Drive-By Truckers

RECORDS

  • English Oceans
  • Alabama Ass Whuppin' 2013
  • Go-Go Boots
  • The Big To-Do
  • The Fine Print
  • Brighter Than Creation's Dark
  • A Blessing And A Curse
  • The Dirty South
  • Decoration Day
  • Southern Rock Opera
  • Gangstabilly
  • Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians - Greatest Hits 1998-2009
  • Killers And Stars
  • Murdering Oscar
  • Your Woman Is A Livin' Thing
  • The Thanksgiving Filter
  • The Scene of the Crime
  • Potato Hole
  • Mess Of Happiness
  • Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance
  • The Fool On Every Corner

English Oceans

ENGLISH OCEANS

Released March 3, 2014 by ATO Records

“Once in a while there’s a spectacle”

English Oceans, the 12th release by Athens, Georgia's Drive-By Truckers, is an elegantly balanced and deeply engaged new effort that finds the group refreshed and firing on all cylinders.

All but one of the collection's 13 new songs, written by singer-guitarists and co-founding members Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, were recorded during 13 days of sessions in August 2013 with longtime producer David Barbe.

Six of the songs were the result of a burst of writing activity by Cooley.

"I had time to write," Cooley says. "After we came off the road last time, we decided we were going to let it rest for a while. So I had time to really focus. I kind of had to re-learn how to write, because I didn't write as many songs as I'd wanted on the last couple of records. I was happy with these songs, and thrilled to go in and record so many that I felt real strongly about."

Hood notes, "I don't think we've ever had a record where Cooley was as deeply involved in every aspect of the making of it as he was this time. With Cooley's writing, there's almost no precedent for it in our catalog. He came in with this stunning bunch of songs, full of this beautiful imagery."

Writing independently, Cooley and Hood penned songs that dovetailed brilliantly with each other. Hood says, "Every song on this record connects with another song. I noticed Cooley's got a line in 'Primer Coat' about 'apron strings,' and I have the exact same image in one of my songs, 'Hanging On.' It goes on and on and on like that on this record, and that's a pretty good sign for things, particularly given how different our temperaments are and our styles of writing are."

Cooley and Hood's brace of character-based songs depict a neatly interlocking gallery of relationships, often in dissolution and discord. The last song written and recorded for the album, Hood's rave-up "Pauline Hawkins," was based on a new novel by Willy Vlautin and penned after another of his compositions was scrapped.

Hood says, "There was such a balance between Cooley's songs and my songs that taking a song off the record would upset the balance a little bit. I liked the back-and-forth flow, like our shows tend to do. I got an advance copy of Willy's latest book, The Free. I've been a fan of his writing for a while. I read it in about three days. I finished it on Saturday, I wrote the song on Sunday, and then we cut it on Thursday and mastered the record on the following Monday. It sure makes it a better record."

DBT's ever-keen political edge can be seen in two songs on the release. Cooley's "Made Up English Oceans" derives from his interest in the career of Lee Atwater, the Republican operative who was active in the Reagan and Bush campaigns of the '80s. "He was the guy that Karl Rove and all of the modern dirty tricksters looked to – he was one of the granddaddies of it all. That song is from his point of view, fictionally of course. It's him making his pitch, telling what he understands about young, Southern men."

Hood says "The Part of Him" was inspired by the procession of scandals that plague the political world year after year. "It's about political assholery -- there's someone new playing that role every few months," he says. "As soon as we get rid of one of them, someone comes up and starts playing that part again."

Reflecting the renewed high level of collaboration between the band's two principals, English Oceans marks an unprecedented event: the recording of a Hood song, "Til He's Dead or Rises," with Cooley assuming the lead vocal.

Cooley says, "I remember Patterson was getting frustrated trying to sing it. He was doing fine, but it seemed like there was something he wanted to do that wasn't coming. I was in the control room thinking, 'I could probably sing this' -- though it wasn't like I was saying, 'Oh, I can sing this a lot better than that.' I was thinking, 'This sounds like something I could sing.' Right after that, he walks into the control room and says, 'You want to trying singing this? It sounds more like you than me.' I said, 'Yeah, I was just thinking that.'"

"Grand Canyon," the final song on the album, is an emotionally overwhelming elegy for Craig Lieske, a longtime member of DBT's touring family. The former manager of Athens' 40 Watt Club and a key player in the city's experimental music scene, Lieske died suddenly of a heart attack in January 2013 following the first night of the band's three-night homecoming stand in Athens. English Oceans is dedicated to him.

"I probably wrote it in 15 minutes," Hood says. "It wasn't any kind of a conscious thing. It's the most important song of mine on the record. I wrote new songs to go with it. It recalibrated something. It became a totally different record for me than the record I thought we were going to make."

The album was recorded with a compact, retooled lineup. Jay Gonzalez, who joined the band in 2008 as keyboardist, stepped into an expanded role by adding guitar to his duties, while bassist Matt Patton was drafted from the Tuscaloosa group The Dexateens. The unit was road-tested during dates in 2013.

Cooley says, "This lineup is so direct. It can go from this chainsaw rock 'n' roll to very delicate, pretty-sounding stuff. We wrote a lot of those kinds of songs, and this lineup got all of that well."

Hood agrees: "We recorded with a stripped-down lineup that gave things a more primal and immediate feel. It's a more turn-on-a-dime kind of thing, which suits these songs, and us as a band. It's a very tasteful group, and when it needs to be it can be a very big, powerful, over-the-top band, too, and it can go from one to the other seamlessly."

Looking at the accomplishments of English Oceans from the perspective of DBT's nearly three-decade history, both Cooley and Hood decline to hedge their bets on the quality of their latest work.

"You're always hesitant to say, 'Oh, this is the best record we've ever made,'" Cooley says, "because you always want to. And sometimes you say it, and sometimes you're right, and sometimes you think, 'Well, maybe I jumped the gun on that a little bit, I got excited.' But I think this just might be the best record we've ever made."

Hood concurs enthusiastically: "It's my favorite thing that we've ever done. I'm proud of our catalog – we always try to make as good a record as we can make. Sometimes things just work. This time, we made kind of a magical record. I've always felt that Decoration Day was our best record, and this is the first one that I think is a better record than that was. Every piece of the puzzle fit."

TRACK LISTING

1. Shit Shots Count
2. When He's Gone
3. Primer Coat
4. Pauline Hawkins
5. Made up of 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

SHIT SHOT COUNTS

Put your cigarette out get your hat back on,
Don’t mix up which is which
They don’t pay you enough to work,
They don’t pay me enough to bitch
The boss ain’t smart as he’d like to be,
but he ain’t nearly as dumb as you think
He just wants evolution on a budget, with a schedule to keep

Suburban four lanes move like blood through an old mans dying heart
Enough at a time to keep hope alive at the speed of a stream of tar
He bought in young and I’ve no doubt,
he’s gonna cash out with a winning deal
Trophy tail wives taking boner pill rides for the price of a happy meal

Shit shots count if the table’s tilted
Just pay the man who levels the floor
Prides what you charge a proud man for having
Shame is what you sell to a whore
Meats just meat and it’s all born dying,
some is tender and some is tough
Somebody’s gotta mop up the A-1
somebody’s gotta mop up the blood

High ground ain’t high enough to kill you quick if you fall
Idealistically speaking it sounds like you ain’t listening at all
Friday night rich is all you’re ever gonna be
until the fight in you on Monday’s gone
One more drag, tuck your hair in your hat
don’t act so surprised, and try not to look so lost

Mike Cooley / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt
George Davidson - tenor sax / Adam Courson- trumpet /
Jay Gonzalez - horn arrangement

When He’s Gone

She sits alone and stares out the window, the thoughts pour out
the morning sun pours in
She paints a smile on her lips and looks at herself in the mirror
As her day begins
She scrubs in basins never clean, it won’t wash off
the smell of compromise
He opens the door for her, there’s kindness in his smile
but she loathes the need in his eyes

She can’t stand to have him around
but she always misses him when he’s gone

She burns like an effigy when he’s gone it makes her mad
how attached she’s become
and if it were up to me, I’d prove her wrong, but it’s too bad
it’s someone else’s song
He might come home, after she’s sleeping and quietly admire
the smile on her lips
He crawls up beside her, she presses it all up against him
and dreams

She can’t stand to have him around
but she always misses him when he’s gone...

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Pottery Town Songs (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

Primer Coat

The old man’s out by the swimming pool
He goes there to think
He talks on the phone sometimes
Hardly mentions a thing
Said he needed it for his knees
He used to swim back in school
Graduated in 84, quit drinking in 92

He used to call her a basket case for hanging on like she did
The only girl of a foreman’s wife She’d never let him forget
It comes to women and they survive but when the same comes to men
Someone comes for their babies something dies there and then

Slinging gravel in parking lots and looking tough on the hood
A girl as plain as a primer coat leaves nothing misunderstood
Her mother and I through trembling lips, a steady hand on his own
The future of every rebel cause, when all the fight in him is gone

My sister’s marrying in the spring and everything will be fine
Mama’s planning the wedding, Daddy’s planning on crying
She’s slipping out of her apron strings
You best leave him be
He’s staring through his own taillights and gathering speed

Mike Cooley / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

Pauline Hawkins

Don’t call me your baby I won’t answer
Love is like cancer and I am immune
to all that your bringing the tune that you’re singing
outside of a locked room
outside a locked room

Safe’s an illusion, before the collision
Immune to decision

Don’t tell me your secrets I’d rather not listen
or know what I’m missing it’s always too soon
It’s always too soon to be called for comfort
to belong to someone inside a locked room

Fate always happens when nobody’s looking
Nobody’s looking

I really don’t care what’s inside you
I won’t stand beside you or answer your call
I don’t want to fight now I’m only here right now
This moment is all. This moment is all

Don’t call me your baby, I’m nobody’s baby
I won’t let you cage me or lock me away
I’m not yours to keep, don’t want you to save me
You’re just a vacation, a one night way-station
to keep me awake until I’m ready to sleep

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt
inspired by a character in Willy Vlautin’s book: The Free

Made Up English Oceans

6x9 and counting down in one after the other
they’ll go running up and down the road, angry as their mothers
over senseless acts of selfishness on made up English oceans
and made up English stomach contents tied to senseless notions

Once you grab them by the pride their hearts are bound to follow,
their natural fear of anything less manly or less natural,
like gunless sheriffs caught on lonesome roads and live to tell it
How hard it is for meaner men without the lead to sell it

Only simple men can see the logic in whatever
smarter men can whittle down till you can fit it on a sticker
Get it stuck like mud and bugs to names that set the standard,
They’ll live it like it’s gospel and they’ll quote it like it’s scripture

Its no matter if they dress real nice and sit up straight and stupid
and say their prayers in quiet ancient tongues
They’re no different that the ones who close their eyes
and fall down to the ground
and twitch just like their nerves have come undone

So be it if they come to find out feeling good’s
as easy as denying that there’s day or night at all
til what it takes to feel a thing seems so far out of reach
they just claw their skin and grind their teeth and bawl

Mike Cooley / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

The Part of Him

He was elected, wingnut raised and corn fed
Teabags dragging on the chamber floor
He did what he had to do to get southern boys to vote for you
To grease the wheels to get you in the door
But he must of said some things
that made them think that he was strange
and made them wonder if he was one of them
So they had to call him in but he wouldn’t make amends
so they had to reel the poor boy in

He was an absolute piece of shit to tell the truth
But he never told the truth to me
He never told the truth to you don’t think he ever set out to
He was indifferent to honesty
His positions were pre-ordained to help conceal his vast disdain
for anything that lessened his appeal
His integrity was phoning in, totally Nixonian
honing in the art of making deals

He was a piece of work, more or less a total jerk
His own mama called him an SOB
He never worked an honest day, just kissed up to a better way
to sell the cow you could get for free
When he got out of line, they snatched him up from behind
and put him in a box with fancy trim
Rolled him out for all to see his rendezvous with destiny
Now someone else will play the part of him

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Pottery Town Songs (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

Hearing Jimmy Loud

Trapped in a truck with Jimmy, listening to his band
Jimmy’s out of place same as ashtrays and column shifts
Said his last old lady nearly run him in the ground
Half a gram later I was hearing Jimmy loud

She had a tanning habit,
She’s like a talking leather couch
Warm between the cushions where she hid whatever treasure fell out
Said she only hollered when she’d stood as much as she could stand,
Jimmy’s ego can take it baby go on and fake it loud as you can

She’s my baby and she knows it I get reminded now and then
your either someone’s or your nothing,
God must be a lonely man

Them kids ain’t never listened, ain’t no use in trying now
All were doings’ getting older and our
welcome and our warnings wearing out
Jimmy’s babies mama’s got him lawyered up one side and down
That earful cost me nothing,
poor old Jimmy’s paying for it by the pound

Everybody loves a baby everybody loves a child
Nobody wants to see them damaged
Nobody wants them running wild

The moral lessons of a charmed life
Only get through guilty ears
Thanks to learning luck and half sense
I’m hearing Jimmy loud and clear

Mike Cooley / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

Til He’s Dead or Rises

When she met him they was teenagers
He was no more than seventeen
She was a little less than all that
but held the bit between her teeth
He was tall and strong and lanky
the fear of Jesus was on her side
He asked her, if she weren’t too busy
might come out for a ride

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

They ran off the great embankment
They flew through the air so far
They landed with a mighty crash
then got crushed by the falling star.

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion
She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

That small crossroads became a city
she was the bell of every ball
Boys would line up to try to ring her
she’s let them line up down her hall
She ran up a life so lavish
somehow those bills would all get paid
Your Daddy worked and never faltered
never forgot the things she said

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

Times change but I still see her disapproval pouring out
She said I ain’t got the gumption to make it
and you ain’t scary enough to turn me around
But I’m hoping you might be game to ride my dream aground
We’ll ride it until it’s dead or makes your mama proud

She’ll ride him until he’s dead or rises to the occasion

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Pottery Town Songs (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt
(Boulderado Hotel, Rm. 300. Apr. 12, 2013)

Hanging On

Your momma can’t stand the way you lay around all day
and lean on her to help you on your way
You use her credit cards, complain cause it’s so hard
to live with all the whiteness you’ve obtained

So you pack up all your things and cut those apron strings
and set out for a drastic change of scene
You hump it town to town and never let them down
or take the time to ponder what it means

You climb up to the roof to smoke a few
and calm down from your day and soak the view
and you wonder what the hell you’re gonna do
to hang on

It isn’t any wonder when the darkness pulls you under
from the weight of all your wonderment
and the price you have to pay
leaves you feeling kinda sickly and it all comes due so quickly
it’s hard to get out from under it

The night it grows so long but you put it in a song
that suddenly the whole world wants to sing
So you move to higher ground and set some deep roots down
and try to keep your grip on everything

Sometimes in the silence of the night
that voice might try to tell you it’s not right
you close your eyes and try with all your might
to hang on

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Pottery Town Songs (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

Natural Light

If it weren’t for the glow of the screen my dear,
I’d think you were someone I used to know
But its your natural light I need to guide me home
I’ll bring it about if you’ll just let it show

Once in a while there’s a spectacle
A big deal to some, but too long for most
to be stuck between blasts while the colors fall
stuck with yourself while it reloads

Sometimes it’s as cold as a loveless embrace
or hot like a low seething rage
It ends where it ends, when it does it begins
It cries when it wants, it wants when it needs and it bleeds

When the countdown is up, you will wake up my love
and shine with your own light again
From the neck up and down
It’s the down that I’m out to light up in you once again

Mike Cooley / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

When Walter Went Crazy

When Walter went crazy she was sitting on the couch
Painting her toenails and drinking a Tab
He walked out of the bedroom with a cigarette in his mouth
and he poured gasoline in a circle all around the house

When Walter went crazy he had rattlesnake in his eyes
blended whisky in his veins and murder in his heart
She watched him walk out the door and knew he was gone
Matlock on the TV and her mama on the phone

When Walter went crazy, they say he just snapped
It had gone on for so long and she wasn’t coming back
She hadn’t been off the couch in at least a dozen years
Deafened by silence and the grinding of the gears

Their friends could see it coming like yellow piss on snow
Like a house fire in the distance like a car crash in slow mo
Their friends could see it coming but what could someone do
When it’s speeding down the runway
and the brake line’s torn in two

When Walter went crazy and the house went up in flames
You could see his hands shaking from the bourbon and the shame
He never planned the ending he just rolled the credit names
When the lights came up we all went home but never quite the same

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Pottery Town Songs (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt
July 2013 (kitchen - Athens GA. / hotel room Santa Monica CA.)

First Air of Autumn

First air of autumn up your nose
popcorn, heavy hairspray, nylon pantyhose
please stand and bow your heads and pray you don’t get old

The nurture and the admonition of your kind
the rules of only strong survive
Cross shaped swimming pools,
down in the blood and lifted up
forever seeking favor from the light

Schoolhouse hallway like a prairie highway sprawls
the drop off spins away the sun
The getting there just proves it’s nothing but a ball
Pray the horizon never comes

The hearts of the daughters of the men,
Won by the softness of the sons of women’s hands
To leave it up to love would leave it left to chance

Memory only shows the promise beauty broke
of beauty ageless in it’s time
Light attracts the same, you glance away and the glory fades
and being on your arm has lost it’s shine

School house hallway like a prairie highway sprawls
The drop off spins away the sun
Like eyes that once could cut through
candle power on autumn nights
First air of autumn leaves me numb

Mike Cooley / DBT-12
© Rabbit Gear (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt

Grand Canyon

We went to Grand Canyon and we stood at the expanse
and we watched the rocks change colors
and we watched the shadows dance
We probably didn’t say anything til the sunset turned to night
We let the spirits do the talking with cascades of faded light

We drove across the desert, saw the mountain range at dawn
Heard the thunder rumbles echo
against the rocks that Gods were made from
We drove across the wastelands until we finally reached the sea
and I wonder how a life so sturdy could just one day cease to be

I’m never one to wonder about the things beyond control
I stare off in the distance as I feel the highway roll

We roll on in the darkness to some city far away
Lug our sorrows, pains and angers and turn them into play
There’s no time to dwell upon it, it’s this life that we chose
that made it all worth living through the horrors that life throws

If the recently departed make the sunsets
to say farewell to the ones they leave behind
There were technicolor hues to see our sadness through
as the sun over Athens said goodbye

There’s a white owl out my window soft-lit in fading light
He’ll go soaring through the clouds and hunting through the night
and in my dreams I’ll still see him flying through a western sky
I’ll think about Grand Canyon, and i’ll lift my glass and smile

Patterson Hood / DBT-12
© Pottery Town Songs (BMI) - Administered by Kobalt
(Back Lounge, Ft. Worth to New Orleans - Jan. 26-27 2013)
Looping at end courtesy of Professor David Barbe
We Lovingly Dedicate this song and album to Craig Lieske.

Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans

LINER NOTES AND CREDITS

We Lovingly Dedicate album to Craig Lieske.

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by David Barbe
at Chase Park Transduction Studios, Athens, GA
Except ‘”Shit Shots Count” Mixed by Drew Vandenberg and David Barbe

Assistant Engineer - Drew Vandenberg

Additional Assistance - Wyatt Pless and Henry Barbe
Chase Park Interns - Kaitlyn Eddy, Ryan O’Keefe and Lewys Evans

Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound

DBT-12:

Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Brad Morgan, Jay Gonzalez and Matt Patton

Guest Horns:

George Davidson - tenor sax / Adam Courson- trumpet
Jay Gonzalez - horn arrangement

Art Direction - Lilla Hood - www.hoodcreate.com
Artwork and Paintings - Wes Freed - www.wesfreed.com
Photography - David McClister - www.davidmcclister.com
Management - Kevin Morris and Christine Stauder at Red Light Management
Agent USA - Frank Riley and Matt Hickey at High Road Touring
Agent World - James Alderman at Free Trade Agency
Publicity - Traci Thomas at Thirty Tigers
Legal - J. Reid Hunter and David Gold for Serling, Rooks, Ferrara, McKoy & Worob
Web - Jenn Bryant at Knuckle Sammitch
Social Media - Jason Wilson
Business Management - Tom Scott and Robert Bachman at Trinity Accounting Group

ATO Records - Jon Salter and Kirby Lee
PIAS Records - Edwin Schroter, Jason Rackham and Juan Vandhervoort

The Greatest Road Crew / Home Crew in the Biz:

Road Manager and Live Sound Engineer - Matt DeFilippis (The Mattador)
Monitor Engineer and Archiving - Newton Carter
Lighting and Mule Maintenance - T. Cole Taylor
Stage Production, Guitar World and Equipment Management - Dirty Paul McHugh
Merch Development and Officiation - Peter Hill

Scott Baxendale has been building some incredible guitars for us for a few years. They are amazing handcrafted instruments made with love and care (and only the finest of woods). Scott works out of The Baxendale Guitar in Athens, GA, and can be reached at www.baxendaleguitar.com

Brad has pretty much always played Ludwig Drums and would like to thank Kevin Packard and all the folks there for treating him so well. Brad also wants to send special thanks to Chris Brewer and Meinl Cymbals for all they have done on our behalf.

Jay uses Nord and Yamaha Keyboards (as well as vintage Wurlitzer and a 1958 Hammond B-3 with Leslie).

DBT Proudly Uses:
Rapco Cables, Seymore Duncan Pickups, D’Addario Strings, Fender Amps, Sommatone Amps, Pretty Road Cases and Jittery Joes Coffee

DBT Proudly Supports Nuçi’s Space Artist Resource Center.
Please read all about this great organization at www.nuci.org.

THANKS

Ansley, Ross, Luke and Delilah Cooley; Rebecca, Ava and Emmett Hood; Ruby Morgan and Sibby Morgan; Katey and Billy Gonzalez; Megan Patton; and Kelly DeFilippis.

Jenn Bryant, Wes Freed; David, Amy, Winston and Henry Barbe; Annabelle and Adam Byer; Traci Thomas; Chris, Lilla, Reed and Duncan Smith.

Thanks to our beloved Road Crew for hard labor and handling above and beyond (way beyond) any reasonable call of duty. Matt DeFilippis, Cole Taylor, Dirty Paul, Newton Carter, The Dentist and Dick Cooper (retired, but never forgotten).

Kevin Morris and Christine Stauder; Frank Riley and Matt Hickey; Robert Bachman, Joni Rinke, Kristi Juneau and Tom Scott; Reid Hunter and David Gold; Coran Capshaw, Will Botwin, Jon Salter, Kirby Lee and everyone at Red Light Management and ATO Records. Edwin Schroter, Jason Rackham, Juan Vandhervoort and everyone at [PIAS] Cooperative.

Drew Vandenberg; The Dexateens; Robert and Cynthia Patton; Bill Kingery; Marc Tissenbaum; Chris Grehan; the fine folks at Widespread Panic, Athens GA; Dewitt Burton and the fine folks at REM, Athens GA; Bertis Downs and family; Bennett Moon; Marty Gelhaar and Atlanta Vintage Keyboards; Elliot Colbert; Barr Weissman and Linda Goldman and Family; David and Judy Hood; Jim and Linda Wright; Jan Patterson and Jim Martin; Jay Leavitt and Deep Groove Records; Barrie Buck, Velena and all the fine folks at The Fabulous 40 Watt Club; Linda Phillips, Will, Bob and Laura and all at Nuci’s Space; Jason and Beth Thrasher; Ken Zankel and Anna Vayna; Andy Baker; Andy LeMaster; Greg Calbi and all at Sterling Sound; Jason Wilson; Uncle Josh; Three Dimes Down; Avid Books; Charlie Mustard and Jittery Joes; Willy Vlautin; Tim Facok and Caroline; Billy Reid and his wonderful staff; Wilmot and Scott and The Georgia Theatre; Protect Downtown Athens; The wonderful Athens GA community and of course our beloved families and friends.

“The finest return recharged, and with a brilliant, balanced blast of rock’n’roll.” – UNCUT (9/10)

“Smart set of rockers.” – ROLLING STONE (3.5 Star Review)

“Came out firing hot, the batch of lean rock songs presented in their visceral, unadorned rawness” – PASTE (8.2)

“A true comeback. The south will never spawn a better songwriting band.” – ROBERT CHRISTGAU, NPR

“It’s a strong kick off to the rawest rocking Truckers album since their early days.” – ASSOCIATED PRESS

“English Oceans is a triumph for the Drive-By Truckers, one that capitalizes on Hood and Cooley’s strengths as songwriters and also gives them something to sing for that means more than all those colorful characters put together.” – PASTE

Read Full Articles:

"Drive-By Truckers: Southern Storytelling"
PASTE

"Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans"
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"Album Review: 'English Oceans,'"
NPR

"Review: Strong Storytelling from Drive-By Truckers"
AP

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"Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans"
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"Drive-By Truckers: English Oceans review – 'masters of southern rock'"
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The Independent

"Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans"
PopMatters

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"English Oceans Review- 5 out of 5"
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"English Oceans" [Official Album Stream & Zumic Review]
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"English Oceans" Review
The Quietus

Alabama Ass Whuppin' REISSUE



Reissued Sept. 10, 2013
Order CD, LP, Shirts Order on iTunes
ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN' - 2013 RE-RELEASE
Live and Loud Way Down in Georgia, 1999 - recorded LIVE in Athens and Atlanta fall 1999
(2013 - Remastered and re-released by ATO Records)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS REISSUE ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN' ON SEPTEMBER 10TH

"They're Athens, GA, by way of Muscle Shoals guys, children of Skynyrd and Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized," with sharp brains buried deep in the caterwaul."
Spin 8 out of 10

"Alabama Ass-Whuppin' is like a good truck-stop breakfast – it sticks with you a while."
Billboard, Dec. 2000

Athens, GA – ATO Records will reissue the Drive-By Truckers' Alabama Ass Whuppin' on September 10, 2013. Alabama Ass Whuppin' is the band's third album. Originally released in 2000, the record has been out of print for years. The album has been re-mastered and includes updated artwork by Wes Freed. This will also be the first time the album has been available on vinyl.

Alabama Ass Whuppin' documents a specific time for the band. Recorded from March 1999 through August of 2000 in clubs across the southeast including Tasty Word, The High Hat, The Star Bar, The Caledonia Lounge and the 40 Watt.

"This was our third album and the connecting thread between our earlier work and the band that we went on to become later. It's a documentation of a period in time that I wouldn't go back to for all the money in the world, but I'm proud of the shows that we played and the songs that we wrote, " says Patterson Hood.

The band is currently in the studio in Athens, GA recording their 12th record. ATO Records will release the record early 2014.

TRACK LISTING

1. Why Henry Drinks
2. Lookout Mountain
3. The Living Bubba
4. Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)
5. Don't Be in Love Without Me
6. 18 Wheels of Love
7. The Avon Lady
8. Margo and Harold
9. (Alabama Ass Whuppin') Banter
10. Buttholeville
11. Steve McQueen
12. People Who Died
13. Love Like This

ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN'
Drive-By Truckers 1999 - Live and Loud in Georgia

Welcome to ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN'. Somewhere on the album is a definition of what the term means. I still don't know if it's a real term or something Cooley made up in a rambling incoherent roar, but it was catchy and everyone laughed. More than anything, it just seemed to sum up what we were doing and how we were doing it. We grew up loving punk rock and even though our band has always veered all over the place stylistically, I have always thought of us as a punk rock band at the core. Touring behind our second album, for two years we lived in a van, slept on people's floors and played really loud fast shows (often in shitty dives). We'd pull into town, usually well after sound check and right before show time, throw our gear on stage and tear it up.

We played cheap copies of Gibsons through beat up amps. We didn't own any road cases and at one point, Cooley's pointy Explorer copy didn't even have a case. (he wrapped it in a dirty blanket). We'd sell our t-shirts, two CDs and one 45s from the stage, make an announcement asking if anyone would let us sleep on their floor, and lay it down. Bottles were passed around, bar tabs were run up (and usually left unpaid, sorry Cleveland).

Our friend, Earl Hicks borrowed gear from our friends in the band Hayride, from Murphy who owned the local club Tasty World and from the kind owners of the Chase Park Transduction recording facility before eventually taking out a loan and buying a multitrack digital recorder. Earl recorded our second album, PIZZA DELIVERANCE in January of 1999 at the haunted white house we lived in. Earl decided to record all of our Georgia shows that year. Those recordings make up ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN', an ironic title, perhaps.

We had been together, as a band, for nearly three years, had built a small, but loyal following in several southeastern towns, with larger, even more loyal followings in Atlanta GA and Richmond VA. We were all working crappy day-jobs to barely pay the bills. I was working sound at a couple of clubs and doing installations of sound equipment in churches and schools, Cooley was painting apartments and houses and picking up extra cash playing guitar in a mostly-black funk cover band (Brick…House…), Rob may have been fired from The Grit by then and was doing freelance sound, perhaps some installation work himself. Brad Morgan had just joined the band, replacing original drummer Matt Lane, who we had been borrowing from his own band, The Possibilities. They were busy making their own record as well as playing shows backing an incredible songwriter named Jack Logan. The time had come for us to have our own full-time drummer and Brad had been filling in with increasing frequency so we made it official.

By March, we all quit our day-jobs and hit the road full-time. We just didn't feel like we had a choice. We had pursued it as far as we could without making that leap. Once we made the leap, there was no money to do anything else. Sometimes great things can only occur when everyone has no other choice. We could usually make enough to make the next town and do it again. Every so often, we'd straggle home, eat a home cooked meal (or not, after a while), pick up a shift somewhere for survival money, assess the damage to our domestic situations, and jump back in the van and do it all again.

 

We headlined Tasty World, for the annual Athfest Festival, then later in the summer recorded two shows and one sound check from The High Hat Music Club, a now defunct 350 seater that had been employers to both Earl Hicks and myself. We recorded one show at the Fabulous 40 Watt Club. Their room was way too large for the size of our draw, but they always treated us like Rock Stars even when we pulled twenty five drunks on a Friday. Soon we were drawing many more and the bar always did great business when DBT came to play. We also recorded a show at Atlanta's immortal and immoral Star Community Bar, which had once been the home to Gregory Dean Smalley, but we'll get to him later. The last show we recorded was at a tiny little Athens bar called The Caledonia Lounge. A great little room that had been the site of the original 40 Watt Club back in the 80's. It was the size bar that we could pack out at that time and the intensity of those shows certainly gave the recordings some needed adrenaline.

It was remarked on every night that we didn't sound anything like our records. GANGSTABILLY had been recorded with mostly acoustic instruments, upright bass, mandolin, banjo, pedal steel, and four-part harmonies. By PIZZA DELIVERANCE the personnel had shifted and we were already headed in a far more hard-rocking direction. We were already writing and working on what later became known as SOUTHERN ROCK OPERA and were fast becoming the kind of band that could play such, but we still had some early songs that needed recording, an earlier time that we wanted to document before moving on, so PD was recorded to capture the time before it was too late. Once we hit the road to promote that album, we were moving forward full-throttle and holding nothing back. Songs that had been recorded as country ballads were now attacked as if, well you know.

Much has been written about the links between old-timey country and modern day Punk Rock, I certainly see the logic, but it was nothing we were giving much thought to. We just had a job to do and that was the way that felt right to do it. Most of the small dive bars we were playing had bad acoustics, lousy PA systems, and small drunk audiences who mostly didn't know who we were. A nice quiet acoustic show meant having to compete with sometimes very rude crowds, but in a battle of volume, we could and would win every time. It was simply easier and more effective to beat them over the head with it. ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN'.

This album starts with the first song of the first show we recorded. "Why Henry Drinks" kicks it off in such a way to weed out the unsuspecting that wandered into the club expecting to see a nice polite country band. "Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)" had been played acoustic in its original version, but here it became a raved up rocker.

We were all listening to tons of old classic soul records on the road and fell in love with Clarence Carter's rambling "Making Love / Dark Side of the Street" intro and Bobby Womack's monologue introducing "Close To You". Sometimes on those records, the introductions were better than the songs themselves. I had written "18 Wheels of Love" as a wedding present to my mom upon her wedding to my stepfather Chester. In concert, I had taken to introducing the song with a long rambling introduction that kinda took on a life of its own.

"Don't Be In Love Around Me" was an unrecorded break-up song that had been a live staple though never recorded for any of our albums. "Lookout Mountain" was a barnburner dating back to mine and Cooley's old band Adam's House Cat. It had been the leadoff track on our finished but never released album TOWN BURNED DOWN. Several years later, we rerecorded it for DBT's THE DIRTY SOUTH album.

"The Avon Lady" was a spoken vignette (set to some drunken backing that the band improvised on the spot that night at The High Hat) that was only ever done that one time. If it hadn't been captured it would certainly have been forgotten by most there (certainly by us) by the next morning.

Cooley's "Love Like This" had originally been a quiet rambling off-kilter ode to warts and all true love, but live it was a drunken anthem to the redemption of dirty love. (My take anyway, he may disagree).

"Steve McQueen" and "Buttholeville" were both rousing staples from our earliest shows (Buttholeville dates back to our Adams House Cat days). Often the nights would end with our cover of Jim Carroll Band's 1980 classic "People Who Died". I think I've covered that one in every band I have played in since I was in High School and it was a new song.

I had written "The Living Bubba" around the time DBT was first formed. It was inspired by the last year of life by Atlanta guitar-slinger and songwriter Gregory Dean Smalley. Greg had inherited the role of leader of a ramshackle little movement called The Redneck Underground, a sort of confederacy of semi-related Rock bands extolling the virtues of southern low-class living based out of a small Atlanta neighborhood called Cabbagetown. The movement's founder and original leader had been a brilliant performance artist named Deacon Lunchbox who had been tragically killed in the terrible van accident that also wiped out half of fellow Cabbagetown greats The Jody Grind (among the surviving members was Kelly Hogan, who now resides outside of Madison Wisconsin and is one of my favorite singers anywhere). Greg played in multiple bands and wrote tons of brilliant and dirty little songs with names like "State of Co-dependency" and "She's Breaking My Heart While I'm Drinking Her Beer".

Greg contracted AIDS and passed away in March of 1996, but not before playing over 100 shows in his last year. His determination to continue doing what he loved, even as he was dying, was one of our guiding principles. It still is.

Our tour began in Northern Florida, which had been one of our original launching spots. We played Sluggo's in downtown Pensacola and they were always so good to us. About four days into the tour, our 1988 Ford Econoline Van (The Freedom) began making a God-awful noise and we were all convinced that the transmission was going.

We were headed west towards Texas, but had a night at Sluggo's followed by nights in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Convinced that our van wasn't going to make the trip and freaked out because we didn't have any money or options, Ted, a bartender at Sluggo's, offered to fix our van for free to get us on the road again. It was Saturday and the parts place was already closed, so we rented a Ford Taurus, piled all that we could into it and drove to Baton Rouge. The next day we drove to New Orleans, only to find out that our show there had been cancelled and no one had bothered to tell us.

Terry and Ted from Sluggo's caught wind of our plight and told us to drive back to Pensacola and said that they would hook us up for the night. We got back and played an acoustic show in their downstairs bar. We played until six in the morning, drinking the place completely dry. I faintly remember staggering out into the morning sunlight and Rob kicking our rental car. Soon, Cooley and Rob were wrestling in the middle of the street. The next morning, Ted was outside his house fixing our van while I was puking in his front yard.

We wrapped up recording by the end of 1999, but continued touring non-stop. By that time our domestic situations were in states of shambles, the crowds were getting slowly bigger and we were expanding into points west. It came down to stopping or continuing and there just didn't seem like any other choice. That also meant that Earl was left to finish the album, all of the post-production stuff like mixing and mastering, and he again rose to the task. He incorporated the help of David Barbe, who has since become our producer and is practically one of the band. They mixed the record and would send us cassettes of their mixes for us to play in the van and approve and disapprove. Likewise, the original cover concepts were sort of thrown together with the help of several folks who each did some fine work but it wasn't a particular cohesive whole.

We hope you enjoy the remastered, slightly improved ALABAMA ASS WHUPPIN'. There wasn't really any cleaning up to do, as some things are much better left dirty. The new mastering, however tightens up the bottom end and restores the original mixes to their intended sonic experience. Greg Calbi is the master. This was our third album and the connecting thread between our earlier work and the band that we went on to become later. We were four-piece, stripped down, loud and belligerent. We commissioned the great Wes Freed to draw us up a new cover, tying the imagery from the original to the artwork he later created for us. It's a documentation of a period in time that I wouldn't go back to for all the money in the world, but I'm proud of the shows that we played and the songs that we wrote.

To fully capture the actual feel the environment in which this album was created, the volume must be turned as high as your stereo and local ordinances will allow, then turned up just a little bit more. Enjoy.

