THE DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – GO-GO BOOTS


When I wrote about the new Lucero album last year, I posed the question of whether or not it’s fair for a band to be required to stay within the walls its fans had erected around it. Now admittedly, I am guilty as everyone else when it comes to the Truckers, and I’ll probably never stop comparing everything they release to the trinity of Southern Rock Opera, Decoration Day & The Dirty South. That said, I’ve finally accepted that there will never be another one of those albums from the band. Even if they explicitly sat down with the intention of making it, I don’t think it’s even in them anymore. So when the talk of Go-Go Boots started to hit the internet, I didn’t even get excited, and when “Used To Be A Cop” was released, even I was surprised with the amount of indifference I felt towards it.

So imagine my surprise when I got the album and honestly and genuinely liked it.

Go-Go Boots seems to be a mashup of the Truckers sound and the sounds they were making backing Betty Lavette and Booker T. Jones. The band calls it their “country, soul and murder ballads” album. I call it the most exciting thing to come out of the DBT camp since the opening moments of The Dirty South. Perhaps we’re gonna see a rebirth of the band, moving from that Southern rock sound we all knew and loved to a Muscle Shoals country soul band. After listening to Go-Go Boots more times than I’ve listened to Brighter Than Creations Dark, A Blessing and A Curse and The Big To Do combined, I think they could pull it off. Even that track that was initially met with a wall of indifference (“Used To Be A Cop”) has become one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Also, I’d like to address Shonna’s contributions to Go-Go Boots, “Dancin’ Ricky” and “Where’s Eddie”. In the past I’ve been known to say things like, “why in the fuck do they let her sing?” and “Holy crap! Shonna’s songs freaking suck”. So in the interest of fairness I’d like to take a moment to say that Shonna’s songs aren’t bad. While “Dancin’ Ricky” isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I don’t feel the need to hit the skip button with finger breaking force when it plays and, truth be told, “Where’s Eddie” could even be considered a good song. Yup, I said it. And I’m as surprised as you.

Anyhow, the album may or may not be up your alley, but if you are or ever were a Truckers fan you should definitely check it out.

The Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
The Drive-By Truckers – Everybody Needs Love
The Drive-By Truckers – Used To Be A Cop

The Drive-By Truckers’ Official Site, Stream Go-Go Boots, Buy Go-Go Boots

THE ROCK REPORT: THE DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS @ THE HOUSE OF BLUES; ORLANDO, FL


I’ve been hard on the Drive-By Truckers the past few years here on ninebullets, I know. Truth is, I’ve been even harder on them in my own mind, so when they posted Florida tour dates that made it to Tampa for only the second time since Isbell left the band, my excitement was about that of an eight year old with Brussels sprouts on his dinner plate. Ultimately, I decided I was gonna miss the show here in Tampa in favor of attending a local band’s show and figured that would be that. But, as fate would have it, the band’s publicist reached out to me the day of the Tampa show and next thing I knew the wife and I were gonna be driving to Orlando the next night for the DBT show at the House of Blues.

Now, it bears mentioning that I still wasn’t bouncing-off-the-walls excited to go to the show, I had just agreed to go see it. The wife and I had also agreed that if it sucked we were leaving immediately. The last two times I’d seen the Truckers (once with Isbell and once without), the band seemed less than interested in the show, bordering on distracted. I wasn’t the only one who noticed, either. I chalked it up to fatigue, band tensions or a product of getting bigger and playing bigger venues, but ultimately it didn’t matter. The only thing that did matter was that they disappointed me, so a few years and a couple of albums that fell below the band’s high water mark pass later, and I find myself walking into the House of Blues to see what the band is like these days. To put it bluntly, I was not expecting to be blown away, amazed or rocked. I only hoped to be entertained.

I was entertained. I was rocked. And, hell, I was blown away.

The band was as good as I’ve seen them in years. Patterson’s smile was back. Cooley looked like he wanted to be there. As a whole, it was like the band had their moxie back and the setlist seemed to suggest the same thing. The first ½ of the show was dominated by tracks from Southern Rock Opera and spiced with choice selections from Patterson & Cooley’s contributions from Decoration Day and The Dirty South. The latter ½ of the show saw the pace mellow a little, as the band began introducing songs from the upcoming Go-Go Boots to the crowd, but it never let up enough to bore you as Cooley managed to squeeze “Birthday Boy” and “Ghost To Most” in there, with Patterson dropping “Tornadoes” into the last portion of the show. In the end, my only complaint about the show would have to have been the crowd. Orlando shows usually make me jealous of the Orlando scene, but the House of Blues crowd was lethargic to the point of being a deterrent to a good time (luckily Mr. Jimmy Beam kept the good times on tap).

