Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Drive-By Truckers

Carl Perkins' Cadillac "Rock 'n' roll means well, but it can't help tellin' young boys lies."- Mike Cooley Now we're only going to say this once so listen up. Lynyrd Skynyrd did not suck, ok? No, now wait! You with the lighter screaming "Freebird" and holding a Coors King Can, please take a seat. While you're at it, think about trimming that mullet. We aint kin. Patterson Hood and the DBTs are responsible for opening my eyes to (as they put it on their amazing double album, Southern Rock Opera) "the whole Skynyrd thing and its misunderstood glory." They did it by baptizing me into the power of their own "southern thang": solid, three (three!) guitar rock that owes as much to Neil Young and Johnny Cash as it does to anything you'd drape in a rebel flag or call out ironically to a weak opening act. Listening to Carl Perkins' Cadillac (from their new release, the Dirty South) gives you a good taste of what makes the Truckers special. They understand what's made rock-and-roll great sonically, socially and historically and they use that energy to do more than slam a hollow-bodied Washburn in your ass. Truckers' tunes often express what its like to just old enough to remember George Wallace but young enough to think that people should be judged for who they are rather than their accent. Lyrically, that means they've often been accused of having a chip on their collective shoulder (you can often hear Hood and co-writers Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell daring you to call them hicks) but tension is good for music, remember? If they were prettier, if they lived in L.A. and threw more Velvet Underground in the mix, they'd probably be a buzz band like Kings Of Leon. In the real world, The Dirty South will be released August 24 on New West (Universal imprint Lost Highway dropped them after last year's excellent Decoration Day). This makes it a little harder to find in Canada, but no less worth the hunt. Buy The Drive By Truckers' The Dirty South Visit The Drive By Truckers' on the web
in the great battle of neil young vs. lynyrd skynyrd (see 'southern man'; 'sweet home alabama'), i will side with my co-national.

If you're interested in the perceived conflict between Neil and Ronnie, you should really check out the Trucker's album Southern Rock Opera (Which includes a track called, aptly enough, Ronnie and Neil).
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