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Drive-By Truckers

Boasting a mix of Southern pride, erudite lyrics, and a muscled three-guitar attack, Drive-By Truckers became one of the most well-respected alternative country-rock acts of the 2000s. Led by frontman Patterson Hood and featuring a rotating cast of Georgia and Alabama natives, the band celebrated the South while refusing to paint over its spotty past. History, folklore, politics, and character studies all shared equal space in the Truckers catalog, which offered up its first blast of gutsy, twangy rock with 1998's Gangstabilly. However, it was the band's ambitious double-disc concept album, The Southern Rock Opera, that became its unlikely magnum opus. A two-act affair, the album explored Hood's fascination with '70s Southern rock (specifically Lynyrd Skynyrd) while tackling the cultural contradictions of the region, and it helped lay the groundwork for much of the band's later work.

In 1985, college friends Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood (whose father, David Hood, was a Muscle Shoals session player who played bass on the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There") formed a punk-inspired band named Adam's House Cat. The group split up six years later, and Cooley and Hood launched several follow-up projects before moving to different cities. They eventually returned to Athens, Georgia, where they formed Drive-By Truckers in 1996. Gangstabilly announced the band's official debut in 1998, and the follow-up album Pizza Deliverance saw Cooley emerging as a strong songwriter in his own right. (The contrast between Cooley and Hood's songs, as well as those compositions written by bandmembers Rob Malone, Shonna Tucker, and Jason Isbell, would soon prove to be one of the Truckers' biggest strengths.) In 2000, the band documented its strength as a live act with Alabama A** Whuppin', a concert recording taken from a show in Athens.

The vision for Drive-By Truckers' heralded rock opera took shape as Hood began to address his own Southern roots. Recorded during a September heat wave in Birmingham, Alabama -- and boasting the band's three-guitar attack (à la Skynyrd) -- the album veered from nervy, powerful rock & roll to a bruised, jagged tone that recalled Neil Young & Crazy Horse. It was also an underground success, receiving a four-star rating from Rolling Stone and catching the ear of roots rock label Lost Highway, which reissued the album in 2002. Unfortunately for the label, many people who would otherwise have purchased the album already owned a copy; unfortunately for the Truckers, they were released from their contract just as their first album for Lost Highway was finished. After several months of between-label limbo, the band was picked up by New West Records, a Texas-based label that released Decoration Day in mid-2003. The album featured several songs by newcomer Jason Isbell, a young singer/guitarist who had replaced Rob Malone two years prior.

Tour dates and further lineup changes followed the album's release, with bassist Earl Hicks departing and studio musician Shonna Tucker (who was also Isbell's wife) climbing aboard to join Hood, Cooley, Isbell, and drummer Brad Morgan. The new lineup made its debut on 2004's The Dirty South, a concept album that spun Southern tales of small towns, violent sheriffs, and legendary record producers. A concert DVD, Live at the 40 Watt: August 27 & 28, 2004, arrived in 2005, followed one year later by Isbell's final album with the group, A Blessing and a Curse. In light of Isbell's decision to quit the band in favor of a solo career, pedal steel guitarist John Neff officially joined in 2007, having contributed to several Drive-By Truckers albums in the past. Brighter Than Creation's Dark introduced the revised lineup in 2008; additionally, it showcased Shonna Tucker's abilities as a songwriter, marking the first time that any of her contributions had appeared on record. Drive-By Truckers returned to the road that summer to support the record's release.

Although the band remained on tour well into 2009, the Truckers also found time to release their second concert album, Live from Austin TX, as well as a collection of unreleased material entitled The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities. Patterson Hood rounded out the year by recording his second solo record, Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs), and gathering his bandmates back together after its release for another round of recording sessions. Two albums resulted from those sessions, 2010's The Big To-Do and 2011's Go-Go Boots, both of which were released by ATO Records, and featured the group's new keyboard player, Jay Gonzalez, who also contributed to Hood's third solo effort, 2012's Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance. Meanwhile, New West Records combed through the band's first decade of material to help compile Ugly Buildings, Whores, and Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009, which marked the band's final release for New West in August 2011. In 2012, Mike Cooley followed Hood's lead with his debut solo effort, The Fool on Every Corner, drawn from a pair of solo acoustic performances. Returning to the studio in 2013 with longtime producer David Barbe, the group (now a five-piece with the departure of John Neff and the addition of new bassist Matt Patton, who replaced Tucker after she left for a solo career) opted for a stripped-back sound for its 12th album, 2014's English Oceans. The DBT's followed the release of English Oceans with their usual rounds of extensive touring, and a three-night stand at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in the fall of 2014 was recorded for the group's most ambitious live album to date. The three-CD (or five-LP) concert set It's Great to Be Alive! was issued by ATO in October 2015.

