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Bobby Bolton, who drives a tour bus for musicians, visited family this week in the Park Rapids area. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Musicans roll with chauffeur Bolton

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Bobby Bolton has toured across the country with musicians and rock stars of all kinds as the driver.

"It's so cool. This is how we roll," he said, pointing at the bus, which is decked out with large flat screen TVs and all the amenities.

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Bolton was home to visit his mother, Edna, who lives just south of Dorset, this past week. Currently, he is the driver for the Derek Trucks Band. After a gig in Minneapolis last week, he took the bus with him to work on and clean up before the next show in Fargo, N.D.

"We'll keep going west and make it up to Canada after that show," Bolton said.

The Derek Trucks Band plays jazz and blues. The band leader, Derek Trucks, has played guitar with the pros since he was young. He is a regular with The Allman Brothers Band.

Bolton said he prefers driving for low-key bands like these.

"I've hauled ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd," he said, admitting they can be kind of loud.

Bolton has driven for Entertainment Coaches of America, based out of Florida, for 16 years. He often doesn't make it home for several months, depending on how long a tour is.

He has driven for Derek Trucks for six years. He even drove for the group in Europe when the show went overseas.

"These guys are very down to earth," he said.

Seeing new places is one of the best parts of the job, Bolton said.

"I've been doing this for so long, I know where nearly every road is in this country," he said.

His favorite stops were Paris, France, and Huntington Beach, Calif.

He's also able to attend a lot of shows while on the road.

During his visit home he just planned to take a step back from the touring lifestyle to relax before the next gig.

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