So if the band is hitting your neck of the woods in the coming months, go check them out. They seem to be enjoying the road again and are putting on a great rock show right now.

Drive-By Truckers – Zip City (live)
Drive-By Truckers – Marry Me (live)
Drive-By Truckers – A Ghost To Most (live)

Songs taken from Live From Austin, Texas

TOP FIVE: TRUCKIN' SONGS

null

I gave AIV the train song idea and ended up not being to get my shit together and my head above water at work to do the post and I was a little disappointed by that. So I decided that this week I’d drop another classic country and western song genre on you guys and write the post before I told AIV the idea so I would get to post this time. This week is Truckin’ Songs. My daddy was a trucker when I was born and somewhere there is a picture of me knee high to him standing beside his rig. I came up listening to Jerry Reed and watching Smokey and the Bandit so I guess I have a romanticized view of the OTR trucker. I know some of the truckin’ songs out there are a little bit cheesy but I love the genre so it’s this week’s Top 5. I hope some of you are also fans of truckin’ songs. Here’s my five, can’t wait to see yours…

Diana William’s – Teddy Bear’s Last Ride | Maybe the saddest truckin’ song in existence
C. W. McCall – Convoy | My first thought when it comes to truckin’ songs and what defined the genre for me
Jerry Reed – Caffeine, Nictotine, Benzedrine (and Wish Me Luck) | Jerry Reed did the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack but this is so much better a song than Eastbound and Down
Dale Watson – Truckin’ Man | Much like Jerry Reed no truckin’ song list would be complete with Dale and this is a great track
Jason Boland and the Stragglers – Truckstop Diaries | While not technically a song about driving trucks I think this one counts

So there’s my list, let’s see yours. I do fully expect to see Alabama in someone’s list…
(Cover picture by SoulRider.222.)

AIV SAYS:

Jerry Reed – Eastbound and Down: RSV can go deep cuts…I’m playing the obvious. I also wanna take this opportunity to say, if you’re not watching Eastbound and Down on HBO then you’re seriously fucking up.

Drive-By Truckers – 18 Wheels Of Love (Live from Austin City Limits): One could argue that this is a love song and not a trucker song….and one could suck my fucking dick too.

Scott H. Biram: These really were the first 3 songs that popped into my vacant little head.

Scott H. Biram – 18 Wheeler Fever
Scott H. Biram – Reefer Load
Scott H. Biram – Truckdriver

SWEET SIX BULLETS – SKIN, WINE AND SIN (RIYL: DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS)


For as far out of the 9b scope the Amanda Blank album was, Sweet Six Bullets is exactly what the site was started for. On my first pass through the album I posted the following on Twitter, “Sweet Six Bullets….I love when a band takes me by surprise….” So let’s talk about them.

There isn’t too much information about these guys on the internet and the lone review was pinned by my good internet friend Johan from altcountryforum.nl, who is the guy that told me to check them out. The band features three songwriters, three guitars and an unapologetic Southern rock sound. If you’re thinking, “Damn, sounds like DBT!” you would be heading in the right direction. The band not only sounds similar to DBT, on paper they also sound pretty similar to early Truckers in action. Fortunately, the band embraces the comparison and even goes so far as to fill out their live sets with a small collection of DBT covers.

Skin, Wine, Sin is a fine debut for this sextet from Belton, South Carolina, and all DBT comparisons aside they’ve shown enough of themselves in their debut to make me wanna see what else they can come up with. Check out these samples and tell me what you think:

Sweet Six Bullets – Halfway Home
Sweet Six Bullets – Twenty-five for 5
Sweet Six Bullets – Georgia Rain

Sweet Six Bullets on myspace, Buy Skin, Wine and Sin

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: SOMEONE ELSES SONGS (VOL. 2)


Last December I posted a compilation of cover songs perfomed by the Drive-By Trucker’s. The original compiler was (and is) of unknown origin but the compilation has just been begging for a follow-up.

Enter Smitty from the DBT mailing list. He’s taken the liberty of assembling a new collection of covers songs culled from the numerous live DBT shows freely available on the internet. He is supposed to have a Vol. 3 already near completion as well as a collection of unreleased DBT originals. I dunno about you, but I’m looking forward to those as well.