In 2016, as issues of race, class, and violence became dishearteningly common in the daily news, Drive-By Truckers recorded their most explicitly political album to date. American Band found the band speaking directly about the growing divisions in the United States, with Hood and Cooley each taking on an equal share of the songwriting. American Band was released in September 2016, and followed by a run of concerts they dubbed the Darkened Flags Tour. ~ Andrew Leahey & Erik Hage
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: English Oceans

1. S**t Shots Count

2. When He's Gone

3. Primer Coat

4. Pauline Hawkins

5. Made Up English Oceans

6. The Part Of Him

7. Hearing Jimmy Loud

8. Til He's Dead Or Rises

9. Hanging On

10. Natural Light

11. When Walter Went Crazy

12. First Air Of Autumn

13. Grand Canyon


Track List: Go-Go Boots

1. I Do Believe

2. Go Go Boots

3. Dancin' Ricky

4. Cartoon Gold

5. Ray's Automatic Weapon

6. Everybody Needs Love

7. A**holes

8. The Weakest Man

9. Used To Be A Cop

10. The Fireplace Poker

11. Where's Eddie

12. The Thanksgiving Filter

13. Pulaski

14. Mercy Buckets


Track List: Big To-Do

1. Daddy Learned To Fly

2. The Fourth Night Of My Drinking

3. Birthday Boy

4. Drag The Lake Charlie

5. The Wig He Made Her Wear

6. You Got Another

7. This F**king Job

8. Get Downtown

9. After The Scene Dies

10. (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So

11. Santa Fe

12. The Flying Wallendas

13. Eyes Like Glue


Track List: The Fine Print

1. George Jones Talkin' Cell Phone Blues

2. Rebels

3. Uncle Frank

4. T.V.A.

5. Goode's Field Road

6. The Great Car Dealer War

8. When The Well Runs Dry

9. Mrs. Claus' Kimono

10. Play It All Night Long

11. Little Pony And The Great Big Horse

12. Like A Rolling Stone


Track List: Brighter Than Creation's Dark

1. Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife

2. 3 Dimes Down

3. The Righteous Path

4. I'm Sorry Huston

5. Perfect Timing

6. Daddy Needs A Drink

7. Self Destructive Zones

8. Bob

9. Home Field Advantage

10. The Opening Act

11. Lisa's Birthday

12. That Man I Shot

13. The Purgatory Line

14. The Home Front

15. Checkout Time In Vegas

16. You And Your Crystal Meth

17. Goode's Field Road

18. A Ghost To Most

19. Monument Valley


Track List: A Blessing And A Curse

1. Feb 14

2. Gravity's Gone

3. Easy On Yourself

4. Aftermath Usa

5. Goodbye

6. Daylight

7. Wednesday

8. Little Bonnie

9. Space City

10. A Blessing And A Curse

11. A World Of Hurt


Track List: The Dirty South

1. Where The Devil Don't Stay

2. Tornadoes

3. The Day John Henry Died

4. Puttin' People On The Moon

5. Carl Perkins' Cadillac

6. The Sands Of Iwo Jima

7. Danko / Manuel

8. The Boys From Alabama

9. Cottonseed

10. The Buford Stick

11. Daddy's Cup

12. Never Gonna Change

13. Lookout Mountain

14. Goddamn Lonely Love


Track List: Decoration Day

1. The Deeper In

2. Sink Hole

3. Hell No, I Ain't Happy

4. Marry Me

5. My Sweet Annette

6. Outfit

7. Heathens

8. Sounds Better In The Song

9. (Something's Got To) Give Pretty Soon

10. Your Daddy Hates Me

11. Careless

12. When The Pin Hits The Shell

13. Do It Yourself

14. Decoration Day

15. Loaded Gun In The Closet


Track List: Southern Rock Opera

Disc 1

1. Days Of Graduation

2. Ronnie And Neil

3. 72 (This Highway's Mean)

4. Dead, Drunk, And Naked

5. Guitar Man Upstairs

6. Birmingham

7. The Southern Thing

8. The Three Great Alabama Icons

9. Wallace

10. Zip City

11. Moved

Disc 2

1. Let There Be Rock

2. Road Cases

3. Women Without Whiskey

4. Plastic Flowers On The Highway

5. Cassie's Brother

6. Life In The Factory

7. Shut Up And Get On The Plane

8. Greenville To Baton Rouge

9. Angels And Fuselage


Track List: Pizza Deliverance

1. Bulldozers And Dirt

2. Nine Bullets

3. Uncle Frank

4. Too Much Sex ( Too Little Jesus )

5. Box Of Spiders

6. One Of These Days

7. Margo And Harold

8. The Company I Keep

9. The President's Penis Is Missing

10. Tales Facing Up

11. Love Like This

12. Mrs. Dubose

13. Zoloft

14. The Night G.G. Allin Came To Town


Track List: Gangstabilly

1. Wifebeater

2. Demonic Possesion

3. The Tough Sell

4. The Living Bubba

5. Late For Church

6. Panties In Your Purse

7. Why Henry Drinks

8. 18 Wheels Of Love

9. Steve McQueen

10. Buttholeville

11. Sandwiches For The Road


Track List: American Band

1. Ramon Casiano

2. Darkened Flags On The Cusp Of Dawn

3. Surrender Under Protest

4. Guns Of Umpqua

5. Filthy And Fried

6. Sun Don't Shine

7. Kinky Hypocrite

8. Ever South

9. What It Means

10. Once They Banned Imagine

11. Baggage


Track List: English Oceans (Deluxe Edition/Black Ice Verite)


