Claude Hudson “Butch” Trucks
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,” written by 1960s folk singer Bonnie Dobson. Butch and Jaimoe developed a rhythmic drive that would prove crucial to the band. Trucks laid down a powerful conventional beat while the jazz-influenced Jaimoe added a second laminate of percussion and ad lib cymbal flourishes, seamlessly melded into one syncopated sound.
Dickey Betts, founding member and co-lead guitarists said 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 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.
Trucks played and recorded with The Allman Brothers Band until 2014 and performed with the Freight Train Band until his death in January 2017.