Drive-By Truckers: Light It Up

By: Dennis Cook

Drive-By Truckers by Jason Thrasher
The Drive-By Truckers are an American treasure. You could chisel their likenesses into rock's Mount Rushmore, somewhere next to Bruce Springsteen and The Black Crowes, and never flinch while working that hammer. Where the marrow and muscle have been drained from so much that calls itself rock, DBT stands dirty and defiant, solid as a brick shithouse and fragrant as your first backseat grope. They're as human as they come, stumbling towards redemption with one foot planted in joy and the other in fear. Their music will make you lose your freakin' mind and inspire fat, healing tears if you let it inside.

Their new album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark (released January 22 by New West Records) has the same vibe as Neil Young's Harvest, The Black Crowes' The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion or The Band's self-titled second record: statements of intent steeped in musical principles offered without fanfare or unnecessary trappings.

"The song is king. The song comes first and dictates where the band goes and we follow that. Live it's gonna be a little different 'cause we're a live band and we're drinkin' and raisin' hell. It's a middle ground of following the songs and following where the crowd leads us, with varying results [laughs]. Some days we're just not in a mood to follow," observes singer-guitarist-songwriter Patterson Hood. "I think that's part of how we've survived. I don't think you can make it without an obstinate streak. Plus, it makes things more interesting when the artist has that streak. All my favorite bands or artists are obstinate as hell. Goddamn, look at Neil Young [laughs]. Sometimes to a fault they're obstinate, and that's part of the beauty. Whether he's good or bad in any given year, he's always interesting."

That warts-and-all embrace sits at the very heart of what the Drive-By Truckers do. If they get ugly or sullen, well life ain't always pretty or happy. There's a depth of feeling to their entire catalog but it's especially acute on Creation's Dark.

Here I am again perfect timing
The strings ringing and the words are rhyming
I used to hate the fool in me, but only in the morning
Now I tolerate him all day long

"You're supposed to say it's your best record ever when you do a new one but in this case I can honestly say I feel that way. I think it's obvious it is, so it's not just a matter of opinion. I typically like shorter records but this time we just kept recording. One day I think we tracked seven songs. By the time we hit 17 we said, 'I don't know what to cut. There's not one of these I want to drop. I don't see 'em going on anything else and I want them to come out.' So, we made a double record," says guitarist-singer-songwriter Mike Cooley. "One of the things we're known for is writing songs people can relate to. When you're on the road all the time, well the average person only relates to some of that. You start writing songs and it all comes out as things only we experience. So I tear up the piece of paper up and throw 'em away. You get home and start doing normal things, seeing more of the lifestyle that most people live, then you can get into a headspace others can relate to. That's all over this one."

It's All About Where You Put The Horizon

Drive-By Truckers by Ankur Malhotra
You're never quite sure where this band is heading, which is a bit exhilarating, a touch dangerous but also daring. If you don't know what's around the bend then you might fall on your face, or maybe pick up some much needed speed.

"We kind of drive on that [idea]. We don't have any setlists. We just see what happens with every little aspect. It can make you laugh. I think that's why Patterson and Cooley have stayed together for 22 years. It's rare and I think it's because they didn't make too many plans," says bassist and recent addition to the Trucker's singer-songwriter pool Shonna Tucker. "We've all had other jobs, physical type jobs, and we don't want to do that again. It makes you appreciate the people who do that work, and it's important to us that our songs speak to hard working people. We all come from middle class families from Alabama pretty much, and Brad's family is just the same. Still, to this day, my dad works everyday at the paper mill. That's where we come from. That's who we are. I hope that's who I always am."

Tucker often doesn't get the credit she deserves for being such a dynamite bass player. She and drummer Brad Morgan are one of the most indestructible rhythm sections out there.

"That's always good to hear because that's my goal. I figure if my part goes unnoticed it must be right. There's plenty guitar and whatever going on, the least I can do is just play the song," says Tucker. "I've known I wanted to play bass since I was eight-years-old. I was lucky that my dad noticed I was playing basslines on guitar and figured it out. He bought me a bass guitar for my tenth birthday and that was that. I played electric bass for a few years as a kid and then I learned upright bass and fell in love with it. I learned to play barefoot so I felt the notes through the floor. There are way better technical players out there than me. Most every player is [laughs]. But I've got soul, and that's how I judge my favorite music to listen to. I want to feel it, good or bad."

