DBT announce American Band – 9/30/16

by Woody on June 24, 2016


Photo by Danny Clinch

DBT is back with their 11th album to celebrate their 20th year together. I thought their last effort, English Oceans was their best in a while and based on the first track, Surrender Under Protest, the boys are on the incline. As I commented to a buddy, they sound angry and pissed off; and that’s when they’re at their best. Here’s a letter that Patterson penned about the upcoming album.

“Surrender Under Protest” is a Mike Cooley composition that is unlike any DBT song we’ve ever recorded, yet somehow sounds unmistakably like us. In a way, that’s pretty indicative of the album as a whole.

These are crazy times and we have made a record steeped in this moment of history that we’re all trying to live through. We’ve always considered ourselves a political band, even when that aspect seemed to be concealed by some type of narrative device i.e. dealing with issues of race by telling a story set in the time of George Wallace or class struggles by setting “Putting People of the Moon” in the age of Reagan.

This time out, there are no such diversions as these songs are mostly set front and center in the current political arena with songs dealing with our racial and cultural divisions, gun violence, mass shootings and political assholery. Once again, there is a nearly even split between the songs of Cooley and myself, with both of us bringing in songs that seem to almost imply a conversation between us about our current place in time.

“American Band” is a rock and roll call to arms as well as a musical reset button for our band and the country we live in. Most of all, we look at it as the beginnings of some conversations that we, as a people very much need to begin having if we ever hope to break through the divisions that are threatening to tear us apart.

Drive-By Truckers are celebrating our twentieth anniversary as a band in an election year where some people are trying to define what it is to be American. Definitions based on some outdated ideology of prejudice and fear. We are loudly proclaiming that those people don’t speak for us. America is and always has been a land of immigrants and ideals. Ideals that we have often fallen short of achieving, but it’s the striving that has given us whatever claims to greatness we have had. That’s what America means to us and “We’re an American Band”.

Drive-by Truckers is here



Steve Gunn is one of the best guitarists I’ve had the pleasure to see play live. I’ve always found his music so easy to get lost in and daydream to places far and beyond where I sat. So it seems perfect that his third effort as a full-out singer/songwriter delves into exploration and experiencing your environment as the central theme for Eyes On The Line.

That appreciation of exploration and the enjoyment of space around him is evident in his playing. Gunn’s fingers aren’t firing up and down the fret. Nor is he contorting his body into yoga positions as he holds a note for 5 seconds. Instead his fingers pick at the strings as they dance around his guitar making some of the most wonderful tones you’ll hear come out of a guitar.

But it is continued growth as a vocalist and a writer that is taking him to a new level. These are Gunn’s strongest tunes to date and he delivers his vocals as if he espousing us with a way to live life to the fullest. Well, I’ve decided to cash in on this advice and rearrange my schedule to catch his show at Schuba’s tonight. Hope to see you there.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Steve Gunn is here



Photo Credit: Dusdin Condren

I hadn’t heard of Lucy Dacus prior to this morning. But apparently many people had as she seems to have generated a whole ton of buzz. So much so that the venerable Matador Records have just adder her to their roster and are going to release her debut, No Burden, on vinyl on September 9th. You can procure it now via the world wide web. I’ve watched the video twice and in sending it over a friend, commented – sounds like Courtney Barnett with a hint of twang. I’ll dig in to the whole album next week and wow you with my expertise. Here’s what my pals at Matador have to say about her.

Lucy Dacus’s No Burden is full of surprises—sharp lyrical observations, playful turns of musical phrase, hooks that’ll embed themselves in your frontal lobe for days. But the most surprising thing about this album might be the fact that it’s a debut; it has a keen sense of self about it, and it nearly glows from the self-possession held by the woman at its core.

The 21-year-old Dacus grew up in Richmond; she was adopted at a young age, an experience that informed her curious, openhearted songwriting. “When my parents were explaining what adoption was—which was very early on in my childhood—they always said that my birthmother thought I was worthwhile even though she couldn’t be my mom,” she says. “And so from essentially infancy, I was taught that life was innately worthwhile because a bunch of people had worked together to set me up with one.”

Dacus started playing around Richmond while in college, opening for local acts and eventually meeting Jacob Blizard, a guitarist who invited her to make a record for a college project of his. No Burden, which originally came out in February on the Richmond label EggHunt Records, opens with the forthright, almost brutally honest “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” the last song Dacus wrote before the album’s day-long recording session at Starstruck Studios in Nashville. Dacus delivers scalpel-sharp observations about resisting pigeonholing over chunky guitars, ticking off ideals of femininity and youth until the track’s not-quite-resolution.

These themes extend to the lyrics of songs like “Strange Torpedo,” a whirling portrait of a friend whose “bunch of bad habits” who, Dacus sings, has “been falling for so long… and hasn’t] hit anything solid yet.” “I’ve been that friend watching a loved one do what they know is bad for them and not understanding why,” says Dacus. The song offers a simple message: “I love you, why don’t you love you? You’re the one in your body so you get to choose what to do with it, but if I were you I’d treat me differently.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Lucy Dacus is here



Things I love about Natural Child. 1) Some people call them Natty C. 2) I love that the cover of their new album really invokes what it feels like when listening to a Natty C album. 3) They play rock n roll in the least pretentious manner possible. 4) They put on a ripping live show. 5) They sound better when I’m drinking beer.

Okey Dokey will be their follow up to 2014′s Dancin’ With Wolves. It will be released on 9/16/16 via their new label, Natural Child Records and Tapes. If you’re like me, you just added the following to your google calendar for 9/16/16 – pick up 12 pack of canned beer and buy Okey Dokey by Natty C.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Natural child is here


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Have you ever tried to capture a fart in a container? It isn’t easy, trust me. That’s what it is like to capture the brilliance of a Diarrhea Planet show in a studio. For anyone who has ever seen the Nashville sextet live, complete with four guitars, you’ll know that to be an almost impossible [...]

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