Last week saw the release of Drive-By Truckers’ co-frontman Patterson Hood’s second solo-album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs). I believe the album also marks the first on DBT’s new label (their own), Ruth Street Records.
The album was produced by Patterson and long-time DBT producer David Barbe. Joining Patterson on the album are most of his Truckers bandmatesa as well as Don Chambers, Will Johnson and Scott Danbom of Centro-matic & South San Gabriel. Patterson’s father, David Hood, also joins him on cd for the first time ever.
Like Patterson’s first solo album, Killers and Stars, there aren’t any “new songs” on Murdering Oscar, and some are almost driving age. Murdering Oscar was written at two different times with two different Patterson Hoods doing the writing. The story goes like this, part of the album was written in the early nineties as a bitter Patterson was going through a shitty divorce. Then sometime in 2004 Patterson found an old cassette with those demos on it liked them enough that he decided to finish the album. Now, some 10 years later, life is shining on Patterson, so instead of trying to find those dark places in his mind, he juxtaposes the bitterness of a decade past with the positivity of his current station in life. So finally in January of 2005 he gathered the folks mentioned above and recorded the album…after which it promptly sat on a shelf until now.
The results are pretty typical Patterson for me. I barely liked any of it on the first listen and as it continued to play in my car different songs began to grow on me, which is how a lot of Patterson’s DBT tracks play out for me. The guitars on the album do hold a familiar raw sound that the past few DBT albums have been sorely missing and there are a couple of tracks on here that would fit perfectly on any Truckers album (Heavy and Hanging), but as a whole this isn’t where a DBT/Patterson newcomer should start.