, I just cannot convey to you that,” Melody suggests with a laugh. “He absolutely advised me some nuts street tales that … ‘Like Dad, I really don’t want to hear this.’” Too-significantly-info jokes aside, Melody states on all those drives she and Butch also talked a whole lot about relatives. “He definitely adored his grandchildren. And we talked about life. We talked about all the things. That was a period of time in my life that I’m very grateful for.”

Allman Brothers

In this photo furnished by StarPix, MSG Enjoyment introduced Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 that The Allman Brothers Band will return to the Beacon Theatre in New York Town and accomplish 8 shows starting March 10 by means of March 19, 2011. Pictured from remaining to proper, Gregg Allman, Jaimoe and Butch Trucks from the band. (AP Photograph/Amanda Schwab/StarPix)Affiliated Press

The Allman Brothers’ latter-working day lineup played their farewell display in 2014 at New York’s Beacon Theatre. Butch Trucks and singer/keyboardist Gregg Allman equally died in 2017 and are sorely missed. Surviving customers of the closing lineup – including Melody and Vaylor’s cousin, slide guitar wizard Derek Vehicles – played a 2020 exhibit at Madison Square Backyard live performance billed as The Brothers, in honor of the original group’s 50th anniversary. Considering that then Derek Vans and Allmans singer/guitarist Warren Haynes have mainly moved on with their other thriving bands.

While the Allman Brothers reached fame, fortune and musical regard, it arrived with fantastic charge. Guitar-speculate and band-leader Duane Allman died from a 1971 motorbike accident, a devastating decline for the band, finally attaining business traction with “At Fillmore East” immediately after years of tricky touring. Bassist Berry Oakley was missing a yr later on, eerily also because of to a motorcycle accident. The band’s vices arrived near to consuming several customers at a variety of situations. Marriages arrived and went just about as generally as guitar solos.

However, the Allmans have been normally in a position to rework that blues and discomfort into musical pleasure. For the band and for their fans. “They cherished what they were accomplishing, and it arrived by,” Melody suggests, introducing she hopes to bring that power to fans who come to Brother and Sister displays way too. “Music is meant to just take you to a area where joy life.”

On March 25, Brother and Sister headline an 8 p.m. clearly show at Furnishings Factory, 619 Meridian St. N. in Huntsville, Ala. Muscle mass Shoals band Certainly Trespassing is the opener. Tickets are $15 advance/$20 doorway by way of More information at

By Indana