Here is the track listing:

  1. Rockin in the Free World (Patterson on lead) (Neil Young)
  2. Holland, 1945 (Neutral Milk Hotel)
  3. I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash)
  4. Mama Bake a Pie (Tom T. Hall)
  5. Louisiana 1927 (Randy Newman)
  6. Glad & Sorry (The Faces)
  7. Everybody Needs Love (Eddie Hinton)
  8. Lonely Women Make Good Lovers (Spooner Oldham)
  9. I’m Your Puppet w/Kelly Hogan (Spooner Oldham)
  10. Where’s Eddie? (Eddie Hinton)
  11. These Arms of Mine (Otis Redding)
  12. D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Tammy Wynette)
  13. I’m in Love with a Girl (Big Star) (Summer Cousins version)
  14. Dressed in White (Malcolm Holcombe)
  15. All These Years (Sawyer Brown) (Summer Cousins version)
  16. Quaalude banter
  17. 867-5309 (Tommy Tutone)

You can download the entire collection here.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – LIVE FROM AUSTIN, TX.

Through 25 years, two lineup arrangements and eight albums, it’s really hard to believe that September 26, 2008 was the Drive-By Truckers’ first ever appearance on PBS’s Austin City Limits. Seizing the opportunity, Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and Co. put on a show that, while more sober than most, is as good as I’ve seen from them.

The pressed collars and the lower volumes allows the strength of the songs themselves to really stand out to the point where I’ve had to rethink some songs I didn’t even like (“Puttin’ People On The Moon”, “Space City”) prior to watching the DVD. I was also really happy to see personal faves like “Zip City” and “The Living Bubba” make it into the performance. One real high point of the performance has to be “18 Wheels of Love”, which also happens to be “the final performance of the song ever”, where Patterson adds another chapter to his mother & stepfather’s story that is almost too good to be true (but you’ll have to buy the album to hear it).

While the cd of this release is good enough, the real value is the multi-angle wide-screen HD video/DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound DVD. The dvd begs for you to pour a whiskey drink, turn the volume up to 20, sit back, close your eyes and enjoy. While it won’t live up to a real life DBT show, it will certainly help fill the void in between them.

Drive-By Truckers – A Ghost To Most
Drive-By Truckers – Puttin’ People On The Moon
Drive-By Truckers – Zip City

Drive-By Truckers Official Site, Drive-By Truckers on myspace, Buy Live From Austin, Tx.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS ODDS AND ENDS:

Patterson Hood sent out an email recently that contained a lot of interesting information I thought I’d pass along:

  • Patterson’s second solo album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) is available for pre-order. One of the available pre-order packages includes an autographed 180 gram vinyl album, a digital download and a signed (by Wes Freed) and numbered giclée of the album artwork.
  • Summer dates are scarce but Patterson hopes to take his merry band of Screwtopians (David Barbe, Will Johnson, Scott Danbom, John Neff and Brad Morgan) on a coast to coast tour somtime later this year. (PATTERSON! YOU GUYS REMEMBER WHERE FLORIDA IS?????)
  • July 7 will see the DVD release of the Trucker’s appearance on PBS’s Austin City Limits. The DVD contains the complete show (only approx. 1/3 aired) which features on of the last ever performances of “18 Wheels Of Love”, featuring the full monologue and the sequel monologue. (I NEED A COPY OF THIS!)
  • On Sept. 7, DBT’s former label, New West Records, will be releasing The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008). The album will contain many hard to find tracks such as “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues”, “Rebels”, “Play It All Night Long”, “TVA” and the original version of “Goode’s Field Road”. (FINAL MONEY GRAB BY NEW WEST OR LEGIT RELEASE? THE REST OF THE TRACKLIST WILL TELL)
  • And finally, sounds like the band is in the studio this month recording the as of yet untitled follow-up to Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. They hope to release it sometime in early 2010. (HOPEFULLY THE LABEL CHANGE WILL LEAVE THE BAND FEELING ENERGIZED)

Drive-By Truckers – 18 Wheels of Love
Drive-By Truckers – The Great Car Dealer War

AROUND THE WEB IN AMERICANA MUSIC:

This is a new thing I am trying out. Since I am now contributing to the music side of Creative Loafing’s website I am trying to post a rundown of what’s going on in Americana music and it’s related blogs over there every Friday and since I am posting it there…well, why not post it here. So, without further ado:

  • It’s been unseasonably cold this week which I’m sure has resulted in another cover or two on your bed. In the spirit of covers the Lucero Message Board put together a compilation of bands doing cover songs. It’s worth checking out for the Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon” alone. You can download it here.
  • In Drive-By Truckers news: In a recent article Patterson Hood mentioned that the band has began work on a new, as if yet untitled, album. And in even better news he said “I feel it’s time to make a big, loud, rowdy rock record“. Thank God! I’ve always liked the loud rocking Truckers over the newer kinder Truckers of recent albums. In other DBT news, NME had an article this week about the new Booker T album, Potatoe Head, in which DBT is his backing band. The album, out April 20 (420…get it…), also features Neil Young on guitar. Booker T, Neil Young and The Drive-By Truckers….how could this album not be awesome?