Jerry Joseph & Drive-By Truckers Share ‘Sugar Smacks’ Single & Video

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Jerry Joseph and Drive-By Truckers shared a video for their new single, “Sugar Smacks.” The track will appear on Joseph’s upcoming album, The Beautiful Madness, arriving on August 21 via Decor Records.

Drive-By Truckers back Joseph on the entire album and the record also features slide guitar from former Trucker Jason Isbell, marking the first time Isbell has recorded with DBT since leaving the band in 2007. “Sugar Smacks” is the fourth single from The Beautiful Madness. Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers, who produced the LP, had high praise for Joseph and the song.

“’Sugar Smacks’ might be the most punk rock song I’ve heard in twenty years (or more),” he said. “As a founding member of Drive-By Truckers, I place this track among my favorite moments of this band’s discography and the rest of them are in unanimous agreement with me about that.”

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The video for “Sugar Smacks,” directed by Mara Whitehead and Justin Benoliel, features footage of Jerry Joseph’s extensive travels around the globe. The singer-songwriter detailed the experience in a statement:

In 2010 my friend Justin Benoliel came to the recording of the Jackmormons’ Happy Book record and presented an idea to make a documentary about me. My stipulation was that we travel to film it. So on Justin’s dime, besides filming the Jackmormons’ now legendary Nicaragua shows, we did tours of Southeast Asia – Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand; and then the Middle East – Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel; and somewhere in there we fit in Europe, Mexico and various USA locales. While playing shows in Tel Aviv, the first Hamas rockets hit the city, but we went ahead with our shows. That decision resulted in my being asked to come to Kabul to teach at a co-ed underground rock school. I raised significant monies for instruments to bring with me for the students and thus that was the beginning of my NOMAD Music Foundation, which has since brought me twice to Kurdish Iraq to teach guitar to kids in the refugee camps of Chamishko and Arbat.

There’s some reason for everyone to hate me in this song…and maybe a line to find vindication, as well. I wish I knew how to reach the Kurdish bead seller in Istanbul who called himself Johnny Thunders to hide from Erdogan’s persecution of Kurds, or how to thank the people who invited me and Charlie to their Holi Fest street party in Mumbai, or how to figure out a way to bring more attention to the Duhok mountain I’m standing on at the end of this video, as it’s currently being attacked by Turkish bombers daily (as are the camps).

Patterson said ‘Sugar Smacks’ is a perfect punk rock song. I don’t know about that. I’m just an aging self-centered punk, handed an extraordinary chance in life to see stuff in person. For which I shall be forever grateful…”

– Jerry Joseph

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Watch the video for “Sugar Smacks” below:

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JamBase Live Video Archive
JamBase Live Video Archive