About Morgan she comments, "He's the real deal. I have a hard time playing with anybody else now. We've got a thing going. We have the same kind of timing. I depend on him and I think he depends on me, when we're onstage especially. There's all kinds of chaos going on. Cooley, good grief! Johnny [Neff, guitar, pedal steel] and Spooner [Oldham, piano, keys] can make me drift off listening. So, I just go to Brad, wait for that snare and just hang onto the kick. Every hit he means it with all his heart, and that's hard to do, especially for three hours straight."

Continue reading for more on the Drive-By Truckers...

We've all had other jobs, physical type jobs, and we don't want to do that again. It makes you appreciate the people who do that work, and it's important to us that our songs speak to hard working people. We all come from middle class families from Alabama pretty much... That's who we are. I hope that's who I always am.

-Shonna Tucker

Photo by Jason Thrasher

The Van Is Packed

Patterson Hood by Kayceman
Returning to the new album, Hood says, "Honestly, I'm happy with everything about the record. Usually by the time our records come out I hear something I wish we'd done differently, but on this one I don't. I think it's the best bunch of songs we've ever recorded, the best we've ever played and definitely the best time we've ever had making a record. It just came very naturally and unforced. I'm really excited to go out and play this show live and see where it morphs to. 'Cause it will change as it gets played over the course of the next year. It'll warp into something different. They all do."

Music is a constantly evolving entity for these folks. Just because it's set down for the permanent record on vinyl (and by the end of 2008 their entire catalog should be available in LP form) doesn't mean it's done growing.

"That's definitely true. That's why I've always been supportive of the tapers at our shows. If left to my devices, we would probably have released a few more official live documents through the years, but maybe at some point in the future that'll be a possibility, too," offers Hood.

It only seems right that a band like the Truckers should have their own Live At The Fillmore set one day. Based on the two performances I've seen them play at the hallowed San Francisco hall it's clear they pick up on the residual concert mojo hiding in the cracks of that building.

"That was a biggie," says Hood, referring to their Fillmore debut a few years back. "As a kid I grew up worshipping rock 'n' roll and reading all the big magazines. I grew up in the era of Creem and Rolling Stone was a little different then, or I perceived it to be anyway in my teenage head. The Fillmore was always the landmark. Each time we get to play there is a big deal. I don't take it for granted, that's for sure."

DBT possess an almost supernatural level of conviction and intensity in the live setting. It can hit you like a revival meeting where you don't have to hide your flask or hand rolled distractions. It draws folks to them in a profound way that almost seems silly to anyone who hasn't figured out that rock 'n' roll is one of our last legitimate churches. Longtime Drive-By Truckers artist Wes Freed got hit in the spirit the first night he saw them.

Drive-By Truckers by Jason Thrasher
"My wife Jill and I were in a band called Dirtball and we played Bubbapalooza [an annual festival in Atlanta, GA celebrating 'The Redneck Underground'] one year. The second night we were checking out bands for a Richmond showcase thing we did called 'The Capital City Barn Dance,' and we saw them play and were just knocked on our asses," recalls Freed. "I was so hung over I wanted to crawl somewhere and die. The bands got free draft beer from a keg, which was warm and not particularly good. So, I was nursing one of those and wanting to die. Then they played and I felt human again."

That night numbers were exchanged and soon the Truckers played some Barn Dances. Once they saw Freed's artwork around his house they asked him to do the cover for Southern Rock Opera. From the start, Freed showed a gift for pulling out powerful imagery from their songs and twisting it wonderfully with ink and paint.

"I get the roughs early on and I take a day to listen to the record and take notes. I think about which particular lines equate themselves well as a visual image," says Freed, who's done both regular album and booklet covers for them as well as song-by-song illustrations, set design, tour shirts and more. His artwork is frequently a listener's handshake entry to the Truckers' world. "The lyrical imagery is undeniable. When I listen to them I get these pictures in my head. It's not just the lyrics it's the melodies, too. It's the whole package."