Patterson Hood (Athens GA. February 2013)

Drive-By Truckers - Alabama Ass Whuppin'
(Recorded Live and Loud in Georgia - 1999)
Why Henry Drinks
Lookout Mountain
The Living Bubba
Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)
Don't Be In Love Around Me
18 Wheels of Love
The Avon Lady
Margo and Harold
(alabama ass whuppin' banter)
Buttholeville
Steve McQueen
People Who Died
Love Like This

Produced and Recorded by Earl Hicks in Athens and Atlanta GA 1999
Mixed and Compiled by David Barbe at Chase Park Transduction, Athens GA. (Summer 2000)
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC (Winter 2013)

DBT (1999 - 2000 edition)
Mike Cooley - Vocals and Lead Guitars
Patterson Hood - Vocals and Lead Guitars
Rob Malone - Bass and B. Vocals
Brad Morgan - Drums
PLAY IT FUCKING LOUD!

RECORDINGS:
Tasty World - Athens GA (Athfest Show June 26, 1999)
Live Soundman: Tim Facok
(Why Henry Drinks, Lookout Mountain, outro)

The High Hat Music Cub - Athens GA (August 19 and September 7, 1999)
Live Soundman: Earl Hicks
(Too Much Sex, Don't Be In Love, 18 Wheels, Avon Lady)

The Star Community Bar - Atlanta GA (December 4, 1999)
Live Soundman: Scott Crocker
( Margo and Harold and assorted banter )

The Caledonia Lounge - Athens GA (November 27, 1999)
Live Soundman: Brian Sweeney
( Buttholeville, People Who Died, Steve McQueen and Love Like This )

40 Watt Club - Athens GA (July 24, 1999 and April 4, 2000)
Live Soundman: Chris Bartenfeld
( The Living Bubba and backing vocal overdubs and fixes )

All Recordings by Earl Hicks on Hayride's and Tasty World's Mobile Recorders (Teac Tascam DA-88 Digital Recorders). Dumped to 2" analogue tape, then mixed down to 1/ 2" tape and mastered analogue from tape. Thanks to Tim Facok for the outro.

All songs: Hood / Cooley, Hood, Malone and Morgan (c) Soul Dump Music / Razor and Tie (BMI) except: Love Like This : Cooley / Cooley, Hood, Malone and Morgan (c) Wayward Johnson's Music / Razor and Tie (BMI) and People Who Died by Jim Carroll (c) 1980 Earl McGrath / Jim Carroll Music (ASCAP) and Steve McQueen contains a portion of Gimme Three Steps by Allen Collins / Ronnie VanZant (c) 1973 Duchess Music

Reissue Supervised by David Barbe and Patterson Hood from the original 1/2" master mixes. Special Thanks to Rob Malone for keeping them safe all these years.

New Artwork by Wes Frees (Willard's Garage, Richmond VA.)

DBT Photos, circa 1999-2000 by Daniel Coston.

New Graphic Design by Lilla Hood (Hood Create).

Original Thanks still go out to Earl Hicks, Ansley Cooley, Donna Jane Sampler, Deb Sommer, Dave Schools, Amy Malone, The General, Byron Wilkes (RIP), Byron McGhee (RIP), Hayride, Murphy and Tasty World, The Caledonia Lounge, The Star Community Bar, Tony and Drew from High Hat, Barrie and Velena from The Fabulous 40 Watt Club, Wes and Jyl and the estrogen mafia.

Additional Thanks go out to Rebecca Hood, David Barbe, Jenn Bryant, Kevin Morris, Christine Stauder, and all at Red Light Management; Traci Thomas and Thirty Tigers; Frank Riley, Matt Hickey and all at High Road Touring; ATO Records; J. Reid Hunter, Matt DeFilippis, the current DBT lineup and all our families, friends and bartenders.

Thanks always to the thousands who came and keep coming to see our ever-morphing flying circus. See you at The Rock Show!

Dedicated to Earl "Bubba" Maddox - Actor, Musician, Shitkicker.

Alabama Ass Whuppin'

OUT OF PRINT AT THIS TIME
Live and Loud Way Down in Georgia, 1999
recorded LIVE in Athens and Atlanta fall 1999
(2000 - Second Heaven Records, rereleased 2002 - Terminus Records)

SONGS:
Why Henry Drinks, Lookout Mountain, The Living Bubba, Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus), Don't Be in Love Around Me, 18 Wheels of Love, The Avon Lady, Margo and Harold, Buttholeville, Steve McQueen, People Who Died, Love Like This

This one is out of print right now and probably will be for a while. Burn it if you can find it. I'm quite proud of this album, and will see to it that it gets reissued one of these days, but this just isn't the time.
- Patterson Hood

Go-Go Boots

Go-Go Boots
RELEASE DATES:
Feb 14 (Europe) / Feb 15 (U.S.)
BUY IT NOW Buy on iTunes
Watch Episodes Online
GO-GO BOOTS

"Go-Go Boots" is our new album. I count it as our eleventh, although I've seen it counted as our tenth and twelfth, We began recording it at the same time we started "The Big To-Do" but it's always been it's own thing and in many ways the polar opposite side of what we do as a band.

If "The Big To-Do" was an action adventure summertime flick (albeit with some brainy and dark undercurrents) this one is a noir film. Think Night of the Hunter only with some weird colors to it.

It's the album where we finally fully embrace the music of our original hometown area of Muscle Shoals, exploring the waters of country/soul and that mystical intersection between to two dominate poles of our shared musical heritage. It's also definitively a Drive-By Truckers album and an album that benefits heavily from the work we did backing up Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones a few years back.

For the record savvy, this one is a pay-off as it sounds extra great in it's intended vinyl configuration.
The vinyl sequence features Shonna's great new song "I Hear You Hummin'" which is a stellar and beautiful performance and is only available in that format.
The gatefold sleeve has some of Wes' greatest artwork ever and the mastering this time out was to perfection.

The album will be available from ATO Records on Feb. 15th. In Europe it's coming on the 14th from Play It Again Sam Records.

In the meantime, check out The GO-GO BOOTS Episodes.
A series of short films by Jason Thrasher and myself about the album, the songs and the band at this point in time.
I'm really proud of them and hope you enjoy them.

- Patterson Hood (Jan. 5 2011)
Track Listing:
1. I Do Believe
2. Go-Go Boots
3. Dancin' Ricky
4. Cartoon Gold
5. Ray's Automatic Weapon
6. Everybody Needs Love
7. Assholes
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
15. I Hear You Hummin'(Vinyl Only)
THE MOVIE VERSION (GO-GO BOOTS LINER NOTES)

It's The Movie Version.
Names were changed, storylines simplified, characters unified and plotlines streamlined.
It might have happened.
Might even be a true story, but we're not calling it that.
It's The Movie Version.
Real life might be stranger than fiction.
It's certainly messier.
A fact is a fact (or so I heard).
That might have been a lie.
But the lighting is impeccable and the camera angles sublime
and The Set Decorator did a stunning job.
The parts were all well cast and the dialogue was snappy.
The Actors all won Oscars and the Director was a sadistic tyrant
but the DP's bloodshot eyes were unfailing
And the audience was stunned and amazed.
It's The Movie Version.
It's not better than 'real life'
But for a couple of hours, 'real life' stops and we get to tell this story.
Not quite how it really happened.
But hopefully a little more entertaining.

Patterson Hood - Friday 13th August, 2010 (en route to Atlanta Airport).

We lost two very dear friends during the making of this album.

Byron Wilkes was an artist, collector and local guru from my hometown of Florence, AL. I met him at nursery school (in his mama's basement) when I was three. My house has several paintings of his on the walls and he was a lifelong friend. He drew the "Wallace" illustration that adorns the Southern Rock Opera booklet and has a cameo in our documentary. He passed away rather unexpectedly last summer and we all sure miss him. His sense of humor was unstoppable and his mind relentless.

Vic Chesnutt passed away on Christmas Day last year and our whole community has been devastated by the loss. He was a good friend and possibly the greatest songwriter of his (our) generation. His artistry was an inspiration on so many levels that I can't even begin to go into it here. Let's just say he was one of a kind and I am honored that I got to spend a little time with him and get to spend the rest of my life with his amazing recorded legacy.

We Lovingly Dedicate Go-Go Boots to Vic Chesnutt and Byron Wilkes.

PLAY LOUD!


Produced, Engineered and Mixed by David Barbe
Chase Park Transduction Studios Athens, GA

Recorded in 2009 and 2010 on glorious 2" analog tape

Assistant Engineer - Drew Vandenberg

Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC

Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Bass and Drums, Banjo, Pedal Steel, Lap Steel, Dobro, Fender Stringmaster, Hammond B3, Piano, Wurlitzer, Accordion, Melodica, Harmonica and Saw tracked mostly live to 16 track two inch analog and mixed down to ½ inch analog with tubes-a-glowing and plates shimmering with reverberated bliss.

Drive-By Truckers 2011:
Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Brad Morgan, Shonna Tucker, John Neff and Jay Gonzalez

Special Guests:
David Barbe - Bass on "Dancin' Ricky"
The Bottom Feeders (USA) - Jordanaires Styled Backings
Jack Logan - Singing with The Bottom Feeders on "Pulaski"
Supertramp Sanchez - Accordion on "The Weakest Man"

Art Direction - Lilla Hood - www.hoodcreate.com

Artwork and Paintings - Wes Freed at Willard's Garage, Richmond, VA
Willards Garage maintained by Jyl Freed - www.wesfreed.com

Go-Go Boots Episodes - Jason Thrasher - www.thrasherphoto.com

Management - Kevin Morris and Christine Stauder at Red Light Management

Agent USA - Frank Riley and Matt Hickey at High Road Touring, Sausalito, CA and Austin, TX

Agent World - Neil Warnock at The Agency Group

Press and Publicity - Traci Thomas at Thirty Tigers, Nashville, TN

Legal - J. Reid Hunter and David Gold for Serling Rooks and Ferrara, NYC

Web - Jenn Bryant at Knuckle Sammitch, Athens, GA

Business Management - Tom Scott CPA and Robert Bachman CPA at Trinity Accounting Group, Athens, GA

Chase Park Interns - Drew Carroll, Thomas Johnson, Scott Lee and Matt Tuttle

A&R - Jon Salter for ATO Records

Road Manager and Chief Mule Wrangler - Matt DeFilippis (The Mattador)

Live Sound Engineer - Matt DeFilippis (The Mattador)

Monitor Engineer and Archiving - Colin Cargile

Lighting and Mule Maintenance - Cole Taylor

Stage Production, Guitar World and Equipment Management - Damon Scott

Road Merch and Additional Support - Craig Lieske

Merch Development and Officiation - Matt Etgen

Bus Driver - Ricky Presley and Tom Sackett

Office Help - Kelly DeFilippis

Scott Baxendale has been building some incredible guitars for us for a few years. They are amazing handcrafted instruments made with love and care (and only the finest of woods). Scott works out of The Baxendale Guitar in Athens, GA, and can be reached at www.baxendaleguitar.com.

Brad has pretty much always played Ludwig Drums and would like to thank Kevin Packard and all the folks there for treating him so well. Brad also wants to send special thanks to Chris Brewer and Meinl Cymbals for all they have done on our behalf.

Johnny Neff uses Slides by Tom McLaughlin.

Shonna uses an Ampeg Bass Amp.

Jay uses Nord and Yamaha Keyboards (as well as vintage Wurlitzer and Hammond B-3).

Patterson uses a Fender Vibro King and Deluxe Reverb (1972 and a 1966 reissue).

DBT Proudly Uses:
Rapco Cables, Seymore Duncan Pickups, D'Addario Strings, Gibson Guitars (Patterson and John), Voodoo Lab Power Supplies, Ludwig Drums, Nord USA, Meinl Cymbals, Fender Amps

DBT Proudly Supports Nuci's Space Artist Resource Center. Please read all about this great organization at www.nuci.org.


MERCI BEAUCOUP:

Ansley, Ross, Luke and Delilah Cooley; Rebecca, Ava and Emmett Hood; Kimberly and Ruby Morgan; Jeff, Patrice, and Randy Tucker; Katey and Billy Gonzalez; Kelly DeFilippis; Buck, Eddie, Sweet Tea, Louie (RIP) and Dexter; and Doug.

Jenn Bryant, Wes and Jyl Freed; Amy, Annabelle, Winston and Henry Barbe; Traci Thomas and all at Thirty Tigers; Chris, Lilla, Reed and Duncan Smith.

Thanks to our beloved Road Crew for hard labor and handling above and beyond (way beyond) any reasonable call of duty. Matt DeFilippis, Damon Scott, Colin Cargile, Craig Lieske, Cole Taylor, Matt Etgen, Ricky Presley, Tom Sackett and Dick Cooper (retired, but never forgotten).

Kevin Morris and Christine Stauder and all the folks at Red Light Management; Frank Riley and Matt Hickey and all at High Road Touring; Neil Warnock and all at The Agency Group; Robert Bachman, Mary Gilbert, Joni Rinke, Tom Scott and all at Trinity Accounting Group; BMI; J. Reid Hunter, David Gold and the folks at Serling Rooks and Ferrara NYC.

Coran Capshaw, Will Botwin, Jon Salter, Sharon Lord, Rick Brewer, Carlyn Kessler, Kirby Lee, Dave McClain and everyone at ATO Records. Edwin Schroter, Tim Hall, Jo Horton, Juan Vandhervoort, Mark Meyer and everyone at PIAS Recordings.

Drew Vandenberg; Garrie Vereen and the fine folks at Widespread Panic, Athens GA; Dewitt Burton and the fine folks at REM, Athens GA; Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey; Jay Nakashi for the use of his Moog; Marty Gelhaar and Atlanta Vintage Keyboards; Mike Luba; Chris Grehan (Thanks for the use of the accordion); Elliot Colbert; Phoebe Gellman; Will Johnson, Scott Danbom and the Centro-matic Family; Barr Weissman and Family, Jimmy and Krissie and the Secret to a Happy Ending; David and Judy Hood; Jim and Linda Wright; Andy Kaulkin, Donnie Fritts; Bettye and Kevin; Booker T. Jones and Nan; Spooner and Karen Oldham; Mark Bowen and Roxanne Oldham; Jay Leavitt and Deep Groove Records; Ed and all the folks at Musician's Warehouse; Danny Clinch; Barrie Buck, Velena, Josh, David, Joseph, Zack, Stephanie, Leslie, Jeff, Chris, Asa, Bartenfeld, Mikey and all the other fine folks at The Fabulous 40 Watt Club; Linda Phillips, Will, Bob and Laura and all at Nuci's Space; Jason and Beth Thrasher; Bloodkin, The Decoys, The Hold Steady, Don Chambers and GOAT, Andy Baker, Andy LeMaster; Greg Calbi and all at Sterling Sound; Steve Ager and Jakub Blackman; The NYC Jomos; Jason Wilson and Alabama Ass Whuppin'; Mark Lynn, Ol Wiggum and Jonicont and all at Three Dimes Down; Beth Dickson; Tom McLaughlin; Jack, Sharon, Henry and Charlie Logan; William, Debbie, Sara and Ben Tonks; Charles Attal and C3; The Dickinson Family; Ray McKinnon and Lisa Blount; Walton Goggins and Scott Teems; Dean Neff; Marc and Khrysia; TmcB and Shayne, Jim Wilson, Tim Facok and Caroline; Scott Baxendale and Pam; Dancin' Ricky Poss and the Brooklyn Bowl; Christine Jepsen; Grimey's; Mercy Lounge and Cannery; The Fillmore; 9:30; Chunklet; Caledonia; Flicker; Wyatt and Amy; Neko Case and Kelly Hogan; Justin Crockett; Shake It Records and the Eddie Hinton Project; Laura D. Perkins; Peter Thompson and Zane Records; Billy Reid and Alabama Chanin; Jimmy "Cheese Man" C; Wilmot Greene and The Georgia Theatre (REBUILDING!); The wonderful Athens GA community and of course our beloved families and friends.

David Barbe Thanks Amy, Annabelle, Winston and Henry Barbe.

I DO BELIEVE

I do believe I do believe
I do believe I saw you standing there
Sunlight in your hair
Reflecting in your eyes
I was only five years old
Riding in your top-down Mustang
Taking me out to the beach
Your eyes matched the skies
I believe I saw your shadow looking like 1967
Percy Sledge on the radio
Or maybe Spanish songs
All my troubles swept away
The ocean on my scraped up knees
You could never stand to be away from me too long
I do believe I do believe I know that you would never leave me
And when you slipped the earthly binds you still live in my mind
And when I'm gone, again I'll find
My way back into your kitchen
And see you standing there in the window's shine
I do believe I do believe
You're standing there in emerald green
In the afternoon
Oh so long ago
For Sissy!

Lyrics: Patterson Hood /Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Kay Guitar and SG and Lead Vocals / Mike Cooley - Teisco Electric Guitar / Johnny Neff - Silvertone Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Harmony Vocals

GO-GO BOOTS

He packed a big-ass church out near Rogersville
He drove the Cadillac she drove the Oldsmobile
Every Friday he shacked up with his mistress
Doing things that he'd never do with the Mrs.
Who was back at home cooking dinner for him
They had a son who never had the calling
He went all over town drinking and balling
Got some girl pregnant when he was still a teen
Working at McDonalds and pumping gasoline
Driving that Camaro fast with all his friends
Daddy's been preaching the word ever since he was twelve
All about a merciful savior and the fires of hell
I know he meant it, so what's a little straying
He got everybody singing and a praying
"That devil better not come back down here again"
Missy wore them go-go boots; it did something for him
Made him think his wife back home was homely and boring
He met these guys who didn't mind getting dirty
He was a pillar and his alibi was sturdy
It only took a little bit of cash and the deed was done
Stained glass windows, Jesus looking down
Organs playing music to the middle aged crowd
His wife's in the ground the devil's in his head
Them go-go boots are underneath the bed
But it's a small town and word gets around
Gossip is a flying and his son starts to thinking
He see's his Daddy's new wife driving around in a Lincoln
There's a lot he'd like to ask if he could get the chance
But he's scared he might have to kill the old man
He wonders what the Lord will say when he weighs it all out
It's a small town. Go-Go Boots.

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Tucker, Morgan, Neff and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Guitar and Vocal / Mike Cooley - Guitar / Johnny Neff - Slide Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Backing Vocal / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer

DANCIN' RICKY

Ricky Boy, Ricky Boy, You got somethin' left to deal with
What you gonna do about merchandise?
Ricky Boy, You got the money, you got somethin' left to do
What you gonna do about countin' right?
Your shirts too damned small for your body
You got your freedom out in the open
We got to figure out how to quit all your dancing
And go and check out the swag
Ricky Boy, Oh Dancin' Ricky,
You've got plenty of moves left to do
Hey Ricky, don't let the Diabetes get you!
Dancin' Ricky, Oh Dancin' Ricky,
You've been spinnin' just like a ride
What you gonna do about actin' right?

