JASON ISBELL – THE ASSASSIN

I was checking out the fantastic blog, HearYa this morning and they’ve started a new feature about cover songs that are better than the original and the most recent one features Jason covering Patterson’s song, The Assassin, from his solo album, Killers and Stars. Like HearYa, The Assassin, has always been my favorite track from the album and hearing Jason’s electric version of it makes it even better.

Maybe Jason will cover it on his next album…That! Would be awesome.

Patterson Hood – The Assassin

Jason Isbell: Live @ Mercy Lounge in Nashville, Tn:

TONIGHT: DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS!

TGIF indeed! Tonight the Drive-By Truckers make their triumphant return to Saint Petersburg and they are brining fellow Alabamians, The Dexateens along with them. If you live in the bay area there is no good excuse for not being at the rock show. If you’re thinking it feels like forever since the Truckers were in town you’re correct. This marks their first show in town since Jason left the band. Speaking of which, Jason will be playing The Crowbar in Ybor in 2 weeks.

I’m hyped as you might expect considering I named this site after a DBT song. I got a liter of Jim Beam at the house and a 12 pack of Ginger Ale to make it go down smoother. People are coming over around six and the party will commence. There may or may not be a Rock Report…I’m going as a fan first, music blogger second.

I’ve been jamming the complete DBT & Dexateens discographys on shuffle all day. Here are some select tracks to warm y’all up as well:

The Dexateens – Red Dust Rising
The Dexateens – Take Me To The Speedway

The Drive-By Truckers – Nine Bullets
The Drive-By Truckers – Sink Hole
The Drive-By Truckers – Where the Devil Don’t Stay
The Drive-By Truckers – Women Without Whiskey
The Drive-By Truckers – Daddy’s Cup
The Drive-By Truckers – Daddy Needs A Drink

Fuck New West?

The DBT fan base is all a flutter over last nights Conan O’Brien appearance. Shonna and Cooley clearly had the letters “FNW” on their instruments. What’s it mean? The obvious conclusion is “Fuck New West” but nobody who knows has spoken about it. What were the names of the people Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife is about? Is anyone the band is close to ill? Perhaps the band bought stock in Far North Wrestling. Any thoughts?

Anyhow, the band played Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife. You can watch the video on NBC’s site. Just select yesterday’s episode (Tues, Mar. 11) and then pick their chapter (5th one in).

Drive By Truckers – Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife

Wed. Morning odds and ends:

The Drive-By Truckers will finally be making it back to St. Pete in May. May 17 to be exact and they are bringing The Dexateens along for the ride. I’m sure you’ll hear more about this show here as the date gets closer.The Drive-By Truckers – Road Cases

Speaking of The Dexateens. They are hopping on the free album trend and will be releasing their new album, Lost and Found, for free for a limited time next Tuesday. Keep and eye out on their myspace profile. You can see previous ninebullets coverage of The Dexateens here.

The Dexateens – Red Dust Rising

Finally, Medford’s Black Record Collection have begun accepting pre-orders for their new album, N.O.S. Their debut release, The Flattville Murder Album, was extremely popular around the ninebullets.net compound and I am excited to here what they have done this time around.

Medford’s Black Record Collection – Hell or High Water

Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Well, we’re finally here…Brighter Than Creation’s Dark finally gets its official release. Over the past 6 months I’ve posted track listings, live versions of the songs on said track listing, cover art (much to the chagrin of the band) and album streams.

How will Jason’s departure effect the cd? Will the album live up to the build-up or are we gonna end up with another A Blessing and A Curse? Shonna’s gonna sing? How’s that gonna work out? These were my thoughts last month as I put the cd in my stereo for the first time.

The first few times through I was only lukewarm on the album. I think this happens anytime I listen to something new from a band I really love. I’m the same way with people, leery and mistrusting until I get to know them. The album is definitely a grower though. Within a few listens, I was falling in love with tracks like “Perfect Timing”, “A Ghost to Most” and even the Shonna-fronted “I’m Sorry Huston”. “Daddy Needs A Drink” is probably one of the 5 best songs the band has ever recorded. Also, I can’t help but to think of how well Jason’s “Hurricanes and Hand Grenades” would have sounded following Cooley’s “Checkout Time In Vegas”, a song that features the Hunter Thompson-esque opening lyrics of, “Bloody nose, empty pockets, rented car, a trunk full of guns,” and has a distinctive classic country feel to it, as does “Lisa’s Birthday”.

Then, as with any good record, I got the second wave, which is where I start to realize how good songs I was originally indifferent to really are. Patterson’s diary of an opener, “The Opening Act” really fits that bill, and Shonna’s backing vocals put this song over the top for me. Even “Home Field Advantage”, a song I really didn’t even like at first, has grown on me over time. All isn’t peaches and cream though. I thought “Bob” was juvenile when I heard it on the Dirt Underneath bootlegs and the studio version has done nothing to change my opinion, and then there’s “You and Your Crystal Meth”, a song originally left off A Blessing and A Curse that should have suffered the same fate here. Finally, while “The Man I Shot” has fantastic music, Patterson’s lyrics just don’t hold up.

The band has said they didn’t intend for the album to come in so long (19 tracks, 79 minutes), but when it came time to whittle the album down they felt it was interconnected as one larger work and found it hard to trim anything, and I’m okay with that. I mean, I hate “Bob”, but I’ve already seen a review noting it as a standout track, and it’s not like putting out a 10 track album is any cheaper than a 19 track album once the tracks are recorded. I imagine everyone would agree that the album could have been a lot better and more focused had they cut 5 or 6 songs, but I doubt you could easily get a general consensus on just which tracks those should be.

In the end, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark finally allows me to view A Blessing and A Curse as a mere bump in the road instead of the beginning of the end, and it’s Essential Listening for sure.