It's Freed's visuals that map out the topography inside the Truckers' tales, pass the overhang of "Lookout Mountain" down "Goode's Field Road" and winding through the sunset corridors of "The Monument Valley." The way the music and paintings overlap helps build drama and strange verisimilitude.

"I have done a few things with other bands since I started working with them but for the most part I stay away from that. My stuff is pretty identifiable and the whole idea is to give them something identifiable with them and only them. People have come to me and it was obvious they wanted something that looked like the Drive-By Truckers because they wanted some of that juju. They wanted to get on that Truckers tip and I'm not going to do that. It would cheapen everything and make it wrong."

Continue reading for more on the Drive-By Truckers...

Our band is a democracy. Sometimes that can be a train wreck and messy but when it works it's a thing of beauty. Hey, democracy is great when nobody's voting for Bush.

Patterson Hood

Photo by Jason Thrasher

Hold Steady On The Righteous Path

Shonna Tucker by Dave Vann
One of the most striking differences between Brighter Than Creation's Dark and the previous seven albums they've released since forming in 1996 is for the first time there's a female lead vocalist in the mix. Outside of a bit of back-up vocals, Shonna Tucker hadn't shown any serious interest in taking the spotlight. However, attentive listeners snapped to attention when Tucker took a verse on the Truckers' version of Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" included on a track-by-track set of covers for Highway 61 Revisited put together by U.K. music magazine Uncut in 2005. A few years later, Tucker contributed three stunning cuts to the latest song cycle that hold their own with the boys AND inject a welcome shot of estrogen into the Truckers' testosterone storm.

"Need it, need it! It's very needed. I'm tired of Cooley having to provide all the feminine energy [laughs]. I've never been as into the whole 'boys club' aspect of it anyway," says Hood. "I'm really thrilled she decided this was the time to do it. Her songs were perfect for this record, and it's really great having this lil' different perspective, too. She's such a fine writer and great singer, definitely one of us [laughs]. She was working on a couple of things in the back room in the studio during A Blessing and A Curse. When we'd walk in she'd just stop. We'd say, 'That's good. Keep going,' but she'd shrug us off."

"It makes it more real, somehow or another. It's great because there's another point of view, and the keys they're in break out of the keys we usually sing in. I'm glad she was feeling creative," adds Cooley with typical succinctness.

"It was a whole new world getting in there and singing. Being around Bettye [LaVette] in the studio last year had an impact because I'd never seen anything like her. Most of the vocals on that album [2007's The Scene of the Crime] are scratch vocals. She really belted it out, and it was clearly an inspiration though I knew I wasn't going to sing like her," chuckles Tucker. "We tracked everything so fast on Brighter Than Creation's Dark that we had some time to let me figure out how I was going to sing. I hadn't really prepared. I just came in and said, 'I have these songs and I'm gonna sing now.' It took a lot of courage to bring songs to them because I respect those guys so much as songwriters. It made me very happy when they were willing to do my songs. The recent three night run [at 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA] was an incredible purging. I feel I'm ready to get up in front of audiences now."

The Stroker Ace
As for the reduction in overall testosterone, "Everything is about balance. You can't just sit on the seesaw by yourself," observes Tucker. "Who would have ever thought a female would be in this band anyway? I'd have never guessed that. I just do what I do the best I can. If it works it works, if it doesn't, it doesn't. So far, so good."

Tucker wasn't the only one feeling her oats on Creation's Dark, Mike Cooley, one of rock's secret weapons, had an unprecedented creative explosion. There's something innately rock 'n' roll about the guy – the leather jacket, foot on the amp, hugging the lip of the stage, guitar hoisted skyward – that translates to his compositions.

"I couldn't agree more. He's a prickly pear [laughs]. He was kind of a child prodigy guitar player. He was a bluegrass guitar player as a little boy, and was on local TV on a morning bluegrass show this old guy used to have at like seven in the morning. Cooley would go in there before school and sit in, and he was only about nine-years-old," says Hood. "I've always felt strongly about his writing but he doesn't write a lot. He's a two-song-a-year guy usually, but he came in this time with so many songs, every one of them as good as the two-a-years or maybe even better. It's pretty phenomenal to me. I've always been a huge fan of the songs he writes in our band. They're musically interesting to play and his wordplay always kind of amazes me."

