Drive-By Truckers sometimes cause their fans to lapse into rhapsodies, as if the band is the greatest rock and roll group in the world. The fans may not be far off the mark. The quintet unconsciously (and consciously) represents a particular world -- the Dirty South, to be exact -- as well as any other Georgia band, and the music it plays references some of the area's most treasured sounds, from blaring hard rock to pensive and introspective balladry.
After years of kicking around Athens, Drive-By Truckers first blew up with 2001's Southern Rock Opera, which partly celebrated Lynyrd Skynyrd's '70s heyday, then consolidated its success with sprawling, epic concept albums like 2003's Decoration Day and 2004's The Dirty South. In contrast, the new, masterful A Blessing and a Curse, which you can purchase in stores Tues., April 18, is a more personal disc, but it's full of the same assembly of ramblers and ne'er-do-wells. "I've been falling so long, it's like gravity's gone and I'm just floating," sings Mike Cooley in a tough but not bitter growl on "Gravity's Gone."
"When I crawled out of bed this morning/I could tell something wasn't right," sings Patterson Hood on the three-minute hangover that is "Aftermath USA." "Crystal meth in the bathtub/Blood splattered in my sink/Laying around in the aftermath/It's all worse than you think." If these are true tales, then the five Truckers must lead awfully hard lives.
A Blessing and a Curse may not be a concept album, but it still has a unifying theme. Most of the 11 tracks, except the magnificent "Feb. 14," are hard-luck tales where people struggle and sometimes fail to find peace within. The titular song describes a trust-fund kid "down in your luck as a high-flying flame out." "Little Bonnie" mourns a baby sister "even though she was gone before I'z born."
On the final number, "A World of Hurt," Hood speaks, "Remember, it ain't too late to take a deep breath/And throw yourself into it with everything you got/It's great to be alive." Then he sings, "Gonna be a world of hurt."
Killin it. So damn sexy
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…