Drive-By Truckers – The Opening Act
Drive-By Truckers – Ghost To Most
Drive-By Truckers – Daddy Needs a Drink

Drive-By Truckers’ Official Site, Drive-By Truckers on myspace, Buy Brighter Than Creations Dark

As a side note, I would like to pen an op-ed. I forget who said it, but recently a reviewer criticized Patterson’s song writing….calling him a messy draftsman and a journeyman with hooks and melodies. Basically he called Patterson a shitty song writer and I’d like to take a moment to state my views on that….Cooley is a songwriter and, IMO, a fuckin’-a good one, but Patterson…he’s not. Largely, he never has been….Patterson’s more a storyteller, and as a storyteller he’s never been much for sacrificing words for a hook. I could see where that might be troubling for some people, but I think anyone who has Great Uncles and Grandfathers who spin yarns on the front porch during family functions knows a storyteller or two.

Brighter Than Creation's Dark full album stream available:

Hey guys. Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, the new album from The Drive-By Truckers comes out next Tuesday (Jan. 22) but you can hear the full thing over on Rhapsody. Give it a few listens and tell me what you think. I plan on posting a review next week.

Drive-By Trucker’s – Perfect Timing

Bettye LaVette – The Scene of the Crime

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not really a fan of soul music. I don’t dislike soul music, but when left to my own vices I am never gonna listen to it. Had it not been for The Drive-By Truckers backing Bettye on this album, it would have gone completely ignored by myself. Hell, it almost did anyway, regardless of that fact but I kept seeing it on top 10 list after top 10 list throughout the month of December. Finally, while trying to find a way to spend a gift card I got that didn’t include boobs, booze or deep fried foods I stopped by a record store and bought it.

I haven’t ever heard anything else by Bettye Lavette that I know of, so I’m not gonna sit here and reword the Wiki biography in an effort to look more knowledgeable than I am. Apparently she had a little bit of a career in the 60’s/70’s, experienced something of a comeback with the 2005 release I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise, and has now come out with this most recent effort, The Scene of the Crime. I learned all of that from one of Patterson Hood’s DBT mailing list messages.

I am surprised by the fact that almost this entire album is covers. In fact, all but one of the 10 tracks is a cover. I’d be a liar if I said I recognized all of the songs as covers right away, but a couple that I did recognize immediately were her versions of Willie Nelson’s “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” and Elton John’s “Talking Old Soldiers”. I am also pretty impressed with how well Lavette’s voice goes with the swampy Southern sound of the Truckers, who probably put in their best musical effort in quite some time as a mere backing band. Sometimes the steel guitar seems a little out of place, but as a whole it works more often than not. In the end, I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this album. I’m not gonna run out and start buying soul comps or anything, but should DBT start playing backing band for old Motown artists looking to make a comeback, I think I’ll at least pay attention to them from now on.

Bettye LaVette – Before the Money Came (Battle of Bettye LaVette)
Bettye LaVette – Take Me Like I Am
Bettye LaVette – Talking Old Soldiers

Bettye LaVette’s Official Site, Bettye LaVette on myspace, Buy The Scene of the Crime

Patterson Hood does Bruce Springsteen:


This has been getting some blog love today and I thought I’d mention it.

On December 1 in Athens, Patterson Hood took part in “Under the Covers 2”. “Underneath The Covers 2” was a benefit for AIDS Athens, with several Athens bands covering their heroes’ stuff. Patterson Hood did selections from Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town. You can hear/download the entire set (mp3 or flac) over on Sloan Simpson’s totally awesome site Southern Shelter.

Patterson Hood – Darkness on the Edge of Town

The last word on the new Drive-By Trucker's album until it actually gets released:

Okay. This is the last post I am gonna make about Brighter Than Creation’s Dark until it actually gets released on January 22. However, I wanted to pull everything together into one nice complete posting before I shut up about the album. So, below you will find the cover, a tracklisting, mp3’s to as many of the new songs being performed live as I could find on archive.org and beneath the cut is a song by song description of the album from Patterson Hood. Hope y’all enjoy it.

Here is the tracklisting:

Here is the Song by Song:

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS
BRIGHTER THAN CREATION’S DARK
An Attempted Song By Song by Patterson Hood
Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife was written as a result of trying to make some kind of peace with an
unspeakable tragedy that affected so many people I know and love. I was hoping to help with the healing and
closure by trying to provide a beautiful song that dwells on the positives of love and family. I knew it was the first song on the album the moment I wrote it.

Continue reading “The last word on the new Drive-By Trucker's album until it actually gets released:”

Introducing: Brighter Than Creation's Dark cd cover:

Here is the cd cover for the upcoming Drive-By Truckers cd, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. Artwork, as usual, was done by the incomparable Wes Freed.

Janurary 22 can not get here fast enough.

Drive-By Truckers – Ghost to Most
Drive-By Truckers – Daddy Needs A Drink

Here is the tracklisting:

  • Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife (Patterson)
  • Three Dimes Down (Cooley)
  • The Righteous Path (Patterson)
  • I’m Sorry Huston (Shonna)
  • Perfect Timing (Cooley)
  • Daddy Needs a Drink (Patterson)
  • Self Destructive Zones (Cooley)
  • Bob (Cooley)
  • Home Field Advantage (Shonna)
  • Opening Act (Patterson)
  • Lisa’s Birthday (Cooley)
  • The Man I Shot (Patterson)
  • Purgatory Line (Shonna)
  • The Home Front (Patterson)
  • Check Out Time In Vegas (Cooley)
  • You and Your Crystal Meth (Patterson)
  • Goode’s Field Road (Patterson)
  • A Ghost To Most (Cooley)
  • Monument Valley (Patterson)