Totally screwed
While chicken wing puke eats the candy apple red off his Corvette
Three dimes down and 25 cents shy of a slice of the Doublemint twins
Come back baby, Rock and Roll never forgets

-From Cooley's "3 Dimes Down" on Creation's Dark

"Sometimes I'll get on a roll but usually in the past if I've got four or five songs on a record they're written over a couple of years," explains Cooley. "We finally just got off the road. I've read this about other bands that say they don't write on the road. I read that about Tom Petty recently but when he's at home he's a song-a-day guy. The day-in, day-out schedule you keep on tour just doesn't allow the space. We had almost four months totally off and we didn't crank back up touring until the spring of '07. It was also the first time ever where we had that much time off and I didn't have a new baby, and you're not gonna write any new songs when you have one of those! This time, I wrote seven songs and got my wife pregnant again [laughs]. During this [current] hiatus I'm not going to write any songs and go get a vasectomy."

You Got To Frame It Just Right

The title of the new record is very poetic and evocative in just four words, but it's also a tongue twister one suspects many will flub.

"Our record label had it up on their website as Brighter Than Creation for a while. That's the record label that actually owns it and gets to make money off it [laughs]. We had the hardest time naming this record," says Hood. "We got along so famously making it, the most natural and organic thing ever, and when it came time to name it we flat out couldn't get a consensus. We finally narrowed it down to four titles nobody hated. We wanted it to be unanimous because everything else on the record had been. There wasn't a single decision that'd been a majority vote. It was always unanimous, and that had never happened before. Our band is a democracy. Sometimes that can be a train wreck and messy but when it works it's a thing of beauty. Hey, democracy is great when nobody's voting for Bush [laughs]. Finally, I called Wes Freed and called out the titles to him. When I said [Brighter Than Creation's Dark], he said, 'I don't care what you name the damn thing. I'm gonna paint that!' Alright, that's the name!"

Wes Freed is an integral part of their story, especially since the band came to national attention in 2001 with Southern Rock Opera.

"He's an underrated part of our story. He's just an amazing artist. It's been one of those great relationships that benefits everyone involved. I couldn't be more proud of what he does as an artist and getting to be part of that," says Hood. "I never give him any input or tell him what to draw or what direction to turn. I have a theory that if I leave him alone he'll come up with something better than what I can think up."

Animated, rabblerousing skeletons are a reoccurring theme in Freed's work with the Truckers.

"Ever since I started drawing I've done skeletons like that. One of my earliest influences was Harryhausen's 7th Voyage of Sinbad movie where he's fighting skeletons. Ever since that I've been in love with skeletons. It's not some kind of death fetish or anything. The design elements of the human skeletal system and just that bony-ness lends itself to line drawing and painting," says Freed. "They kind of exist in a gray area. You don't see many bones actually. They kind of look like photos I saw as a kid of Civil War prison camp survivors. Their skin was almost melted onto the skeletal frame. A lot of times the skeletons in my drawings don't bend at 90-degree angles. Their arms are kind of wavy. And the skeletons are always drinking and, of course, it would just fall out of the bottom of their mouth. You've seen that in cartoons when they try. But my guys have to drink because they couldn't survive otherwise. They exist in a world of their own."

The imagery and mythology of Southern culture also permeates Freed's richly detailed illustrations.

"I was immersed in this culture as a kid. My grandfather filled my head with stories of his uncles that were actually in the [Civil] War in the cavalry. As I got older I figured out that some of the stories he told were things that actually happened to various historical people. He'd kind of cut-and-pasted over their names, which is kind of cool. You should never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Sitting at his knee, listening to these stories, defined me in many ways, at least artistically."

Continue reading for more on the Drive-By Truckers...

'Oh, they're alt-country.' I'm not 'alt' anything! What the fuck is alt? It's not even a whole word. If they say you're country rock, well what happens if I wake up wanting to be punk rock? And maybe tomorrow I might want to be R&B influenced rock and the day after that I might want to be primal stomp Stooges-inspired rock. And next week I might want to do something that's arena rock. When done right rock should be open to all those different things.