Track List: Everybody Needs Love (Radio Single)

1. Everybody Needs Love


Track List: Pauline Hawkins (Single)

1. Pauline Hawkins


Track List: Surrender Under Protest (Single)

1. Surrender Under Protest


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I really do love dbt but what it means should never be.
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Zorro...haha think about it....a high price to pay to get a hand job....I'm a real Southern chick...from McNairy Co.....went to school with Buford's daughter....
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Still playing THE BEST sounds.
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DBT at St Pattys in Columbia sc yesterday.Ro c k out! One of the best live bands out there and lyrics are real, heartfelt and tells it like it is. No pretension and no glamor-just rock the way it should be,
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Today it seems like very little thought goes into writing great lyrics in music, but the Drive-by Truckers are not like any bands out there today. Well written songs are an expectation and are backed up with great riffs. One of my favorite live bands as no two sets are the same, even when opening for a great like Tom Petty.
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I Must see these guys live! Great effing band!!
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one of the best songs any band
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DBT come by their southern accents honestly... not like the bro country crap that seems to be so popular now. I've never heard a dumb or condescendin g lyric from them. Best American band of their generation.
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Cooly and Hood... what a one-two punch.
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Saw them at The Fillmore San Francisco recently, 3 night stand. I saw 2 of the shows, raucous, big, and loud. they played 3+ hours each night, 30+ songs each night. Taping for a live album, also. If they took the 20 'least best' songs from those shows, and made the live album from those, it would be the best live album by anyone, ever.
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ericonealgoo d m a n
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D.B.T. Portland, OR Thursday April 24th 2014.
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f yeah...DBT.. . . f yeah
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DBT is such an incredible band. Nothing else can compare. Cooley is the man!!!
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ya gotta see em live! Jesus it is loud and fun as hell!!!! Just don't stand too close two Cooley's amp and you may retain your hearing...
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This is 1 of those bands that I'll never understand how they're not huge...they have soooo much talent & soooo many great songs's almost criminal that u never hear them on the radio
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I saw Jason Isbell band Saturday night with Holly Williams as warm up. Hollys' singing was very fine and she is a very fine looking woman, in this reviewers' eyes. Jason was very good and his wife, the fiddler, is a looker too.
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Agreed Cooley has some awesome songs too
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Cooley Rules!
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Jason really needs to get back in the group ...his songs are definitely some of their best
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That last album they came out with "Go Go Boots" was definitely subpar & I'm a HUGE DBT fan..oh well..they have plenty of excellent 1's
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Great show in Steamboat Springs last night, thanks Truckers
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DBT is a mighty fine band
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DBT comin' to Boulder, CO!!! Start the party NOW.
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I too saw them in Portland, Maine and I thought they were fantastic.
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martin.j.gro h m a n
Saw DBT in Portland Maine recently. They were off their game.
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Rock and roll can't help but ruin a young boys life.
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F**k ya. Making money you can't spend ain't what being deads about
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dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now you've started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cause it actually works
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dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now you've started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cause it actually works
29 days ag
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Why oh why is there no mention of Southern Rock Opera here?
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Drive-By Truckers kick a**! No other band comes close.
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DBT=GREAT MUSIC! Haters get "buried in the ol' sinkhole".
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DBT rules. Great on cd, 10 times better live. Go see them if you possibly can. Mainstream radio won't play them, I guess they don't blend in with everyone else. I hope that they never do, that's what makes them awesome!
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dbt is the greatest band ever..period .
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the drive by truckers sound like the drive by truckers..PE R I O D . not skynyrd or niel young ..they are a piece of Magic & ART . they have lived these stories they tell ..the more you listen to them the more you wanna listen ....
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Hayes Carll is not similar.Dude is overrated. Drive By Truckers Rule!
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www.natall.c o m Reclaim whats yours!
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Excellent .. many thanks to Pandora for introducing me to this great band
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this song rocks sounds like a cross between lynyrd skynyrd and the eagles with a modern twist... i love these guys
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They are a great band!
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Not too bad.
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Why don't you mention that Mike Cooley's grandfather was the great Western Swing bandleader Spade Cooley?
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I been a fan of these boys, and girl for years. Go see them in concert!
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angelakloepf e r
omg, i love these guys so much!!!! they totally turn me on!!!
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uhhh well since jason left iv heard a few goodsongs but just not the same band the steel player is not the same as slide hood writes a ton of songs but not all of them are record worthy last two records are very lackluster
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Love, love, love these guys...kind of reminds me of Neil Young and Blues Traveler, which equals greatness!
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one of the best american rock bands who are working now...
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