Lyrics: Shonna Tucker / Music: Cooley, Hood, Tucker, Morgan, Neff, Barbe and Gonzalez
© Something Heavy Publishing (BMI)
Shonna Tucker - Piano and Lead Vocal / David Barbe - Bass / Mike Cooley - Electric Guitar / Patterson Hood - Electric Guitar and Harmony Vocal / Johnny Neff - Pedal Steel / Jay Gonzalez - Hammond B-3 / Brad Morgan - Drums

CARTOON GOLD

I'm not good with numbers
I just count on knowing when I'm high enough
A mule with only two legs counting steps toward dangling carrots don't add up
I think about you when I can and even sometimes when I can't I do
Once the driver knows you got good sense he takes away the carrots too
Getting all excited finding nothing that was never there before
Is like bringing flowers to your Mama and tracking dog shit all over the floor
Jesus made the flowers but it took a dog to make the story good
I think about you when I can and sometime when I don't I probably should
Tending bar in LA after dark must be like mining cartoon gold
Rocks that won't cooperate and tools that drive you crazy must get old
I think about you when I can and sometimes when I do I still get caught
sitting in a bar in LA after dark with my sunglasses on

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Wayward Johnson Music (BMI)
Mike Cooley - Acoustic Guitar, Banjo and Vocals / Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar / John Neff - Dobro / Jay Gonzalez - Piano / Brad Morgan - Drums / Shonna Tucker - Bass

RAY'S AUTOMATIC WEAPON

I got to tell you
You got to take that gun back
Cuz these things that I been shooting at are getting all too real
Don't want to hurt nobody, but I keep on aiming closer
Don't think that I can keep it feeling like I feel
Ray I know I told you
That I'd keep it for you
I know I said I trusted me with it more than you
But something happened last night that made me reconsider
I need you to drive out here and relieve me of it too
I figured after forty years, I wouldn't still be having nightmares
You'd think that now that we're older, that war would finally be over
Ray, I'm in my sixties and the nights ain't getting shorter
Only my patience and checkbook and fuse
Ray I got to tell you
You got to come take that gun back
Cuz these things that I been shooting at are getting all too real

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Guitar, Vocals / Mike Cooley - Guitar / John Neff - Lap Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Piano and Hammond B3

EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE


Lyrics and Music by Eddie Hinton
© Eddie Hinton Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Guitar and Lead Vocal / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / Johnny Neff - Dobro / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Piano and Hammond B-3 / Backing Vocals by The Bottom Feeders (USA)

ASSHOLES

You buy me dinner when I'm in town
Talk about records that you know
Lay the friendship card upon me and out the door
Somebody said we hurt your feelings with our little dirty jokes
Then you accused us of stealing back our soul
Then you say that we're the assholes
Cause we bitched about the hassles
While you're sleeping in your castles
And we're still riding down the road
I hear you're all offended by the letters that I wrote
It's just a shame it hadn't ended long ago
Then you sicked your lawyers on me
Told them to go for the throat
And you just sat back and watched them have a go
Then you say that we're the assholes…
But I never would deny we have our share of the blame to absorb
But when you say that you're the reason for the things that we've achieved
I want to kick down your door
You like to say that we're the assholes
As if we somehow done you wrong
We just do what we have to, to carry on
I'm sure you'll find another asshole
To replace us for a song
You'll keep your office and expense account and we'll keep traveling along
When you say that we're all assholes
Guess it'd be useless to deny
I'm just saying you're the reason why

Lyrics: Patterson Hood /Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Guitar and Vocal / Mike Cooley - Guitar and Banjo / Johnny Neff - Pedal Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Wurlitzer and Harmony Vocal

THE WEAKEST MAN

It's a shame for you to do me the way you did babe
Making me put you down before I was through
You tempted me and tried me and I kept you right beside me
You ruined me for everyone but you
It's easy to love a thing so warm and soothing
That gets you through the night so tenderly
but after all these nights with you all I remember
Is forgetting just how cold your heart could be
Leaving you wont be any harder than walking out the door and leaving town
but I'll be leaving knowing surviving you don't make me stronger
Than the weakest man who ever turned you down
The body in that pretty dress you wore dear
Fit my shaking hand just like a glove
but trembling's for the fearful old and crying
Getting old and sad and scared ain't worth your love
so will you let me go just like I came babe?
Willful clear of mind and free to see
Clear enough to see the others like you
and mindful my will breaks so easily
Leaving you wont be any harder than walking out the door and leaving town
but I'll be leaving knowing surviving you don't make me stronger
Than the weakest man who ever turned you down

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Wayward Johnson Music (BMI)
Mike Cooley - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals / Patterson Hood - Silvertone Guitar / John Neff - Guitar / Jay Gonzalez - Wurlitzer / Brad Morgan - Drums / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony Vocal / Backing Vocals by The Bottom Feeders (USA) / Accordion Solo by Supertramp Sanchez

USED TO BE A COP

Used to be a cop but I got to be too jumpy
I used to like to party till I coughed up half a lung
But sometimes late at night I can hear the beat a bumpin'
And I reach for my holster and I wake up all alone
I used to have a wife but she told me I was crazy
Said she couldn't stand the way I fidget all the time
Sometimes late at night I circle around the house
I look through the windows and dream that she's still mine
I got scars on my back from the way my Daddy raised me
I used to have a family until I got divorced
It's too far to turn back so I just keep turning round in circles
I used to be a cop but they kicked me off the force
Used to have a car but the bank came and took it
I'm paying for a house but that bitch lives in it now
With the children that we had who now won't even look at me
Guess there's nothing left to lose, nothing matters anyhow
Got a scar on my arm from that bullet that once grazed me
I keep it in a box to remind me where I've been
That thin blue line was the only thing that could save me
I used to have a badge but they made me turn it in
I used to play football but I wasn't big enough for college
But I passed the entrance exam, first try and on my way
The Police Academy gave me the only thing I was ever good at
But my temper and the shakes and they took that thing away
Used to have a wife but she just couldn't deal with
The anger and tension that was welling inside me
Sometimes late at night I circle round the house
I look through the windows and I remember how it used to be

Lyrics: Patterson Hood /Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Guitar and Vocals / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Guitar and Sitar / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Wurlitzer and Piano

THE FIREPLACE POKER

The Reverend had his wife done in by a guy I knew in High School
He and a friend should do her in and make it look like a robbery
"Here's money son, go buy a gun and shoot her in the head
No one who dies, testifies, make sure that she is dead"
The heathens were paid a thousand bucks to eliminate someone
Plus they were paid five hundred more to get themselves a gun
The guy I knew had a hunting knife, "Why bother with a gun?
She'll still be dead, why sweat details, as long as it gets done"
The Bible said that Jesus bled for the sins of the rest of us
The Reverend has his wife done in for fifteen hundred bucks
They knocked upon the door and said their car broke down
and asked if they could use the phone for a ride back into town
They stabbed her several times and left her there for dead
Bleeding and crying out and gasping for breath
and they went out the very next night and bragged about it
The Reverend came home from work and found the Mrs. dying
Life was falling from her grasp but still she lay there trying
No one will ever know what she told him or know what he told her
Cause the Reverend did his wife in, fifteen whacks, fireplace poker
The headlines screamed out "Brutal Murder, small town preacher's wife"
The crime rocked all of Colbert County as each new fact came to light
It seems the Preacher had a girl he counseled on the side
Now the shit was coming down and she was scared to lie
The preacher came home from the funeral and found Policemen waiting
The heathens, it seems, got coked up and drunk and did a lot of communicating
Life is cheap for a couple of creeps but this here is the smoker
Their prints were found all around the room but not on the fireplace poker
The Preacher's son brought his father home and followed him inside
Shots rang out in the Tuscumbia night. Was he alone when he died?
"Don't call the son for questioning, that bullet was deserved
Better call it suicide, justice has been served"
Better call it suicide, justice has been served

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Lead and Backing Vocals, Baxendale Acoustic Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Corvis Guitar / Slantbar Johnny - Fender Stringmaster and feedback howlaround / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Piano and Accordion

WHERE'S EDDIE

Lyrics and Music by Eddie Hinton and Donnie Fritts
© EMI Blackwood / Eddie Hinton Music (BMI)
Shonna Tucker - Bass and Lead Vocals / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / Patterson Hood - Electric Guitar / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Piano and Hammond B-3

THE THANKSGIVING FILTER

Grandmother's wheelchair is sitting in the corner
We all sure love her, but the little ones avoid her
Cause she's gray-haired and wrinkled and her burden looks heavy
Ninety years of survival can look awful scary
Papa's building something and has since history
But what he's building is still a mystery
It's big and it's twisting and shaped convoluted
It don't have a function but you better salute it
And it will never be finished but I guess that's the point
It just gives him a filter and psychological ointment
He woke up real early but he's late for his appointment
And I sure wish that I had smoked me a joint
It's Thanksgiving and Jesus, I'm thankful
For abundance and bounty and a big tall stiff drink-full
And the love of your mother and the love of mine too
Thanksgiving's almost over and Christmas is soon
Mama is trying to live in the present
Don't let him have a heart attack before I pay off the presents
Granddaddy's gone but she still feels his presence
He tried to call but he didn't leave a message
It's Thanksgiving and Jesus I'm thankful…
So put the food on the table and Papa says a blessing
They're cutting up some turkey and gobbling some dressing
My Aunt's praising Palin and my niece loves Obama
My uncle came to dinner wearing his pajamas
Thank God for the filter that enables some distance
From the screaming and crying and the needs of assistance
You wonder why I drink and curse the holidays
Blessed be my family from 300 miles away
It's Thanksgiving and Jesus I'm thankful…

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Silvertone Guitar and SG, Lead Vocal / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Piano and Hammond B3 and Harmony Vocals

PULASKI

She was fresh out of college
The first one in her family to go
and California seemed like heaven,
Pulaski, Tennessee was her home
She worked on losing her southern accent
and turned her back on her Baptist ways
She bought some clothes that barely covered her fair skinned body,
Went to Nashville and caught a plane
The clouds rushed beneath her as the LA smog filled the air
She smiled when the airlock opened
and the Pacific breeze blew through her hair
She thought about the boys from Alabama
Who came into town every Friday night
and drank beer out of big glass quart bottles
and left their trail of blood and tears behind
She thought the men from California would be different
She'd grown up watching them on her TV
But the men she came to know in California
Left her longing for Pulaski, Tennessee
Good ideas always start with a full glass
and just breathing here can make a girl's nose bleed
Dreams here live and die just like a stray dog on a dirt road somewhere in Tennessee
The storefronts all filled up with eyeballs
As the policemen clear out the street
For a line of cars with their headlights burning
Driving slow through Pulaski, Tennessee

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Wayward Johnson Music (BMI)
Mike Cooley - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals / Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Jay Gonzalez - Accordion / Brad Morgan - Drums / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Backing Vocals by The Bottom Feeders (USA) featuring Jack Logan on this track

MERCY BUCKETS

When all your good days keep getting shorter, count on me
When you're about twenty-cents shy of a quarter, count on me
When you just need a place to hide out for a while
I'll help you hide the bodies in a little while
I will bring you buckets of mercy
And hold your hand when you're crossing the street
Play a song if you want it
When you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, call on me
If you're feeling that freight train running through your head, call on me
If you just need a friend to talk to or maybe not talk at all
I will bring you buckets of mercy
And put a smile back on your pretty face
Bring a shovel if you want it
Carry your secrets to my grave
When you're down and out
I'll pick you up down at the station
Give your hard times some vacation
Get you headed on your way
I will bring you buckets of mercy
And hold your hand when you're crossing the street
Pay your bail if you need it
I will be your saving grace…

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Patterson Hood - Guitars and Vocals / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Slide Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony Vocal / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Hammond B3, Piano and Backing Vocals

I HEAR YOU HUMMIN'

I hear you hummin' while you're driving me to wine
I hear your fingertips on the steering wheel keeping time
We're almost there so I guess we better go inside
Maybe that dude will be there, that dude that helped last time
He's got good stories, He knows a hell of a lot about wine
He told us things we never heard about purple and dying
I hear you hummin', hear you hummin' all the time
You got a lot of words yet you opt for hummin' everytime

Lyrics - Shonna Tucker / Music - John Neff, Jay Gonzalez, Shonna Tucker and Brad Morgan
© Something Heavy Publishing (BMI)
Shonna Tucker - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals / John Neff - Melodica / Jay Gonzalez - Accordion and Saw / Brad Morgan - Drums

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS - GO-GO BOOTS SYNOPSIS

We began tracking GO-GO BOOTS, our eleventh album, in January 2009 at David Barbe's Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, GA.

This time we went in without a specific game plan about the album, just planning on tracking all of the new songs we had acquired over the past couple of years with the intention of letting the recordings lead us where they might. The sessions were among the most productive and fun times we've ever had in the studio and soon it became apparent to all of us that we were indeed making two very distinctly different albums.

After 2008's BRIGHTER THAN CREATION'S DARK album, which was stylistically all over the map, we wanted to come out with a concise and straightforward Rock Album first. THE BIG TO-DO, which came out last March was of course that album. In the studio, we recorded songs, based on what or how we felt with no regard for where they might end up until the summer of 2009 when we began finishing up the first release in order to make our release day deadlines. The plan was then to re-convene whenever possible to work on GO-GO BOOTS.

Country - Soul / Murder Ballads

We've always tried to avoid a lot of sub-genre-ization of our music. When people ask me what we sound like (the worst thing you can ever ask an artist) we always say Rock and Roll. The fact that Rock and Roll has been divided into so many sub-genres only reinforced our desire to not hem ourselves into one stylistic ghetto or another. What kind of Rock and Roll? All kinds.

That said, we have always had a lifelong love affair with Soul Music and R&B (as well as with old-timey Country Music) and over the last few years, getting to work with Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones (as well as making a couple of albums with Spooner Oldham) only strengthened our desire to one day delve further into those genres. A few years ago, a small label in Europe released Country Got Soul, a great compilation of Country/Soul classics including many of our all-time favorite artists including Eddie Hinton, Tony Joe White, Dan Penn and Bobby Womack. With GO-GO BOOTS we have ventured further into those sounds than ever before.

We also have always loved Murder Ballads, and this time I wrote a bigger than usual share of such things. "Go-Go Boots" and "The Fireplace Poker" both tell (from differing perspectives) of a rather sensational murder that took place in my hometown back in the late 80's. A preacher who was having an extra- marital affair hired two men to murder his wife and make it look like a robbery. The job was botched and he found his wife, badly injured but still alive. He finished the job with a fireplace poker. One thing quickly led to another and soon the entire house of cards came crashing down. The two hired assassins were soon arrested and convicted (one was recently put to death in Alabama), a third party who was the go-between was sentenced to life in prison and the preacher ended up dead of a gunshot to the head (most likely self-inflicted). I'm not totally comfortable with the depth of my morbid fascination with this murder story. I have an unfinished screenplay and book about it as well as an earlier, abandoned song called "Heathen's River" that morphed into the two songs on this album.

The recording of "Go-Go Boots" and "The Fireplace Poker" nearly bookended our sessions for this album. The title cut was recorded on the first week of tracking and sort of set the tone for the songs that followed. I had honestly shrugged off the idea of recording the other one, but it kept calling out to us and we finally decided (on the final weekend of recording) to at least give it a shot. The resulting track was such a magical take that it was instantly assured its place in the sequence.

Don't Fear the Tangle

As we rounded the corner into the 25th year of Cooley and I playing together, the chemistry of our band was at an all-time high. This is our second album with keyboard player Jay Gonzalez. His mastery of piano, Wurlitzer and Hammond B- 3 (as well as accordion and saw) has added many new dimensions to our band's sound and his interplay with Cooley, Neff and I have taken the band in many new directions. John Neff was a founding member and has been back with us for five years now. He possesses a melodic center that makes him the perfect counter- part to Cooley on the other side of the stage.

I also love the compositional elements that Johnny and Jay bring to the table. Johnny's playing is never flashy, always tasteful and the counter-melodies he plays add depth and atmosphere to the stories we tell. Jay also sings some of the most beautiful harmonies imaginable, sometimes countering the brutal imagery of some of the songs.

Shonna Tucker and Brad Morgan have become one of the very best rhythm sections in Rock, taking things they learned doing the Booker T. and Bettye LaVette albums and applying it to where we're going. The tracks on this album are easily the best played in our band's history with everyone's parts weaving in and out of each other, creating a tangle of melody and harmony.

"The things that I've been shooting at are getting all too real"

Years ago, I worked a job that had me in direct daily contact with many members of my hometown's police force. Many of the policemen I met were good, honest hard-working men (and women) but there were a couple that would give pause. One in particular ended up losing his job due to some criminal activities. He later got into some real trouble for stalking his ex-wife and that became my inspiration for writing "Used To Be A Cop". Since the song takes place in the late 70's or early 80's, we set it to a faux-Disco beat.

"Ray's Automatic Weapon" was written in a club parking lot in New Mexico on the same afternoon that I wrote the song "Santa Fe". It was inspired by a visit from a friend that day who told me a chilling tale about a couple of Vietnam vets and a very powerful gun. I was literally about halfway finished writing "Santa Fe" when the visit interrupted me. I wrote "Ray's Automatic Weapon" five minutes after he left; then finished the other one. That kind of thing doesn't happen very often but it is a joyous thing when it does. I recorded demos of both songs that afternoon on Garage Band in the back of the bus before going to sound check.

"The Movie Version"

As a band of movie fanatics, we've always thought of some of these records we make as small films without the film. There has always been a cinematic quality to what we do and how we view our albums. A lot of times when people ask me about the stories we tell and if they are true or made up, I say that a lot of them are certainly based on true stories but we tell "The Movie Version" of things. I'm thrilled that so many of our songs play out like little movies.

"Pulaski" is a great Mike Cooley song that falls into that category. A recording of him playing it at a solo show, some years ago has been floating around the internet for a while, even getting the attention of Pulaski's Mayor, who contacted us to compliment it. We ended up with a beautiful take of it, featuring backing vocals by The Bottom Feeders.

Shonna Tucker is premiering a brand new song called "Dancin' Ricky" that doesn't sound like anything we've ever done before. We're really proud of it. She's also singing her ass off on "Where's Eddie", a song that Eddie Hinton and Donnie Fritts originally wrote for Lulu's 1969 Muscle Shoals Sound album New Routes. We originally cut our version for Shake It Records' incredible Eddie Hinton Tribute Singles Series last year and became so attached to it that it made the album. The same goes for that single's other side "Everybody Needs Love". It has always been one of my favorite Eddie Hinton songs and the recording of it actually had a profound affect on our band and the making of this new album.

(BTW: Eddie Hinton was an incredible artist, singer, songwriter, guitar player, producer and arranger from the old Muscle Shoals heyday. If you've ever seen our band, you've no doubt heard lots of his music playing on the PA system before and after our show. He passed away back in 1995 leaving behind a legacy of so many great records, most of which most people have never heard. I wrote "Sandwiches For The Road" about him for our first album shortly after his passing. It should be mentioned that we've never included a cover song on a DBT album (not counting live or outtake releases) and we're including two of his songs on this new album. It's that big of a deal to us).

"Mercy Buckets" is a song of mine. It's about as close to the Sweet Soul Music I've always loved as I'm capable of writing and I'm thrilled with the direction the band took it in the recording. The music and title both came from a song I wrote a long time ago. After recording the Eddie Hinton tracks, we decided to pull it out and write new lyrics to it and give it a go. Cooley and John Neff's guitar interplay has never been better than the crescendo of this track.

"Jesus made the flowers but it took a dog to make the story good."

As usual, my favorite line on the album comes from Mike Cooley. It occurs somewhere during the second verse of the song "Cartoon Gold". The song, destined to be a new Cooley classic, features some nice rambling banjo and some fine Floyd Cramer style piano playing from Jay Gonzalez.

Other songs include "The Thanksgiving Filter", our ode to surviving the one's you love; "The Weakest Man" another ode to surviving the one's you love; "I Hear You Hummin'"(bonus track on the vinyl), Shonna's ode to surviving a trip to the wine store; and "Assholes" which we love but probably just shouldn't talk about.

Finally, just as we were wrapping up the album, I wrote one more song that not only fit the album, it became the lead track. "I Do Believe" kicks off this album so full of murder and deceit with possibly the sweetest song I've ever written. A tale of a little boy's love for his Grandmother and a memory that will make me smile forever.

In the end, our recording sessions produced nearly 40 new songs, the best of which make up THE BIG TO-DO and now GO-GO BOOTS. It's been a joy recording these songs and we're all really excited to go out and perform them Live all over the world.

Long Live Rock and Roll and Sweet Soul Music.

Patterson Hood
Drive-By Truckers

Thanksgiving Filter

Thanksgiving Filter Buy it now RELEASE DATES: Nov. 26, 2009
Thanksgiving Filter

Thanksgiving 2010 10" ultra limited vinyl pressing. Sleeve is illustrated by Wes Freed, longtime Truckers packaging artist.

Brand new, unreleased songs, never-before-heard to be released on the forthcoming full-length 'Go-Go Boots', due February 2011 on ATO Records. The A-side is the perfect quirky Patterson Hood composition, surely to attract collectors and fans, and bring them deep into the Holiday mood, darkness, strangeness that is Drive-By Truckers, and of course, post-Thanksgiving food-coma, pre-Christmas jitters.

Each record includes download card so consumers can redeem the songs.

Limited pressing of 2500.

Audiophile vinyl

TRACK LISTING
SIDE A
The Thanksgiving Filter
SIDE B
I Used To Be A Cop

The Big To Do

THE BIG TO-DO
The tenth record from Drive-By Truckers.
Release Date: March 16, 2010
ATO Records

Listen

The Big To-Do was recorded in three concentrated sessions during the first part of 2009: ten days in January, five days in March, ten days in May. That added up to 25 songs, a dozen of which sequenced into The Big To-Do. "We had it mixed, mastered, and completely done, and Cooley wrote the best song that just needed to be on it," Patterson says with his raspy chuckle. This happens a lot with the Truckers, and it's always a good sign. "So we went back in and recorded, mixed, and mastered 'Birthday Boy' pretty much in one fell swoop." Thirteen songs, then.

The balance of the remaining tracks, plus five more they've cut in the interim, will make up the Truckers' next album, which Patterson projects as a quieter affair. This is, in large part, possible because the Truckers have such a long-standing relationship with David Barbe (ex-Sugar, etc.) and the Athens, GA, studio he calls Chase Park Transduction, which long ago Patterson helped to build so as to earn the right to record there.

"It's gotten to where, that day of set-up time to get sounds and levels and all of that takes us about two hours," Patterson says. "We can pretty much walk in the door, and we know exactly where to put everything to get that sound, so that's just one less thing to have to think about. I wanted to eliminate the distractions."

That clarity of purpose translates into a delicious assortment of Trucker songs themed loosely around crime and (self-) punishment. "The Wig He Made Her Wear," Patterson says, is both a true story (as seen on Court TV) and the closest he's come to making the movie he started out to make a decade or more back. "The Fourth Night of My Drinking" will speak for itself, and "This Fucking Job" (paired thematically with Cooley's wry "Get Downtown") is arguably the most political song the Truckers have made since "Living Bubba." Which leaves the deceptive, airy simplicity of Shonna Tucker's "You Got Another" and "(It's gonna Be) I Told You So" to reckon with. "We always knew she had that in her," Patterson says, delighted with the emergence of another strong songwriter in the band. "It was never a secret. She was writing songs all along. But watching it come out has been a really amazing thing to behold."

- Grant Alden
January 2010
Morehead, KY

The Big To-Do
Drive-By Truckers


We started it off by recording twenty-five new songs in twenty-five days.

No big dramas or big whoops going on so everyone was able to put full attention to building the beast. No concept or intentional story line here, yet as we sit down to sequence, it somehow seems to imply otherwise.

We were touring in Norway and one night at dinner the TV was on and the top story on the news was about a woman in Selmer, TN, about 35 miles from my hometown, who had shot and killed her husband, a prominent preacher in town. Selmer was the same town we visited a few years earlier on our album The Dirty South, as it was the home of Sherriff Buford Pusser and all of the exploits he was involved in, many deeply involving some folks from my hometown that inspired a few of the songs on that album. I got a really nasty letter from his daughter. I felt bad about that.

Here I was, halfway around the world from my home and the top story is only 35 miles away from there. As a touring band, we have frequently found ourselves in the exact place and time as the national front-page story of the moment. We've laughed, uncomfortably about it for years, but it keeps on happening and sometimes it gets a little creepy. When our bus was almost hit by a meteor a couple of years ago, we felt it was getting a little ridiculous, but at the same time if our number had been up, we'd be gone and what a way to go that would have been. My wife hates it when I talk about that.

Then, I'm halfway around the world and the top story is back home. Some songs beg to be written.

A year later, I was staying in a fleabag motel in Hernando, MS, getting ready to go visit my friends The Dickinsons there. The TV was on and damned if it wasn't Court TV covering the very trial for the woman from Selmer (just an hour or so away from where I was staying). I was watching when the defense attorney pulled out the wig and high-heeled go-go boots and I could hear the audible gasp from the courtroom. It isn't my job to judge the morality of that tale or decide who was right or wrong. That was the job of the judge and jury. They went quite easy on her by most standards. I had predicted such upon hearing the audible gasp. I decided right then and there that I was going to write a song about it called "The Audible Gasp". I wrote "The Wig He Made Her Wear" instead, a couple of days before it was recorded.

The story we tell in "The Flying Wallendas" is a true one. The part about my Grandparents house is true also. I don't know what made me write that one. A few days after writing it, we were in the studio to work on this album and we recorded it in one take. A few days later, a friend gave me a copy of a book on The Ringling Brothers.

I never really was all that into the circus as a kid, but I sure was into the Rock Show, which was sort of The Circus for kids of my generation. I went and wanted to join. I've been living on the road for much of the last two decades. I get tired and burned out, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. The Big To-Do.

I don't write a lot of songs on the road, but I did more than usual on this album and many more were inspired by or set there, either in a literal sense or by something I witnessed or heard about while out there. I wrote two songs one afternoon in Santa Fe.

We went to Europe for our tenth tour over there last summer. While on that tour we got exhausted, homesick, and froze our ass off. I grew up in Alabama and just couldn't comprehend how fucking cold England can be in August. While we were there, our friend Jerry Wexler passed away. He lived a very long and often wonderful life. He was sort of an honorary Godfather to me. Certainly not in a religious sense, but he was a life-long friend to my family, was very good to me as a boy, and became a huge supporter of my band in later years. I walked through a festival in Wales, thinking about him with tears running down my cheeks. It was too cold to pretend it was sweat, but we played an extra great set that afternoon in his honor.

The next two days were spent in freezing rain at a music fest. We were parked on the mud trail winding between stages and spent the afternoons watching soaked Brits walk through the puddles back and forth with a running commentary from our beloved Cooley. I chained several of his comments together and wrote "Girls Who Smoke" on the spot. I played it for Cooley that afternoon and he actually liked it.

The highs and lows associated with the road and the lives we lead bring a bipolar whiplash of emotions and our songs often reflect that. I came home from Europe and flew to San Francisco two days later. I wrote "Daddy Learned To Fly" on the plane out there. It was inspired by an unspeakable loss that I still can't quite comprehend or get over. A couple of days later, we were playing at The Democratic Convention in Denver and got the call to make an album with Booker T. Jones. We accepted and two weeks later had finished it. Potato Hole. A week later AIG went bankrupt and our national economy collapsed. I had just written "This Fucking Job". People are losing jobs and it scares the shit out of me. Folks come to see us to forget their troubles. Our songs are dark but our shows are a lot of fun. We try really hard to make it worth their hard earned money. The Big To-Do.

We've often set our songs and albums in different periods of time, but this one finds us directly in our present. Riding all through the highways of America (and Europe) trying to make sense of a very different world than the one we grew up in. Sometimes I feel disconnected but that's not always such a bad thing. I'm not nearly old enough to bury my head in the dirt and dwell on the good ole days, as I am quite positive and cautiously optimistic. There's a world of bad shit going down but I've also seen some great strides and some amazing improvements happen during my lifetime. I love my damned iPod but I also love going to record stores that sell nothing but vinyl. I have lost some close friends lately but I see our amazing children and can't help but believe in a kind of hope I never got from a church or a politician. Our album begins with a little boy missing his dad and ends with a father missing his children. The other day my four year-old daughter asked me to play her a Clash record.

As we were finishing our album, we lost another friend. Jim Dickinson has been a hero of mine for over twenty years. As a musician, a writer, an artist, a producer and above all as a role model on how to be all those things and still be a fantastic father, Jim was a true treasure to everyone who knew him. His influence on me has been profound and I am proud to be friends with his amazing family. He wrote his own epitaph: "I'm just dead; I'm not gone." His life accomplishments will live on for generations to come.

I grew up worshipping Rock and Roll like a religion. I know its shortcomings and strengths but have loved it unconditionally all the same since I was eight-years old. I ran away and joined the circus and honestly, I'm still as obsessed as I was as a boy. I'm not a kid anymore but I still remember how it felt and it doesn't really feel all that different to me now. I pay the price, but I get to get up there with my best friends and tell dirty and violent stories about desperate people in troubled circumstances. I get to turn it up loud, and sometimes I even get to dance.

The Big To-Do.
Patterson Hood - January 2010

The Big To-Do is Lovingly Dedicated to
Jerry Wexler (Jan. 10, 1917 - Aug. 15, 2008) and
Jim Dickinson (Nov. 15, 1941 - Aug. 15, 2009)



THE BIG TO-DO.

The Tenth Drive-By Truckers Album.
Starring: Shonna Tucker, Jay Gonzalez, Patterson Hood, Brad Morgan, John Neff and Mike Cooley

Backup Vocal Stylings by The Bottom Feeders (USA)
Special Guest: David Barbe

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by David Barbe; Chase Park Transduction Studios, Athens, GA.
Recorded in 2009, 16 tracks of glorious 2" analog tape. Mixed analog to 1/2" 2 Track.

Mastered by Glenn Schick at GS Mastering, Atlanta, GA. Vinyl was Half Speed Mastered by Stan Ricker at SRM, Ridgecrest, CA.
Mastered from the original 1/2" master tape.

Assistant Engineer - Drew Vandenberg. Interns - Drew Carroll, William Brookshire, Thomas Johnson and Scott Lee

Art Direction - Lilla Hood - www.hoodcreate.com
Artwork and Paintings - Wes Freed at Willard's Garage, Richmond VA.
Willard's Garage maintained by Jyl Freed - www.wesfreed.com or www.willardsgarage.blogspot.com


THE BIG PERSONNEL
Management - Kevin Morris and Christine Stauder at Red Light Management, NYC.
Agent - Frank Riley and Matt Hickey at High Road Touring, Sausalito, CA and Austin, TX.
Agent Europe - Neil Warnock and Danny Bowes at The Agency Group, London, UK.
Press and Publicity - Traci Thomas at Thirty Tigers, Nashville, TN.
Legal - J. Reid Hunter Esq. and David Gold Esq. for Serling, Rooks and Ferrara, LLP, NYC.
Web - Jenn Bryant at Knuckle Sammitch, Athens, GA. and Jason Wilson at Alabama Ass Whuppin', Santa Rosa, CA.
Business Management - Tom Scott CPA and Robert Bachman CPA at Trinity Accounting Group, Athens, GA.

Road Manager and Chief Mule Wrangler - Matt DeFilippis (The Mattador)
Live Sound Engineer - Matt DeFilippis (The Mattador)
Stage Production, Ax Grinding and Mule Wrangling - Damon Scott and Justin Crockett
Road Merch and Additional Support - Craig Lieske

Scott Baxendale has been building some incredible guitars for us for a few years. He's currently building one for Shonna and a second one for Patterson. They are amazing handcrafted instruments made with love and care (and only the finest of woods). He works out of The Colfax Guitar Shop in Denver, CO and can be reached at www.colfaxguitarship.com.

Thanks to Suzi Matthews at Electro Harmonix and Lucas McCulley at Rapco/Horizon. Thanks to Seymour Duncan Pickups, and Stompboxes. Thanks to D'Addario Strings.

Brad has pretty much always played Ludwig Drums and would like to thank Kevin Packard and all the folks there for treating him so well. Brad also wants to send special thanks to Chris Brewer and Meinl Cymbals for all they have done on our behalf. Shonna thanks Ampeg for the fine bass amplification. Jay thanks Nord Keyboards. Cooley thanks Jimmy and Danny at Sommatone for his amazing guitar amp. John Neff thanks Mr. B's Bottleneck Slides and Normandy Guitars.

Tubes, Tapes and Vinyl, Springs, Loops and Cords.
No Artificial Ingredients whenever we can help it.
Rip off the knob and spit if you need to.
It was the boom-stand that killed him.

DADDY LEARNED TO FLY

Daddy's gone away and no one can tell me why
Mommy's been so sad since Daddy learned to fly
Everyone brought food and everybody cried
Nothing's been too good since Daddy learned to fly

The fun we used to have and the way we used to laugh
Have all gone away since they cut my world in half
But sometimes I can see him smiling from the sky
But he never stops to visit since Daddy learned to fly

Everyone tries so hard to ease my troubled mind
I guess he's doing better than the ones he left behind
They say that I'm not old enough to know the reasons why
The clouds reached down from heaven and Daddy learned to fly

They tell me that in time everything will be ok
Life gets back to normal like before he flew away
They say he can see me so I'm trying not to cry
But sometimes I can't help it since Daddy learned to fly

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(August 21, 2008 - 30,000 ft. Airtrans: Atlanta to San Francisco)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Electric Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and piano / David Barbe - Electric Guitar

THE FOURTH NIGHT OF MY DRINKING

On the first night of my drinking I was looking for my keys
I was half blind and stinking and bloody at the knees
I had a built in fever and bright red cheeks
My checks and balances up shit creek
It was all in fun, I didn't hurt no one until I crawled back for more
Then there was damage done but I made it home and woke up on the floor

On the second night of my drinking I was looking for my car
And as the luck would have it I found it parked outside my favorite bar
I had a leather liver and lipstick streaks
I had a disposition of valleys and peaks
It was a lot of fun until I shot my gun and the neighbors called the law
They didn't take me in but they let it sink in that I was headed for a fall

On the third night of my drinking I was yelling at your house
I had a stick in my hand and was convinced that some man was in there hiding out
I had a foot on your door; you had me down on the floor
I woke up next morning and my jaw was sore
Then I was back at the bar and I was wanting some more
Then I was back at the bar and I was wanting some more
Then I was back at the bar and I was wanting some more
Until they tried to cut me off

On the fourth night of my drinking I had to go it all alone
As my friends list was shrinking and I was sinking like a stone
I had a steely eye and a mouth full of grit
My disposition had gone full tilt
There was a taste in my mouth, I wasn't liking it

Guess it will be through with me before I'm through with it
Guess it will be through with me before I'm through with it
Guess it will be through with me before I'm through with it

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez © Razor and Tie Music (BMI) (December 13, 2008 - Athens GA. Office)

Patterson Hood - Lead and Harmony Vocal, Electric Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Wurlitzer; Harmony Vocal / David Barbe - Shaker

BIRTHDAY BOY

Which ones the birthday boy?
she said I ain't got all night
What'd your mama name you?
You can call me what you like
Every skinny mystery gotta make it hard somehow
Sit your narrow ass down hot shot
I'll solve yours right now

You got a girlfriend don't you boy?
Nervous hands cant lie
Married men don't ask how much, single ones ain't buying
One day you got everything, next day it's all broke
Let miss Trixie sit up front
Let her wipe your nose

Working for the money like you got eight hands
Flat on your back under a mean old man
just thinking happy thoughts and breathing deep
Between your mama's drive and daddy's belt
It don't take smarts to learn to tune out what hurts more than helps

The pretty girls from the smallest towns
get remembered like storms and droughts
that old men talk about for years to come
I guess that's why they give us names
So a few old men can say they saw us rain when we were young

Which ones the birthday boy?
she said I aint got all night
What'd your mama name you?
You can call me what you like

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Acoustic and Electric Guitar and Lead Vocal / Patterson Hood - Guitar and Backing Vocal / John Neff - Guitar and Lap Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez -Piano / David Barbe - Piano (also) and percussion

DRAG THE LAKE CHARLIE

Drag the lake Charlie
Charlie, drag the lake
Lester didn't come home last night and Wanda's all irate
Better keep your fingers crossed and hope we find him drowned
Wanda's gonna come and kill us all if he shows up in town

Drag the lake Charlie
I heard that he was seen
Cavorting with old Shorty up at the line again
Wanda's got that goddamned pistol in her purse
If she goes back on rampage they'll have to call the hearse

Better drag the lake Charlie
Charlie, drag the lake
Remember what happened last time Lester went on the make
I heard it took the cleaning crew two weeks to clean the bar
They never found that teenaged girl
They never found the car

Drag the lake Charlie / Drag the lake Charlie
It won't be the first time but it might be the last

Drag the lake Charlie
And keep your fingers crossed
And if your friends with Jesus
Please ask him to help us
Our best-case scenario is Lester turns up dead
I'm almost out of Valium, courage and self-respect

Drag the lake Charlie / Drag the lake Charlie
It won't be the first time but it might be the last

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(December 3, 2008 - Athens GA. Office)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Electric Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 / Harmony Vocals by Shonna Tucker and Jay Gonzalez

THAT WIG HE MADE HER WEAR

It was as open and shut as anything I have seen
He was a pillar of town his reputation was clean
It was right before Easter in the first week of spring
He didn't show up for service that Wednesday night
The congregation knew something weren't right
Blood on the bed when they opened the door
The preacher was dead on the bedroom floor

Everyone knew there had to be some outside thing that made this happen
Because they seemed like the perfect family

He'd been shot in the back, a day before he was found
His wife and three kids were nowhere around
An Amber Alert was issued in town
Everyone was shocked at the scene of the crime
She'd taken the kids across two state lines
Found her in Orange Beach with the kids in the car
Sent back to Selmer to await her trial for first-degree murder

Was she crazy or just plain old mean to have gone and done it?
She said she heard the bang and was afraid he'd be mad and made a run for it

Said, they were having a fight and the gun was a bluff
She didn't pull the trigger it just went off
Said that he berated her about everything
Make her do things that made her feel so ashamed
Nobody at church would ever suspect
Made her dress up slutty before they had sex
In the courtroom that day there was an audible gasp
What they put up on display the locals couldn't quite grasp

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom that day
When the defense pulled out and displayed

Them high-heeled shoes and that wig he made her wear
Reduced her charge to voluntary manslaughter
And I ain't judging either way but she's already out of jail
And it was them high-heeled shoes and that wig he made her wear

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(October 15, 2008 - Athens GA. Midnight in office)

Patterson Hood - Lead and Harmony Vocal, Electric Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar (Beat It Gtr.) / John Neff - Lead Guitar (slide gtr.) / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3

YOU GOT ANOTHER

I see you're runnin' Baby, out of time.
I see you're runnin' Babe, We're way out of line.
You got another and you'll go to her.
You got another and you'll go to her.