Patterson Hood

Photo by Jason Thrasher

Sounds Better In The Song

Drive-By Truckers by Jason Thrasher
One spin of Creation's Dark is enough to dispel the endless Southern Rock tag that's followed them around since their rock opera hit. The Truckers are a slippery bunch that follows their various muses into whatever corridors beckon.

"Listening to this [new] record, my dad told me, 'You'd make a pretty good country band.' I told him, 'We are a country band!' We're all such big music dorks that love ALL kinds of music," enthuses Tucker. "On the last tour Brad brought out a little record player and that was too cool. Everyday we'd split off and come back to share records we'd found. You can't just listen to one kind of music. On the bus we have everything from Hall & Oates to Willie Dixon."

As someone weaned on Black Flag and The Clash, I frequently pick up on a certain big city feeling behind many Truckers' tunes. Athens, GA's answer to The Ramones' New York City in the '70s or the '80s Minneapolis of Paul Westerberg. Despite an endless stream of Hee-Haw-esque descriptions of the band, there's a dark punk element to what they do.

"Fuck yeah there is! The Southern Rock thing stuck early but then again it was kind of late. Cooley and I already had 15 years in when we did Southern Rock Opera. That was just the first thing that stuck on a national level. Before that we were so underground no one outside of a little, diehard cult following even knew we existed," explains Hood. "Our culture being so driven by soundbites, is how we end up with idiots in the White House. That's what happens when it's all about some surface appeal as opposed to something with depth. I hope to be obstinate enough to always push against that trend. I think it's a bad problem and the root of a lot of problems we're having as a nation and a people right now.

This leads to a discussion of overlooked bands in our surface driven culture including a shared personal favorite, Centro-matic.

Hood & Tucker by Ryan Dombal
"They should be one of the biggest bands on Earth. There's not an ounce of flab on that entire organization. The four of those guys play so incredibly well together. Each one brings so much to it, and then together they're so beyond the sum of their parts," says Hood. "Goddamn, they write great songs, play the living shit out of them and no one knows who they are. They've got a really hardcore following of people like me who worship the ground they walk on but when you have to describe them in one sentence what the fuck do you say?"

Hood is critical of the recording industry, an oxymoron if ever there was one. The notion of industrializing something as mercurial as music is both ludicrous and patently wrongheaded.

"When that Nirvana record [Nevermind] broke in '91 for a brief moment I was convinced that The Replacements were going to be on the radio. I was that idealist and naïve that for a moment in time I believed that we'd won. Then I realized it was just going to be a bunch of lesser bands trying to sound like Nirvana," laments Hood. "Radio in the '90s was, if possible, worse than radio in the '80s. How did that happen? I thought we'd won but we lost. That's why I have so much negative shit to say about the industry. Of all the wasted opportunities! They've built an industry out of selling the greatest thing on Earth, and they've done their best to ruin it. They haven't succeeded though [laughs]. They just ruin people's perception of it."

"Fortunately, the music does keep on happening. You just have to look a lot harder for it now, and we're a lazy society that doesn't like to look hard for things," Hood continues. "At least the kids are out there with their computers looking up bands with crazy names that I've never heard of. So, there's always hope. I'm still an optimist in my own grumpy way. People ask, 'Why is your music so dark?' Because things piss me off! If you want me to write happy songs make me fucking happy."

Just don't ask them what the songs are about. They don't cotton to the cultural voyeurism that wants every tune explained in gory detail.

"The truth is I don't know. If it sounds like I'm avoiding the issue when I say I don't know what a line means, well, I really don't know. It popped out and it sounded good," remarks Cooley. "With a lot of songs, I get a few years down the road and what it actually meant becomes clearer to me. I enjoy hearing what other people think it means because they're usually right. You want to include them. I think it's a conversation with the listener rather than just me talking. I don't want you to feel like I feel. That's my space."

Rock and Roll Means Well

Another character in the Truckers' menagerie is producer David Barbe, who mixed 1999's Alabama Ass Whuppin' and has helmed each studio release after that, working closely with the band to sculpt records that sound like classics right out of the gate.

