It is extremely difficult to report that Butch Trucks, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, has passed away. The 69-year-old drummer helped form the band in 1969 with Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, and Jaimoe. In 2012, he earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award with members of the Allman Brothers Band, who were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. The band has been awarded eleven gold and five platinum albums and are notorious for their genre-defying southern rock and soul. His death was confirmed by several members of his family.

After the Allman Brothers played their last show in October of 2014, Butch went on to play shows and festivals here and there before forming Butch Trucks & The Freight Train. His festival appearance at The Peach two years ago brought him back together with members of the Allman Brothers, Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quiñones, and the jams were so good, so tight, that they decided to form a band around that original lineup and call it Les Brers.

They didn’t call Butch Trucks the “freight train” for nothing. When Duane Allman clicked the switch in him 45+ years ago, an engine ignited and the world was blessed with one of the strongest, most powerful drummers of all time.

In honor of Butch Trucks, enjoy this video of “Whipping Post” from Fillmore East in 1970:

Hear more about the origins of the Allman Brothers and double drumming in this conversation between Butch Trucks and author Alan Paul:

Butch also hosted a rock and roll summer camp in the Catskills every summer, where he’d lecture about music, philosophy, and Skydog. Watch this clip of “The World According to Butch Trucks” below:

Rest in Peace, Butch Trucks.

Update 11:10 AM – Trucks’ family has issued the following statement.

Butch Trucks, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, tragically died the night of January 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida. His wife, four children, four grandchildren and all of the Allman Brothers Band, their families and Road Crew survive Butch. The Trucks and Allman Brothers Band families request all of Butch’s friends and fans to please respect our privacy at this time of sadness for our loss. Butch will play on in our hearts forever.

Donations and remembrances in Butch’s name may be made to The Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia.