Classic rock fans have had to say goodbye to a sobering roster of talented stars in recent years, and 2017 is certainly no exception. It's been a particularly difficult year for guitarist Derek Trucks, who's weathered several losses that struck particularly close to home.

As he recounted in a recent interview with the Boston Herald, Trucks said goodbye to his uncle, former Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, in January; just a few months later, he was onstage at a 70th birthday party concert for Col. Bruce Hampton, who suddenly died during the show. Hampton's death was followed by the death of Gregg Allman — another former bandmate whose connection with Trucks transcended the mere musical.

"It’s been an [expletive] of a year. I’ve been onstage playing with some of these people since I was a kid, and it’s still hard to imagine them gone," said Trucks. Admitting that it took him some time to appreciate the impact that all this loss would have on his teenage sons with his bandmate and wife Susan Tedeschi, he added, "Obviously, Butch is family, but our kids have also known Gregg and Col. Bruce their entire lives. Of course, it’s been a crazy year for everyone in the United States."

As Trucks noted, this feels like a particularly trying time for a number of people in the country — a stress he's seen reflected in a variety of ways while touring with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, some of which are much more unpleasant than others. But through it all, he stressed that he remains committed to bringing the audience joy through music.

"We don’t play a lot of tunes that nod directly to the people we’ve lost," said Trucks. "But we do understand that we’re all coping with these losses together and we try to acknowledge that in the music. It’s all we can do to help people get by."