Drive-By Truckers by Jason Thrasher
"He's an incredible producer and a great coach, too. Both baseball – which I don't play but he's somewhat of a great baseball coach – and production technique," says Hood. "He doesn't have a patented drum sound he applies to every record or some hip sound that's his trademark. His trademark is over the course of a record he makes you a better band and documents that on tape. I've seen it happen over and over even before we were in a position to hire him! I'd work sound in clubs and see bands that had a couple things going good for them, and they'd go into the studio for a month with him and come back and play phenomenally better. The strong things had been pushed to the front and the weak things had been eliminated, improved or moved to where it wasn't distracting from the strong things. Lord knows he's done that with us each time."

Brighter Than Creation's Dark has the feel of a wonderful '70s double vinyl manifesto. Everything about it, from the overall heft to the brilliant song order, screams with bellbottom glory yet does so without being some dumb, ironic retro exercise.

"Mr. Hood has a gift for sequencing. He's such a fan of vinyl records and he wants people to have that same experience of having to flip a record over, to bring up the way it feels when that first song on Side B comes on," says Tucker. On the CD edition of the new album the tracks are broken up into Side 1, 2, 3 and 4, creating their second double album studio set. When I point out that this beats Led Zeppelin in that regard, Tucker grins, "That's not a bad deal."

"I grew up shopping for records, and the biggest thrill was getting home to cut the shrink wrap off and discover that it folded open. Even if it wasn't a double album there was a gatefold and there'd be something extra, like Kiss had a 'love gun.' Records are making a comeback. The only reason I bought a CD player was my turntable broke and I had a Sears credit card and no money," says Freed. "There's something about putting on a record. Maybe it's just nostalgia but I think it's more. Every time you put on a record you have to decide if you're in a Side One mood or a Side Two mood. There's a lot of records I've worn Side One down to Side Two or vice-versa."

"I'm a lifelong disciple of rock 'n' roll music in all its various incarnations. Which is why I've run like hell from any other label being put on my band. Any of the other labels limit you," Hood says. "There's this soundbite mentality that wants to label everything. 'Oh, they're alt-country.' I'm not 'alt' anything! What the fuck is alt? It's not even a whole word," bristles Hood. "If they say you're country rock, well what happens if I wake up wanting to be punk rock? And maybe tomorrow I might want to be R&B influenced rock and the day after that I might want to be primal stomp Stooges-inspired rock. And next week I might want to do something that's arena rock. When done right rock should be open to all those different things."

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mhc10 Thu 1/31/2008 07:14PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Brighter Than Creation's Dark is a smash album. I thought they would stuggle a little since losing Jason Isbell, but they have put out a great, great album. Can't wait for the Rock Show in Newport in March!!!!


HoodooVoodoo starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/31/2008 07:54PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Are these guys any good? I've never given them a listen.

Vandal13 starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/31/2008 09:34PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"During this [current] hiatus I'm not going to write any songs and go get a vasectomy."

...If that ain't rock n' roll, I don't know what is. I spilled my beer when I read that. Brilliant. Been a Trucker fan for a long time now, this is my favorite album.

Chaloupka starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/31/2008 10:50PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Nice read. This album is fantastic! Long Live The Truckers!

Can't wait for the Denver show!

pureprince starstarstarstar Fri 2/1/2008 03:53AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Appreciate the great article - DBT def can rock and roll with the best of em, the 21st centuries answer to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Albums killer too, get on the righteous path!!

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/1/2008 05:20AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


What an amazing album. My favorite tracks are Bob, Self Destructive Zones, and Sorry Huston. question: why has it taken it so long for Shonna tucker to be featured on a track. I think she's fabulous. Great voice and an overall sexy woman.

KCReb starstarstarstar Fri 2/1/2008 08:39AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I've honestly never given the Truckers a chance either. Just one of those bands I've always meant to check out, but never got around to it. I think I might have to after reading this.

