Drive By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers – The Perilous Night

by Woody on November 7, 2017

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

DBT just threw down the gauntlet with a new 7″ for Election Day.

“‘The Perilous Night’ is a sort of nightmarish epilogue to the themes we addressed on American Band,” said Drive-By Truckers singer and songwriter Patterson Hood. “I began writing it on the day the Electoral College met in December 2016 and completed it in the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville, VA last summer. We recorded it in Athens, GA during a break in our fall tour and mixed it on the day Tom Petty passed away. It may be the darkest song I’ve ever written, but it’s also a dance song. Turn it up!”


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DBT has never shied away from how they felt. Their music has always had a hint of their political leanings but never hit you over the head. But as the band turns 20 and our country stands on the precipice of voting in a racist Oompa Loompa, DBT has thrown down the gauntlet on an album that bristles with anger and passion.

Patterson Hood recently did an outstanding hour-long podcast with Steven Hyden. He made mention of how this current iteration of DBT was the one he’s enjoying the most. And it certainly shows. After a couple of albums that were OK, DBT seems to have found its groove again. After English Oceans saw the band return to form, American Band stands amongst their best work.

The lead single, What It Means, sadly remains timely as ever with the two recent incidents in Charlotte and Tulsa. Penned and sung by Patterson Hood, the song sees Hood just plain exasperated by what the fuck is going on in the country. It isn’t so much saying, “hey you on other side, you suck.” To me, Hood is saying, “Fuck me; is this as good as it gets? Can we not to do any better than this?”

There are also a couple of songs that deal with our country’s obsession with guns. The heartbreaking Guns of Umpqua, sung by Patterson, deals with the deadliest shooting in Oregon’s history. The opening track, Ramon Casiano, sees Cooley take the lead on a song about Harlan Carter. Carter is the man responsible for turning the NRA into the cesspool it is today and also killing a 15 y/o Ramon Casiano.

Other gems on the album include Patterson’s ode to his new hometown Portland, Sun Don’t Shine. Buoyed by Jay Gonzalez’s excellent piano, it sounds like something of his solo effort – Heat Lightning Rumbles In the Distance. And in tribute to his roots, he pens an ode to his Southern roots, Ever South.

Not to be outdone, Cooley delivers a couple of other tunes that are vintage Cooley. Filthy and Fried is a gem made all the better being that it was recorded live at The 40 Watt by David Barbe. You listen to that and Kinky Hypocrite and you wonder how someone that prolific ever went through writer’s block. Quite simply, he is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

The album comes out next week and this is one to get excited for.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or at @HearYa

Drive-By Truckers are here


I’m old and my memory is going but I think these are the two bands that laid the foundation for my friendship with Oz. Funny that they have albums coming out within a couple of weeks apart. I’m digging both tracks and that has me excited for a good March even though my HearYa buddies won’t be in Austin with me this year.

The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams on 3/25/14

Drive-By Truckers – English Oceans on 3/4/14



Its always nice to have a musician that you have grown to love over the years hit a pinnacle so high that you feel the need to stop and tell strangers about it on the streets. Similar to Patterson Hood’s Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance or Phosphorescent’s Muchacho, Southeastern is the work of one of my favorite musicians hitting a pinnacle so high that you’ll soon finding yourself telling strangers about it as well.

One of the first times I encountered Jason Isbell was back during the Decoration Day tour. During that time, DBT would walk on stage with a Costco sized bottle of Jack and proceed to drain it. There was a point late in the evening where we was teetering with only the wall holding him up. Somehow, he stood up straight and nailed a version of Decoration Day that left the crowd speechless. You knew that at time, you were watching someone with a great future ahead of him; if he could keep his shit together.

Keeping his shit together is the central theme of Southeastern. Isbell has met the love of his life in Amanda Shires, is making the best music of his career and most important to him – is sober. The opening track, Cover Me Up, is an absolute stunning song (and one of 2013’s best). The way he combines themes of redemption and love gives me the chills every time I hear it.

The fact that he bookends that song with Relatively Easy which seems to point to a better future is not lost on me and is a nice touch. In between Southeastern is chock full of gems. Traveling Alone has Mrs. Isbell helping out on vocals and more importantly, playing her amazing fiddle. Flying Over Water has Isbell revisiting his Southern roots in the song that would sound the most natural on a DBT album. While Live Oak paints a dark tale in a murder ballad.

The cover of Southeastern is a simple picture of Isbell. Southeastern is a simple album in that there is no bullshit. It is an artist writing amazing songs and baring it all for us to see. If Muchacho is 2013’s #1 album, then Southeastern is 1A.


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Drive-By Truckers’ Greatest Hits – 1998-2009: What tracks did they miss?

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Drive-By Truckers – Everybody Needs Love [new mp3]

February 14, 2011

I recently sang the praises for Drive-By Truckers new album, Go-Go Boots. The band has kindly offered a free download from the album via electronic postcard. It’s their Eddie Hinton cover of “Everybody Needs Love” and I think it’s Patterson Hood’s best vocal performance to date. I hope y’all are gettin’ some tonight. If you […]

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Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots [Album Review]

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The Drive-By Truckers have a knack for capturing the gritty essence of small town blue collar, often poverty-stricken, life in the South. Their songs depict tales of down on their luck characters and the band is unapologetic in casting strippers, murderers, and marauders as protagonists. As a listener, it’s easy to feel a bit guilty […]

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