Babe, it ain't funny, we've got a lot of love.
And only God knows where the hell it came from.
You got another and you'll go to her.
You got another and you'll go to her.

Lyrics: Shonna Tucker / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Shonna Tucker - Piano, Bass and Lead Vocal / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Mellotron / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Mike Cooley - Electric Guitar / Patterson Hood - Electric Guitar and Backing Vocal / Brad Morgan - Drums

THIS FUCKING JOB

Working this job is a kick in the pants
Working this job is like a knife in the back
It ain't getting me further than the dump I live in
It ain't getting me further than my next paycheck

Working this job's running out of excuses
Working this job is like lighting two fuses
It's like a dead end where a roadmap is useless
Until I'm dead and there's nothing to show for my uses

Nobody told me it'd be easy or for that matter be so hard
but it's the living and learning that makes the difference and makes it all worthwhile

Working this job there's nothing left but to hate it
I won't get as far as my daddy made it
Ain't getting me further for all my striving
than the dead end I live on and the piece of shit that I'm driving

Nobody told me it'd be easy or for that matter be so hard
but it's the living and learning that makes the difference and makes it all worthwhile

Sometimes I dream that I had aimed my life in different ways
But there was nothing to show me a way to get out of this place
So I just did what my Daddy did before me
Only to find the only door I found was closed to me

Working this job, it sucked when I had it
Now it is gone and I am learning what bad is
Now I'm trying to hang on to the worst of places
A family can't live on these fast food wages

Nobody told me it'd be easy...

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(June 7, 2008 - Athens GA. Office)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Electric Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar and Backing Vocal / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Backing Vocal / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Wurlitzer; Harmony Vocal

GET DOWNTOWN

Kim said Jimmy you better get yourself up off of that raggedy couch
I'm too pretty to work and I'm tired of you uglying up my house
Jimmy said Baby the guys at the top are doing bad as the guys on the street
Kim said the guys at the top ain't about to be paying alimony to me

Get downtown
see what you can find
put your face in someone's that ain't mine
looks like the unemployment blues
are wearing out your house shoes
Baby left when your boots came untied

Jimmy said baby ain't you seen the news its as far as the eyes can see
Foreigners are coming in and doing our jobs for half of what they would've paid me
You mean half of what you would've made for something you've never done
Sounds like the bright side to all this Jimmy is you're asking price went up
Now get downtown

Jimmy said baby if I work for you're daddy its worse than being his son
Kim didn't like what he said one bit and it didn't surprise him none
She said my daddy took good enough care of my mama she hardly had to say a thing
Jimmy said that's part of what's wrong Kim said don't you say another damn thing
Just get downtown

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Patterson Hood - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Piano and Wurlitzer

AFTER THE SCENE DIES

The graffiti on the back stage wall gets painted over in muted shade
The club becomes an Old Navy
After the scene dies

When the last six-string slinger has to bow down for health insurance
and accept the mundane
After the scene dies

When the last one leaves and the last note fades and the last dream's been put away
Shut the light off / Shut the light off

When the front man turns to Jesus and the drummer moves away
I'll still be doing what pleases me
After the scene dies

When the bartender passes and the owner cashes out
And they box up the glasses and take the sound system down
Guitars back in their cases
Don't forget my fries
After the scene dies

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(September 2, 2006 - Corpus Christie TX. Bus)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Lead Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Backing Vocal / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Backing Vocal

(IT'S GONNA BE) I TOLD YOU SO

I don't even like the way it sounds but one day it's gonna be "I told you so"
I'm expectin' that you're gonna be down. One day it's gonna be "I told you so"...

You never listened to a word I said, One day it's gonna be "I told you so"
I told you something' and you kicked me in the head
One day it's gonna be "I told you so" One day it's gonna be "I told you so"...

I'd like to catch you when you're fallin'
But you're too busy for me Darlin'
I tried to tell you you'd be fallin'
Now go on home and do your bawlin'

You picked up 'Crazy' and you let it in your head
Now one day it's gonna be "I told you so"
I'm all full up from the shit I was fed
One day it's gonna be "I told you so"
One day it's gonna be "I told you so"
One day it's gonna be "I told...

Lyrics: Shonna Tucker / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Shonna Tucker - Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocal / David Barbe - Bass / Mike Cooley - Acoustic and Lead Guitar and Bass Vocal / John Neff - Acoustic and Lead Guitar and Backing Vocal / Patterson Hood - Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Backing Vocal / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - Dart and Backing Vocals

SANTA FE

You said that you'd be waiting for me here in Santa Fe
with hotel rooms and TV's booming loud every night and day
And all I have to do is just be careful what I say and do and what I put us through

Colorado, lines were down
Des Moine's an underwater town
Don't know what it is I thought I'd find out here
It's moving forward as it must
95 and blowing dust
Sitting here and missing us
It couldn't be more clear

You said that you'd be waiting for me here in Santa Fe
with dreams and postponements made along the way
Conditioned by the outstretched miles and high desert air
Thinking I might find you there

Holding you in my dreams
Ricocheting back and forth between my two extremes
of light and dark and all the in betweens
All of us know too well exactly what that means

Will you be here waiting for me here in Santa Fe?
With arms and obligations and tears along the way
All I have to do is revel in the everyday
Then do it again tomorrow
Do it again tomorrow
Do it again tomorrow in some other place

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(June 17, 2008 - Santa Fe, NM. Before and after soundcheck)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Electric and Acoustic Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Wurlitzer and Backing Vocal

THE FLYING WALLENDAS

And they fell from the skies with the greatest of ease
And they landed on the ground under tents and trapeze
And they were told that they fell with such beauty and grace
That The Flying Wallendas would be the name on their case
And the fine folks of Akron would forever be saying
That they flew through the air like the wings of a prayer
But they all walked away amidst the gawking and stares
And the children revisited their fall in nightmares
But they never would stop and they never surrendered
And they lived like they died, The Flying Wallendas

They could dance on the wire through the fire and the storm
John Ringling had seen Karl in Cuba perform
And he raised up his kids for performance and stardom
They performed center ring at Madison Square Garden
With a seven man pyramid folks lined up just to see em
Till they fell from the sky at Detroit's State Fair Coliseum
And they fell to the ground with the greatest of ease
And three didn't get up from the blood in the breeze
But Karl wouldn't be stopped from his home in the skies
Till he fell from the wire in San Juan and he died

In Sarasota as a child my Grandparents lived next door
To the surviving Wallendas and their amazing wild stories
I was amazed and astounded that the old lady who was out
Pruning her orange trees had flown to the heavens and back

Lyrics: Patterson Hood / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(March 1, 2009 - Athens GA. Office and snow)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Electric Guitar and Piano / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar and Banjo / John Neff - Pedal Steel and Recorder / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3, Piano, Accordion and Harmony Vocal

EYES LIKE GLUE

I see you watching me
Your eyes are just like glue
Stuck like glue to every foolish thing I say and do
But there's a safer distance still not out of touch
If Daddy's quiet it probably means he's thinking way too much

Someday you'll be a man
You'll have a big old brain
You wont need it but you'll try to use it just the same
But it's like any house lonely people roam around
Wasted empty space a maze with only one way out

Nobody ever told me half the things I'm telling you
Even if they had I'd have had the same look that you do
Sometimes you think it and you want to hear it said out loud
If no one else does then its up to you to shout it out

You'll want to do it all
And you'll believe you can
But when the best that you can do becomes all you can stand
You'll know you're just a man when you feel all the weight press down
Next time you're watching me remember that's all I am now

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Lead Vocals and Acoustic Guitar / Patterson Hood - Second Acoustic Guitar / Jay Gonzalez - Wurlitzer / John Neff - Pedal Steel

GIRLS WHO SMOKE (vinyl only bonus track)

I can tell by her lips she's got fucked up teeth
She's got a banged up grill like she just hit a deer
In a while she'll go down in a tent with a bloke
You know what they say about girls who smoke

It's festival season and all around the UK
They're herding the fans like cattle
All the blogs are alive and the kids are all stoked
You know what they say about girls who smoke

We're parked at the venue the driver will skin you
If you paper or do number two in the loo
It smells so bad as it is you could croak
Outside there's mud and rain and girls who smoke
Girls who smoke - Girls who smoke

It's August and freezing, the headliner's cheesy
The Port-O-Potty's are shaking and wheezing
The catering sucks and vendors blow
It's the middle of the afternoon
Drink like its midnight - Time for the show

But the kids keep coming and Thank God for them
Lasses with passes and dudes round the corner
It's storming in Stafford and everyone's soaked
You know what they say about girls who smoke

Lyrics: Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley /
Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
(August 17, 2008 - Chelmsford UK - Bus)

Patterson Hood - Lead Vocal, Electric Guitar / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Lead Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Jay Gonzalez - B3 and Dart / Backing Vocals by The Bottom Feeders USA (Cooley, Hood, Neff, Tucker, Morgan and Gonzalez)
Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
Song By Song by Patterson Hood


1. Daddy Learned To Fly

I wrote this song after the death of a friend of mine a few years ago. It was written from the point of view of a child missing his Dad and trying to understand it all. I actually wrote it on a cross-country flight during a very long tour and while missing my own child. I kinda had the idea of it for a while but was struggling with the reality of actually writing it. Once it came together, it happened really fast.

We usually track our songs live and in minimal takes and this one was especially quick in the studio. I think everyone felt it right away and we had it in a take or two.

2. The Fourth Night Of My Drinking

Wrote this one in my office, which is just off from my kitchen at my house in Athens, GA. It's a pretty self-explanatory snapshot of binge drinking taken to a nearly "Leaving Las Vegas" extreme. I used to binge drink quite a bit in my younger days but never tended towards violence. I was always a sweet drunk, although vodka could make me quite belligerent in a comical way. My wife asked me not to drink vodka around her. Never serve white liquor to a redneck.

We spent some time tracking this one, as it originally had a slower intro that bogged it down and it took a bit of time to figure out that it needed dropping. After the basic track I asked Jay Gonzalez (who's now playing keys in the band) to add a horror movie organ part and he lit up like a Christmas tree and immediately nailed the part that's on the record.

I wanted to shoot a video that was part take off / tribute to the old "Dark Shadows" TV show for it, but we'll have to see what happens.

3. Birthday Boy

This was the last song written and recorded for the album. We had already mastered the finished album when Cooley wrote this, which to me provided the one missing element of the album. Not sure of Cooley's motivation and don't want to speak for him except to say the song involves an "awkward" lap dance and Miss Trixie was the character that Madeleine Kahn played in Paper Moon, which is one of our favorite films. In the movie she tells Tatum O'Neal's character to "Let Miss Trixie sit up front with her big ole titties." One of the funniest lines in movie history.

We came home from the road and cut, mixed and mastered this really quickly so that it could make the final cut. I love playing in this band.

4. Drag The Lake Charlie

Not sure what inspired this one. It just kinda played out like a scene from a movie in my head and I just wrote it down. When Wes Freed (our beloved friend who does all of our art work) heard it, he immediately pictured that great scene from The Night of the Hunter where Shelly Winters' dead body is sitting in that old car underwater with seaweed flowing in her hair.

This was the first song we tracked for the album and it kinda set the tone for how the album was going to sound sonically. We wanted to do a "Big Rock" album since our last one was so swampy.

5. The Wig He Made Her Wear

I write about this one in the liner notes. It is based on a real murder that happened in Selmer, TN a few years ago. A prominent preacher in town was shot by his wife and her defense attorney played on the mores and religiousness of the town, successfully I might add, as she was basically handed a suspended sentence and within a couple of years had her kids back. As I've said before, I try hard to never be judgmental about the stories I tell.

When the story broke, we were touring in Norway and I actually saw it on the news over there. The fact that it was all happening about 35 miles from my hometown got my attention. To drive home the fact that I would have to write about it, I have never watched Court TV in my life and happened to be watching it the morning they presented her defense. When they held up the wig, shoes and special outfit he'd make her wear when they had sex, you could literally hear the gasp in the courtroom and I knew she was going to walk. I let the story percolate in my head for a couple of years and wrote it on a Sunday night right before we began tracking the album.

If my memory serves me right, the tracking of this song was one magical take, Everyone just knew exactly where to go with it. Johnny plays that beautiful sleezy slide part and Cooley plays what I refer to as the "Beat It" guitar throughout with the "Purple Rain" sounding soloing at the end. One of my favorite things this band has ever done.

6. You Got Another

One of my favorite things about this band is its messy democracy and open-endedness. Watching Shonna grow into her expanded roles within the band has been a blast. She came in with a really cool sounding demo of this that she cut at home and we all enthusiastically climbed on board.

We tracked this one live in the studio with Shonna playing the piano facing us. Jay played the B3 on the basic then added the Mellotron later. I've always loved Big Star's "Kangaroo" and have always wanted a Mellotron on an album. Johnny plays the Juice Harp during the chorus. This one is going to be a showstopper when we work it up live.

7. This Fucking Job

I wrote this one in my office shortly before the economic collapse of last 2008. I came out of a several year drought of songwriting and wrote about three albums worth of songs for this project but I always knew that this one would be for The Big To-Do.

I never forget how lucky I am to get to do what I love so much as a job and career. I also never forget that it almost never happened and happened only after a lot of sacrifice and some gut wrenching decisions that at the time seemed very foolish to anyone looking for tangible evidence of our reasons. Cooley and I were in our 30's when we started this band. We hit the road with a vengeance that went way beyond obsession and at a pace of much younger bands. At the same time, coming home meant working shitty jobs to pay off the debt that touring at that level incurred (plus some of us were married and everyone had to eat). I can still remember a soul-searching decision where we just decided to go for broke and try to make all of this happen. We didn't really have much chance of making all of this work out to a point of actually making a living at it but decided to do it anyway.

We worked really hard, made some right moves but inevitably we also got lucky and I still go to bed knowing that my shitty old day job is still nipping at my heels and with children in the picture we certainly couldn't be so cavalier in waging it all on some pipe dream.

8. Get Downtown

From day one, this band has gotten lucky with Cooley and I showing up with songs covering similar themes from different points of view and this one connects with "This Fucking Job" in unintended and beautiful ways. I love the conversational lyrics and the back and forth between Kim and Jimmy. I feel like I know them (and probably do).

We had fun cutting it. I especially love the old school battle of the guitars / piano soloing. We used to do that kind of thing a lot and haven't in a while. Having Jay in the loop has taken it to a new level.

9. After The Scene Dies

This one predates the other songs on this album. I actually wrote it on the road during The Black Crowes tour we did back in 2006. We worked it up acoustically and played it during The Dirt Underneath Tour in 2007 and took a few stabs at it for Brighter Than Creation's Dark but never had a take we liked and also just felt like it didn't fit that album (which it didn't).

We've been on the road long enough to see clubs and venues come and go. Every so often we lose a really good one and it's always sad. A "scene" is a fragile thing and sometimes success can kill one as fast as failure. (The same could be said for bands too). I moved to Athens 16 years ago because of the amazing music scene here and have watched it change but continue to thrive. Same time, I see the gentrification of downtown and always fear that a beloved venue will become a parking deck. That's what I wrote this song about.

Shortly after we recorded this song, The Georgia Theatre burned down. Ironically, there was already a plan in place to build a mammoth parking deck, basically surrounding it. Fortunately, my community is rallying and it appears like they will be able to rebuild. I sure hope so.

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

We were all thrilled when Shonna came in with this kickass rocker. To me it is one part Motown, one part early Pretenders, maybe even a little Wall of Sound girl-group heyday.

We tracked it with Shonna on guitar and David Barbe playing bass. The (World Famous) Bottom Feeders (USA) came by to sing backup. Oh Boy!

11. Santa Fe

I've been writing songs since I was 8 years old and I'm still as perplexed by it's mysteries as ever. Maybe even more so since I probably figured I would have figured it out by now. Sometimes I'll go six months without writing a damned thing and then one day for no apparent reason I'll write several songs in a row. I don't multi-task very well so when I'm in writing mode, I'm seriously not any good for anything else. I'll forget words to songs I know and forget where I put my keys. I have to be really careful crossing streets.

We were parked at the venue in Santa Fe last year waiting to sound check and sitting around on the bus and I wrote the first half of this song. I was interrupted by a visit from a friend and during the visit, he told me a story so intense that I wrote another song based on it five minutes after he left (a song called "Ray's Automatic Weapon" which we have already recorded for our next album) then went back to this one and finished it right after sound check.