I like how Centro-matic was tossed in there. They are an amazing band out of Denton, TX and evryone should check them out!

johnnyroad Fri 2/1/2008 09:47AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

couldn't have been a better article to sum up how bad ass these guy's are. for those of you who haven't seen dbt yourself a a favor and go!! you'll walk out of there and never be the same again. they ARE the best rock-n-roll show on the road right question

SCIcane starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/1/2008 09:53AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Great article! Got a late start with them this past summer and have not been able to get 'em out of my head since. Haven't seen them live yet, why are they not hitting up DC with this tour? Might have to make a bit of a trek to catch them this spring

shonuff Fri 2/1/2008 10:12AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I first heard about Drive By Truckers in an article of Rolling Stone back in 2004. The article was "5 Bands You Have To Know About." Along with the Thorns and Kings of Leon, The Drive By Truckers were mentioned in the article. I feel that this is one of the only bands that I listen to that has taken some of the biggest chances. This album is fantanstic. If you ever get the chance to listen to Bulldozers & Dirt you should. It is one of the greatest songs I have ever listened to.

FreeHawk starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/1/2008 01:15PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Great read from one of my all time fav bands. Loved how you got Wes Freed in on the action.Brighter then Creation's Dark is a true masterpiece.NOt a bad track on it.Long Live the mighty DBT! Centro-matic is the real deal also. I hope Kayceman doesn't mind Im using his pic of Patterson from Roo a few years ago for a painting....I don’t mean no harm, I just like to flirt but most of all I like bulldozers and dirt

mgizmo starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/1/2008 05:39PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I'm going to see them in Seattle in a couple weeks and I am really looking forward to it. Seen them open for the Black Crowes and I decided during the Crowes second set that the Truckers should have headlined.

One thing I think is puzzling is how Jambase, which I assumed catered to mostly jam band fans is writing articles about these guys. Do not go to there shows expecting long extended soloing or space or drums because you won't get that. I suppose Jambase is evolving and thats totally okay with me.

widespreadfred starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/2/2008 11:51AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Dennis, you've done it again, my friend.

Great read.

Ath1 starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/2/2008 05:13PM
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Great article and a classic album. I find it amazing how they can weather so many line up changes and still continue to produce outstanding albums. "Brighter Than Creations Dark" is the best effort they've ever released and considering how many great records they've produced and how powerful their live shows are I am convinced they are one of the greatest bands in rock and roll.

joxley1 starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/2/2008 05:41PM
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I have to add my praise for this album. Killer. Shonna's voice adds heaps to an already kickass sound.

n-1 starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/2/2008 06:53PM
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intense review! i enjoyed it, my friend from mobile took me to see them at langerado two years ago, i was really impressed. i remember they were at the second langerado two, and i had never heard of them, that was when they were just starting out i think.

n-1 Sat 2/2/2008 06:54PM
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this is what all reviews aspire to be

Ladoo starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/3/2008 11:04AM
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I can't quit listening to this album. Every year there are several new albums that come out that I thuroughly enjoy. However, there are always 2 or 3 that stand above the rest. This album is one of those albums for me, what a classic.

cloudhidden starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/4/2008 10:54AM
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Mike Cooley is one of the most underrated men in RocknRoll. His voice is the perfect southern snarl, his playing is awe inspiring and his songs are masterworks of truth and poetry.

I wish he would do more solo acoustic shows!!!

Long Live DBT!!!

Chaloupka Wed 2/6/2008 01:53PM
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^^^I completely agree with cloudhidden!

Ash starstarstarstar Wed 2/13/2008 09:28AM
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THREE DIMES DOWN and CARL PERKIN'S CADILLAC are 2 of the greatest songs ever written, period.

stop talking about hip hop and listen to the best songwriters out there that can JAM!

stellarrstarr starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/14/2008 02:24PM
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This album still blows me away. For those who've mentioned you haven't taken the time to listen or check them out live, well - do yourself a favor and catch them during this tour! The storytelling they encompass in through their songs will make you a fan forever.

Can't wait for their return to Boulder's Fox Theatre next week!!!

Benjamin Human starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/19/2008 07:12AM
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Benjamin Human


drdeon starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/21/2008 05:51PM
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from a HUGE DBT fan, not as stoked about the album as the rest here, but a phenomenal article nonetheless. these guys are so authentic it's silly. keep rockin!

IndiOcean Sat 3/8/2008 11:08AM
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Hoodoo Voodoo----- YESSSSS!!!! the DBT REally KICK ASS!!!. THey are strong like BULL!! the music is dynamic and very VERY powerful. go see them at all costs--try to make a weekend show if u can.