This song wasn't based on anything literal happening that day, but I felt like it captured the homesickness and loneliness that often accompanies doing what I love so. We were on The Home Front Tour shortly after the release of Brighter Than Creation's Dark and the Midwest was flooded. We were ending that tour in Des Moines and there was talk that day of having to cancel due to the venue being underwater. It all worked out and we ended up having a great time there.

We spent a little extra time figuring out how we wanted this one to sound and tried several slants and arrangements before locking in on this one. I felt like it was a day very well spent and I think Johnny and Cooley play some extra cool shit on this track.

12. The Flying Wallendas

My favorite movie of 2008 was Man On Wire about that crazy Frenchman who walked on a tightrope between the World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974. I ended up reading Philippe Petit's autobiography about it also, all of which made me start thinking about The Flying Wallendas, who had fascinated me as a kid. My Grandparents did in fact live two doors down from one of the surviving Wallendas in Sarasota when I was a kid. I first became aware of their story from a TV movie that I saw when I was probably around 8 or 9 (around the same time as Petit's famous walk).

I've never been much of a daredevil. Crossing streets sometimes makes me nervous. However, watching that madman describe his obsession and blind pursuit of his dream totally hit a nerve in me. Maybe several. We were already calling the album The Big To-Do before we started recording it. Shonna came up with that title back when we were recording our last album and we all agreed that it would make a great album title (just not that album). It never really had anything to do with circuses but always seemed to imply the show, whatever kind of show. The preacher in the small town was putting on a show. (One could argue the parallels between the church and the Rock Show all day long). We had the clubs closing and the homesickness and somehow all of that led me to write this one about the actual show.

The next day we recorded it and the day after that my friend Jason Thrasher gave me a book on The Ringling Brothers. Jay Gonzalez did an amazing job singing harmony on this one.

13. Eyes Like Glue

This gem of a Cooley song was inspired by something his son said to him a few months ago. I think it's a beautiful song and it certainly speaks for my feelings for my children as well. I would think it speaks pretty well for anyone with children and families and all of the weighty decisions that accompany them.


The Big To-Do Art

This album is the seventh one in a row that has featured artwork by our dear friend Wes Freed. He and his wife Jyl live in Richmond, VA and have been a part of our family for nearly as long as we've had this band. We never tell him what to draw and often give him no input at all, yet he always seems to find some subtext, often one we didn't know was there, that he brings out and runs with.

I think that the relationship has hit a new level on this album, as he basically illustrated every song. He honed in on the circus allusions on The Rock Show and how it all could be tied together in The Big To-Do. As I've said, a lot of this one was written on the road and it has a movement in it that reflects that. Wes picked up on that and ran with it.

Recording The Big To-Do

This album marks the seventh album we've made with David Barbe. (He mixed Alabama Ass Whuppin' and co-produced Southern Rock Opera also, but didn't start from the ground up on one until Decoration Day). It's a partnership that rivals any within the band itself. David is a consummate artist as a player, producer and engineer (as well as parent and baseball coach, both of which are sometimes called for in making our records). There is also a trust between us that can't be quantified and a communication that often helps break through barriers of dysfunction in uncanny ways.

We began recording in January of 2009 and reconvened a couple of times as the year progressed. We actually cut 26 songs (so far) but fairly quickly surmised that it would be best to divide them into two albums (The Big To-Do and Go-Go Boots) and work on finishing The Big To-Do first. We will piddle with the remainders for a while between tours until we have it like we want it and release it at the appropriate time.

Sonically, as a band, we've always resisted trendy sounds and production techniques. They certainly have their place in the grand scheme of things and sometimes in my personal record collection but we've always maintained a preference to record this band in an old school way. Analog, on a sixteen-track tape machine onto 2" tape; then mixed to another tape machine (1/2" two-track stereo). We run a computer simultaneously so that we always have a tape running in case something accidental and beautiful happens and so we never have to ask if it was on but we prefer to get the sounds in as natural a way as possible. The reverb comes from two custom-built plate reverb chambers that David keeps at his studio. David actually has a working Mellotron and our friends in Widespread Panic loaned us their beautiful B-3 for Jay to play.

Our preferred format upon completion is on 180gm vinyl and we spared no expense having Stan Ricker half speed master it onto the lathe and having R.T.I. manufacture the actual record. The vinyl version with its gatefold sleeved album cover (beautifully laid out from Wes' art by my sister Lilla Hood, who has done all of our album art design since Southern Rock Opera) is the absolute best way to enjoy this record. We have also included a CD in the vinyl version so you can listen to it in your car and download it into your iPod. ENJOY!

The Fine Print

THE FINE PRINT (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008)
Release Date: September 1, 2009 - New West Records
When the Drive-By Truckers put out a rarities album, they don't half-ass it... rather than releasing the unfinished songs as is, the way most bands would've done, the Truckers actually went ahead and finished those tracks.
-Pitchfork.com
Drive-By Truckers (DBT) have been making music together for 13 years resulting in 7 critically acclaimed studio albums which could not contain all of the songs written by the band. DBT recently dug into the New West Records vaults and put finishing touches on a selection of songs that were never quite completed. The result of the collaboration is The Fine Print (A Collection Of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008), a 12-track album of previously unreleased and rare songs. The Fine Print features songs written by band members past and present, including Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell. Seven of the twelve songs come from The Dirty South era, a highly creative time for DBT. The record also contains four covers including Rebels by Tom Petty, which the band recorded originally for the TV show King Of The Hill and Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan which provided Shonna Tucker with her first ever lead vocal performance on a DBT recording.

Track Listing:
1. George Jones Talkin' Cell Phone Blues
2. Rebels
3. Uncle Frank (alternate version)
4. TVA
5. Goode's Field Road (alternate version)
6. The Great Car Dealer War
7. Mama Bake A Pie (Daddy Kill A Chicken)
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
Creative Loafing review
An Honest Tune Review
TwangNation Review

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Brighter Than Creation's Dark
Release Date: January 22, 2008 - New West Records

A 19-song 75+ minute southern gothic rock n' roll masterpiece. Featuring songs from Patterson, Cooley and Shonna. The album also features contributions from Legendary Muscle Shoals keyboardist Spooner Oldham. Featuring the songs "The Righteous Path", "3 Dimes Down" and "Purgatory Line".

Listen

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by David Barbe at Chase Park Transduction Studios, Athens GA. June - September 2007 on glorious 2" analog tape.
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound NYC.

DBT-8:
Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Brad Morgan, John Neff, and Shonna Tucker
With special guest: Spooner Oldham

Also appearing: David Barbe, Will Johnson and Scott Danbom

Additional Engineering - Andy LeMaster
Assistant Engineers - Billy Bennett, Ben Holst, Drew Vandenberg, Brannen Miles, Mark Brut

Art Direction - Lilla Hood
Artwork and Paintings - Wes Freed at Willard's Garage, Richmond VA
Willards Garage maintained by Jyl Freed
Photography - Jason Thrasher

Chase Park Interns - Laura Conroy, Ben Dasher, David Franklin

This album is lovingly dedicated to our dear friend and collaborator Spooner Oldham.

Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife

When he reached the gates of heaven
He didn't understand
He knew that folks were coming over
Or was it all a dream?
Was it all a crazy dream?

He saw them playing there before him
What were they doing there?
It felt like home, It must be alright
Or is it just a dream?
Is it just a crazy dream?

Memories replay before him
All the tiny moments of his life
Laying round in bed on a Saturday morning
Two daughters and a wife
Two daughters and a beautiful wife

Meanwhile on Earth his friends came over
Shocked and horrified
Dolls and flowers at the storefront
Everybody cried
Everybody cried and cried

Is there vengeance up in heaven?
Are those things left behind?
Maybe everyday is Saturday morning
Two daughters and a wife
Two daughters and a beautiful wife
Two daughters and a beautiful wife

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar and Vocal / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony / Mike Cooley - Banjo / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Brad Morgan - Drum - Spooner Oldham - Piano / Scott Danbom (courtesy of Centro-matic) - Fiddle

3 Dimes Down

It was a straight shot
All it took was luck to not get caught
I laid three dimes down and the machine wanted 25 cents
In the back seat her and a friend,
one out the window and the other on the other end
One belt loop away from Sunday night's news

If the part about being who he was didn't help Tom get loose,
what's a guy without a T. gonna get? Totally screwed,
while chicken wing puke eats the candy apple red off his Corvette
Three dimes down and 25 cents shy of a slice of the Doublemint twins
Come back baby, Rock and Roll never forgets

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Guitars and Vocals / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony Vocal / Patterson Hood - Guitar and High Harmony / John Neff - Guitars and Slide Guitar / Brad Morgan - Drums / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer and Hammond B-3 / David Barbe - Guitar and Hammer on a Mic. Stand

The Righteous Path

I got a brand new car that drinks a bunch of gas
I got a house in a neighborhood that's fading fast
I got a dog and a cat that don't fight too much
I got a few hundred channels to keep me in touch
I got a beautiful wife and three tow-headed kids
I got a couple of big secrets I'd kill to keep hid
I don't know God but I fear his wrath
I'm trying to keep focused on the righteous path

I got a couple of opinions that I hold dear
A whole lot of debt and a whole lot of fear
I got an itch that needs scratching but it feels alright
I got the need to blow it out on Saturday night
I got a grill in the backyard and a case of beers
I got a boat that ain't seen the water in years
More bills than money, I can do the math
I'm trying to keep focused on the righteous path

I'm trying to keep focused as I drive down the road
On the ditches and the curves and the heavy load
Ain't bitching bout things that aren't in my grasp
Just trying to hold steady on the righteous path

There's this friend of mine I've known all my life
Who can't get it right no matter how hard he tries
He's got kids he don't see and several ex-wives
And a list of bad decisions bout eight miles wide
Trouble with the law and the IRS
And where he'll get the money's anybody's guess
He's a long way off but if you was to ask
He'd say he's trying to stay focused on the righteous path

Trying to keep focused as we drive down the road
Like we did back in High School before the world turned cold
Now the brakes are thin and the curves are fast
We're trying to hold steady on the righteous path

We're hanging out and we're hanging on
We're trying the best we can to keep keeping on
We got messed up minds for these messed up times
And it's a thin thin line separating his from mine

Trying to hold steady on the righteous path
80 miles and hour with a worn out map
No time for self-pity or self-righteous crap
Trying to stay focused on the righteous path

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Guitars and Vocal - Mike Cooley - Guitars / John Neff - Guitars and Pedal Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums

I'm Sorry Huston

I just met Huston, He was lookin' for your door.
He said he'd like to buy a horse.
I saw he had a map of the county in his hand.
He had your house circled red.
Cherokee is too damn far to come back by and ol' Huston needs a ride.

You just missed Huston, He was lookin' so confused.
I guess he really needed you.
He was old and tired and lookin' for the truth.
I guess ol' Huston's got the blues.
Cherokee is too damn far to go back dry, I promise Huston I'll try.

You ain't givin' up on lookin' for your thing,
even if you probably should.
I'm sorry Huston. I ain't got what you need
but I promise you I'd help you if I could.

Shonna Tucker / Drive-By Truckers © (BMI)

Shonna Tucker - Bass and Lead Vocal / Mike Cooley - Guitar and Harmony / Patterson Hood - Guitar and Harmony / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Brad Morgan - Drums / Spooner Oldham - Hammond B3

Perfect Timing

Here I am again perfect timing,
the strings are ringing and the words are rhyming
I used to hate the fool in me, but only in the morning
now I tolerate him all day long

Out on the highway, I hear the moaning
That low and lonesome whisper,
you only know from longing,
through those naked trees at the windows glowing orange,
taking over that cold shoulder racing by

I might have known before
if I'd got this old before I thought I got too cool to give a damn
That who you see in dreams at night seem to spend their afterlives
trying hard to live the last one down

Here I am again perfect timing,
the strings are ringing and the words are rhyming
I used to hate the fool in me, but only in the morning,
now I tolerate him all day long

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Acoustic Guitars, Harmonica and Vocals / John Neff - Lead Acoustic Guitar / Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drum

Daddy Needs A Drink

Daddy needs a drink to deal with all the beauty
To deal with all the madness to keep from blowing up
Daddy needs a drink to calm down the badness
To execute his gladness on the fullness of his cup

Daddy needs a drink to keep the wheels from rubbing
To compensate for nothing or nothing going on

Daddy needs a drink so Mama fix one quick
Pour it nice and strong with your cleaning outfit on

Daddy needs a drink to hem in his demons
To hear through baby screaming or the TV set turned on
There ain't nothing on the radio like the wave my transmitter's on
Put that drinking jacket on and enjoy a little fog

Patterson Hood / Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Spooner Oldham © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar and Vocal / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony / Mike Cooley - Electric Guitar / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer / Brad Morgan - Drums

Self Destructive Zones

It was 1990 give or take I don't remember
when the news of revolution hit the air
The girls hadn't even started taking down our posters
when the boys started cutting off their hair
The radio stations all decided angst was finally old enough
it ought to have a proper home
Dead fat or rich nobody's left to bitch
about the goings-on in self destructive zones

The night the practice room caught fire
there were rumors of a dragon headed straight for Muscle Shoals
"Stoner tries to save an amplifier"
and it's like the dragon's side of the story is never told
When the dream and the man and the girls hang around long enough
to make you think it's coming true,
it's easier to let it all die a fairy tale,
than admit that something bigger is passing through

The hippies rode a wave putting smiles on faces,
that the devil wouldn't even put a shoe
Caught between a generation dying from its habits,
and another thinking rock and roll was new
Till the pawn shops were packed like a backstage party,
hanging full of pointy ugly cheap guitars
And the young'uns all turned to karaoke,
hanging all they're wishes upon disregarded stars

My Grandaddy's shotgun is locked in a closet
and it never shot a thing that could have lived
An old man decided that you couldn't choose your poison
till you're nearly old enough to vote for him
They turned what was into something so disgusting
even wild dogs would disregard the bones
Dead fat or rich nobody's left to bitch
about the goings' on in self destructive zones

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Guitars and Lead Vocals / Patterson Hood - Guitars and Harmony Vocals / John Neff - Guitars / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Brad Morgan - Drums / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer

Bob

Bob goes to church every Sunday, Every Sunday that the fish ain't biting
Bob never has to have dinner with the preacher,
cause Bob never bothered getting married
He likes to drink a beer or two every now and again,
he always had more dogs than he ever had friends
Bob ain't light in the loafers, he might kneel but he never bends over

Bob takes care of his mama, she's the only one he lets call him Robert
She don't drive anymore so he takes her to the store
and keeps her yard looking just like she wants it
Every week at the beauty shop Bob's mama hears
of another woman made another man disappear
Robert ain't exactly scared of women, he's just got his own way of living

Bob's still got an antenna on a pole
two channels come in, two more come and go
He used to watch the news but he don't anymore,
ain't none of it new it's the same as before
He figures all any of it's any good for is keeping every bored
till there ain't nobody like Bob anymore

Bob takes care of his mama
she's a mess but he feels like he oughta
How big a mess today? Ask Bob he'll say,
"She's a big one and she's gonna be a lotta" He likes to drink a beer or two every now and again,
he always had more dogs than he ever had friends
Bob ain't light in the loafers, he might kneel but he never bends over

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals / John Neff - Lap Steel and Pedal Steel / Patterson Hood - Guitar / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Spooner Oldham - Piano / Brad Morgan - Drums

Home Field Advantage

You ain't much of a player and you ain't playin' for free.
You just know all the chatter and you've been chattin' at me.
Now you're takin' me down with a home field advantage.
And you're callin' me out with a home field advantage.

You may have thrown me a curveball. Yeah, you threw a doozie at me.
You ain't too fast cause you're so tall. You threw a doozie at me.
And now you're takin' me down with a home field advantage.
And you're callin' me out with a home field advantage.

You don't know what to do. Yeah, you're lookin' around.
Nobody's at home and you don't know the count.
Well, you break and run just to tie it up.

You're takin' me down with a home field advantage.
And you're callin' me out with a home field advantage.

Shonna Tucker / Drive-By Truckers © (BMI)

Shonna Tucker - Bass and Lead Vocal / Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and John Neff - Electric Guitars / Brad Morgan - Drums / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer / Will Johnson (courtesy of Centro-matic) - Harmony Vocal

The Opening Act

There's a big fat man on a mechanical bull in slow motion like Debra Winger
And he gets knocked off and I think he's hurt,
It's a bitch facing facts and figures
There's a band on stage that used to be huge
They sound on but no one's listening
They're told to turn down and they politely oblige
Ain't no such thing as a free ride

It ain't my problem and it ain't my show and I ain't being condescending
It's just the opening slot and I hit my mark and split as the crowd is thinning

The man's on the guest list so I guess it will be alright...

So the paramedics arrive and they haul off that Urban Bovine Kneivel
I see my friend and give him all my money and tell myself it's a necessary evil
And it's all such a fleeting thing so I'd best try and enjoy it
So much beauty and just enough time to figure out how to destroy it

I'm just the opening act

And it ain't my crowd and it ain't my night but I'd be lying if I said I can't relate
I'm just the opening act and the van is packed and I'm hauling ass to another state

And I'm driving north as the sun was rising over a Technicolor horizon
I reached out to touch you but you're not there, a thousand miles away from here
I turned up the radio; heard some preacher talking salvation
My tank is half full and I reached over and changed the station

I'm just the opening act

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar, Piano Chord and Lead Vocal / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Late Night Pedal Steel / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer / Brad Morgan - Drums

Lisa's Birthday

It's always Lisa's birthday when I get that call
She's got no money for a cab she's way too drunk to walk
Lisa's had more birthdays than there are sad country songs
about trying to love two women and only taking one girl home

It's a good thing that her dancing shoes don't run on gasoline
She could dry up Texas in one night the way she feels that beat
If I don't find them under the bed we make love on,
she's lighting Lisa's candles and they'll be burning all night long

So happy birthday Lisa Good evening Jim Beam
Goodnight all you socialites don't wait up for me
I'll be out way past the time the scene's no sight to see
Y'all don't live with Lisa
And she don't stay with me

It's always Lisa's birthday when I get that call
Her car's not where she parked it it's with her wallet and her phone
Lisa's had more birthdays than there are sad country songs
about trying to love two women and only taking one girl home

I get older and Lisa keeps on turning twenty-one

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony Vocal / Spooner Oldham - Piano / Brad Morgan - Drums and Tambourine / John Neff - Pedal Steel - Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar

That Man I shot

That man I shot, He was trying to kill me
He was trying to kill me He was trying to kill me
That man I shot I didn't know him
I was just doing my job, maybe so was he

That man I shot, I was in his homeland
I was there to help him but he didn't want me there
I did not hate him, I still don't hate him
He was trying to kill me and I had to take him down

That man I shot, I still can see him
When I should be sleeping, tossing and turning
He's looking at me, eyes looking through me
Break out in cold sweats when I see him standing there

That man I shot, shot not in anger
There's no denying it was in self-defense
But when I close my eyes, I still can see him
I feel his last breath in the calm dead of night

That man I shot, He was trying to kill me
He was trying to kill me, He was trying to kill me
Sometimes I wonder if I should be there?
I hold my little ones until he disappears

I hold my little ones until he disappears
I hold my little ones until we disappear
And I'm not crazy or at least I never was
But there's this big thing that can't get rid of

That man I shot did he have little ones
That he was so proud of that he won't see grow up?
Was walking down his street, maybe I was in his yard
Was trying to do good I just don't understand

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Lead and Harmony Vocal, Rhythm and Lead Guitars / Mike Cooley and John Neff - Rhythm and Lead Guitars / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer / Brad Morgan - Drums

The Purgatory Line

This ain't exactly hell.
It sure as hell ain't heaven.
I love you like the dickens and I miss you like the Devil.
I guess I'll do my time waitin' in this purgatory line.
Angels here are wearin' fancy new perfume,
and all the bread's unleavened.
Well I guess it'll have to do till I find you.
I don't know what I'm doin' here or why
I'm waitin' in this purgatory line.

I ain't exactly up.
I ain't gone too far down.
I'm lookin' for some answers and there ain't no one around.
I guess I'll lose my mind waitin' in this purgatory line.
If Jesus walked on water then where'd he get them shoes?
It just keeps gettin' harder to lose these walkin' blues.
I want you to come and take me home for a while.
Save me from this purgatory line.

Sometimes I can laugh.
Other times I cry.
It ain't exactly funny. My feet are both on fire.
I guess they'll just burn for a while waitin' in this purgatory line.
Lovin' you is so easy, but waitin' here just ain't.
I know I can be patient, but please don't hesitate to cross my mind.
That's all I've got for a while.
Waitin' in this purgatory line.

Shonna Tucker / Drive-By Truckers © (BMI)

Shonna Tucker - Bass and Vocals / Mike Cooley - Echoplex Lead Guitar / John Neff - Double E-Bow Pedal Steel / Brad Morgan - Drum / Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar / Spooner Oldham - Fender Rhodes

The Home Front

The hours creep across the face
As she paces across the floor
She can't even get to sleep since Tony went to war
She feels bitchslapped and abandoned
By a world she thought she knew
Cold beyond comprehension as their little girl turns two

Now they're saying on the flat screen
They ain't found a reason yet
We're all bogged down in a quagmire
And there ain't no end to it
No Nine Eleven or Uranium to pin the bullshit on
She's left standing on the home front
The two of them alone

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Guitars, Lead and Harmony Vocal / Mike Cooley - Guitar / John Neff - Guitar and Pedal Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Spooner Oldham - Hammond B-3 / Brad Morgan - Military Drums

Checkout Time In Vegas

A bloody nose, empty pockets, a rented car with a trunk full of guns
It ain't true that the sun don't rise in Vegas,
I've seen it once
She might have been somebody's mama
he might have been somebody's son
but if the sun went down on them that night in Vegas,
they're luck was good as gone

They'll be after me by the time the buffet closes,
making sure sin city still shines brighter than creations dark
If all you need is a badge to take what's left from those who lost it,
a badge ain't no more real than bullets are

A bloody nose, empty pockets, a rented car with a trunk full of guns
Checkout time is sundown in Las Vegas,
but it only rises once

Mike Cooley / Cooley, Hood, Neff, Morgan, Tucker, and Spooner Oldham © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Guitar and Vocals / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony Vocal / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer / Patterson Hood - Guitar / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Brad Morgan - Drums

You and Your Crystal Meth

You've become such a mess. You and your crystal meth

You lost your family and wrecked your truck, I used to love you but now you suck
We were friends, among the best; You and your crystal meth

I ain't exactly a no-drug guy, Don't dig the way that you get high
Hope your kids don't see you throwing up, Hope they ain't there if the house blows up
Hope you ain't murdered in your sleep, Up all night with that cranked out creep
You ain't eaten and you ain't slept; You and your crystal meth

Indiana and Alabama, Oklahoma and Arizona.
Texas, Florida, Ohio, Small town America, right next door
Blood soaked your pillow red; You and your crystal meth

Patterson Hood / Hood, Neff, Cooley and David Barbe © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Piano and Vocal / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Mike Cooley - Guitar /David Barbe - Looping and Effecting

Goode's Field Road

Honey, take care of the children, make them do as they're told
I got a meeting in the morning down at the end of the Goode's Field Road
Nothing much for a man in my position
A man like me don't last too long in prison
And all those friends down at Police Department
will act like they never had anything to do with me

Started out down at the junk yard taking orders from a moron
And a man my size don't like taking orders from anyone
Bought myself an old beat up wrecker, built an empire with my labor brains and sweat
But it's hard to make an honest living and a man takes any help he gets

Nothing much for a man in my position, a second mortgage and three
college kids' tuition and all them friends that I helped along the way
Will act like they never had anything to do with me

But you and me, we had us some good times and I've always been a family
man deep down. Ain't much a believer of hiring work from "out of state"
but they'll be asking questions when I'm found. They'll be asking
questions when I'm found

Honey, take care of the children, pay the house off when the salvage yard gets sold
And you don't know nothing when the insurance man asks questions
Bout what went down at the Goode's Field Road

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Patterson Hood - Guitars and Vocals / Mike Cooley - Guitars / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer - David Barbe - Guitar / Brad Morgan - Drums

A Ghost To Most

I guess I'll never grow a sideburn
it's a shame with all I've got to go between
I hope somebody's cause takes soon
it's getting hard to find a place a root can sink
Mama said a lot of things and be thankful was the one she never minded saying twice
Thanks to her I can think clear enough,
to be thankful that she died before tonight

Saving everybody takes a man on a mission
with a swagger that can set the world at ease
Some believe it's God's own hand on the trigger
and the other dumping water in the streets
Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil
and you're judging what they do or don't believe
It seems to me you'd have to have a hole your own
to point a finger at somebody else's sheet

Baby every bone in my body's gone to jumping
like they're gonna come through my skin
If they could get along without the rest of me, it wouldn't matter if they did
But skeletons ain't got nowhere to stick their money
nobody makes britches that size
and besides you're a ghost to most before they notice,
that you ever had a hair or a hide

I don't know how good it does a man,
to keep on telling him how good it is he's free
free to wash his ghost down the drain,
and free for them to tell him there's no such a thing

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Mike Cooley - Guitars and Vocals / Patterson Hood - Guitars and Harmony Vocals / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Shonna Tucker - Bass / Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer and Hammond B-3 / Brad Morgan - Drums

The Monument Valley

It's all about where you put the horizon
Said the Great John Ford to the young man rising
You got to frame it just right and have some luck of course
And it helps to have a tall man sitting on the horse
Tell them just enough to still leave them some mystery
A grasp of the ironic nature of history
A man turns his back on the comforts of home
The Monument Valley to ride off alone

And when the dust all settles and the story is told
History is made by the side of the road
By the men and women that can persevere
And rage through the storm, no matter how severe
And whether it's a horse or a car or a train
There's gonna be some fine times and there's gonna be some pain
In the end it's a silhouette framed by the sun
And just The Monument Valley when the evening comes

It's a strong wind blowing on the open range
It's gonna be beautiful and it's gonna be strange
It's where to plant the camera and when to say action
When to print the legend and when to leave the facts in
And when to turn your back on the comforts of home
And wander round The Monument Valley alone

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Razor and Tie Music (BMI)
For The Great Director

Patterson Hood - Acoustic Guitar and Lead Vocal / Shonna Tucker - Bass and Harmony Vocal / Mike Cooley - Lead Guitar / John Neff - Pedal Steel / Spooner Oldham - Hammond B-3 / Brad Morgan - Drums
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.

3 Dimes Down is a Cooley song and he never really discusses any of his lyrics with me or anyone else so I'm not going to do him the disservice of doing so myself except to say Tom T. Hall's "Week in a Country Jail" is certainly worth checking out for a clue. He played me a 4-track demo he recorded of it one night while we were all working on the Bettye LaVette album and I doubled over in laughter. The second verse may be my all-time favorite on a Drive-By Truckers album.

We were almost through tracking this album when I wrote The Righteous Path. It was the missing piece of the puzzle and I knew it immediately. I played it through for everyone once and then we nailed it in one take. Some songs are just meant to be.

Shonna has been writing songs as long as I've known her. She always said that one day she'd bring one or two in for us to possibly perform. I kinda thought she was going to pull one out during the making of our last album but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. The week before we began recording the album, Shonna wrote The Purgatory Line and I'm Sorry Huston. She demoed them in her living room and played them for us when we convened. We were all blown away by what great and beautiful songs they were. A day or two later, she stayed behind while the rest of us went to supper and wrote Home Field Advantage.

Every time I hear Perfect Timing, I pick up on something new in it. It's really a grower and a really good performance. John Neff did a great job with the acoustic guitar solos.

Daddy Needs A Drink really showcases the chemistry we have with Spooner Oldham. His legendary playing has graced some of our favorite records in the world. He co-wrote "I'm Your Puppet" and played on "When A Man Loves A Woman" and Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" and "Do Right Woman". He is the single most creative soul I have ever met and his talent is only exceeded by his charm as he is one of the single sweetest men we have ever met. Every single day on the road and in the studio was brightened by his presence and his contribution to this album is monumental (thus its dedication to him).

Cooley seldom talks about what inspires specific songs, but I was there with him in 1991 and saw Self Destructive Zones play out in living color. I think the imagery about the pawnshops and pointy cheap guitars is priceless. I know Bob and you do too. Everyone knows him and he's probably about as good as they come. I probably know his mother too.

There are things you sometimes have to do in order to do what you got to do. The trick is to not let that thing kill you before you do what you got to do. Some folks don't learn that one in time. The Opening Act began as a song written on the back of a discarded setlist from the headlining band on a sticky table at the shithole bar described within it. The fake bull and faux cowboy were all too real, as was the trip to the hospital for the guy looking for his manhood in all the wrong places. I struggled with an ending for the thing for several years, leaving it behind only to be drawn to it again. It was only with the retrospect offered by a year or two of distance that revealed the song's true meaning to me, thus telling me exactly how to close it out. I like to think of it as a short film without the film. There is nothing like a Technicolor horizon to offer a centerpiece on an album so full of black and white and nighttime skies.

Lisa's Birthday was inspired by a story told to Cooley by our old guitar tech Mark Messner. I think it sounds like pure Country Gold circa 1967.

Two separate backstage visits by almost strangers, each touched in different ways by our American tragedy in Iraq, led to the writing of The Home Front and That Man I Shot. I was only a kid when we were over in Vietnam, but I somehow did learn a lesson or two from it. I never so much wanted to be proven wrong in my beliefs as with our current situation, but the evidence so far seems to support that it ain't working out too good for anybody. Now, we're just trying to save face, at the expense of many young lives that could be ordered to serve our country in more productive ways. Seems our band has some fans over there and we're always moved by the stories of really fine folks who are sacrificing so much for our privileged existence. The man in That Man I Shot probably doesn't agree with a lot of my viewpoints, but I tried to be true to what he said and how he said it. You don't have to agree with someone to respect them and that seemed to run both ways with us. As a writer, it's not my job to agree or disagree and certainly not to judge. It is my job to be as true to the character's voice as humanly possible and to tell the story accordingly. The extended family that inspired The Home Front absolutely broke my heart with their story. I changed the names and some details but again tried to be true to the spirit of what they told me.

Wanted to be true also to that guy riding to his destiny in the back of a rented car in the middle of the night to a destination that he thinks will be the answer to all his problems. It was an ageless story with a different twist. Insurance money for the family seemed like a better option than the kind of prison awaiting him. A thousand decisions had led him there and it wasn't my place to question them. There isn't an actual road called Goode's Field Road but if you grew up where I did you know exactly where it is. Some of the best stories aren't really for the telling and the best songs come from the details and spaces locked within.
I wrote this song in 2000 and planned it for The Dirty South album, but at the last minute decided we didn't have the magic take and swapped it for Lookout Mountain. The song has been on my mind ever since but its transition from the mannered country of its original version to the raging primal stomp we landed on here (one magic take) made all the difference and once again proved to me that all things happen for a reason, you just have to trust your instincts (if they seem to be good ones at least) and let things reveal themselves in their own due time.

You And Your Crystal Meth was recorded for A Blessing and A Curse but voted off the album. I was quite unhappy about it until I realized how perfect it sits between Checkout Time in Vegas and Goode's Field Road. We used the old take exactly as it was. I think that take was when I knew that John Neff HAD to rejoin this band. Our beloved producer David Barbe played an extra big part in the creation of that song too.

Checkout Time in Vegas was inspired by the true-life story of our dear friend Scott Baxendale. He builds guitars for a living (he's currently working on a second one for me and a third one for Cooley). He is also a talented screenwriter and documentary director. The story this song alludes to is the basis for an excellent screenplay that he has been trying to get filmed. He became convinced that Johnny Depp should play his character (I want him to maybe play me too for that matter) and went to great lengths to get him a copy. He filmed these great lengths and made a documentary about it all, which recently was screened at The Hollywood Film Festival to rave reviews. He is currently negotiating a distribution deal for it. This guy is amazing and you should play one of his guitars. We meet the most unbelievable people out there on the road.

Cooley closes his set with A Ghost to Most, which I am firmly convinced is the best song he's ever written. We worked it up in practice for The Dirt Underneath Tour and it quickly became one of the standout tunes of each show. The chorus reveals an image so basic and simple yet each listen reveals another layer of story implied within. I overheard Cooley being asked by a friend what it all meant and his response was how "It's really hard for me to find a suit that fits me right."

The album closes with The Monument Valley and the classic imagery from John Ford's immortal masterpiece The Searchers as the door closes on John Wayne's walk off into the desolate beauty of a disappearing America. Ford may have been America's greatest ever filmmaker and repeated viewings of his work reveals insights into our psyche that have never been expressed better. For me it's an extremely personal song and it was a magical take that night in the studio. I knew that it would be the last song on the album the moment I wrote it.

I often write liner notes for our albums and worked most of the summer on a set juxtaposing the two backstage meetings last year. One with the three Green Berets soldiers who had returned home and the other with the family of the soldier who didn't. Those two events played a large part on the writing of this album and I plan to get around to writing about something else pertaining to all of it at a later time.

November 2, 2007 - Athens, GA.

A Blessing and a Curse

A BLESSING AND A CURSE
Release Date - April 18, 2006 - New West Records

Listen

DBT - Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell, Brad Morgan and Shonna Tucker

GUESTS - David Barbe, Mitch Easter, JoJo Herman and John Neff

Most of this album was recorded in a couple of weeks up at Mitch Easter's fantastic recording facility The Fidelitorium in beautiful little Kernersville NC back in August of 2005. We finished it, tidied up, cut a couple of extra tracks and mixed it back home in Athens GA at Chase Park Transduction. Most of the album was written around the time it was recorded. About half the songs were recorded within hours of being written.
Thanks to our friend Danny Clinch for inspiring the title of the album.

Produced and Recorded by David Barbe
Recorded on glorious two-inch analog recording tape.
Mixed by John Agnello
A Blessing And A Curse was mixed by David Barbe
Goodbye was mixed by David Barbe at The Fidelitorium
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC.

Assistant Engineers - Mitch Easter, Billy Bennett, Ben Holst and Marcus Thompson
Intern - Mark Brut
Guitar Technician and Incredible Food - Tim Facok

PERSONNEL:
Management - Mike Luba at Madison House NYC and Boulder CO.
Agent USA - Frank Riley and Matt Hickey at High Road Touring, Sausalito CA.
Agent Europe - Paul Fenn at Asgard Promotions, London England.
Press and Publicity - Traci Thomas at New West Records, Los Angeles CA.
Legal - J. Reid Hunter LLP for Serling Rooks and Ferrara, NYC.
Web - Col. Jenn Bryant at Knuckle Sammitch, Athens GA.
Business Management - Tom Scott CPA and Robert Bachman CPA at TWSPC, Athens GA.
John Agnello managed by Sharon Agnello at Steel Toe Artist Management

A&R - Peter Jesperson at New West Records, Beverly Hills CA.

Road Manager and Mule Wrangler - Patrick Kerr (The Talent)
Live Sound Engineer - Matt DeFilippis (The Matador)
Lighting and Mule Maintenance - Ryan Dowd (Silky)
Stage Production and Monitor Assistance - Tim Facok
Additional Support - Brian Spett, Leslie Riddle, and Jim Wilson

Art Direction - Lilla Hood
Artwork and Paintings - Wes Freed at Willard's Garage, Richmond VA
Willards Garage maintained by Jyl Freed
Band Photography and Title - Danny Clinch

DBT would like to thank Ansley, John Ross and Lucas Spencer Cooley, Rebecca and Ava Ruth Hood, Kimberly Morgan, David, Amy, Annabelle, Winston and Henry Barbe, Patrick Kerr, Matt and Kelly DeFilippis, Tim Facok, Ryan Dowd and all of our beloved families and friends.

DBT would like to thank J. Reid Hunter, Mike Luba and Madison House, Frank Riley, Matt Hickey and all at the High Road office, Paul Fenn, the folks at Asgard and our family of support at home and abroad. We couldn't do anything without you.

DBT would like to thank Wes and Jyl Freed, Lilla Hood, Danny Clinch, The Beautiful and Historic Alabama Theatre.

DBT would like to thank Peter, Cameron, George, Traci, Steve, Kat, Mary, Claire, Jay, George Jr. and all the other incredible folks at New West Records for working so hard for the Rock and treating our music with tender loving care.

Thanks to Jenn Bryant, Dick Cooper, Jay Leavitt, Linda Phillips and Nuci's Space, The Fabulous 40 Watt Club, Centro-Matic, Don Chambers, Andrew Colvin and Shout Booking, Bug Music, BMI, Jeff Cook, House of Fame, Mitch Easter and Shalini, Barr Weismann, James P. Felter and Krissie Marty, Josh and John Moore, Jo2Go, Chuck Atall, Jojo Herman, David Schools, Widespread Panic, Trey Allen, Robert Bachman, Ryan Repetske, Kristi Reed, Mary Beth Justus, Flicker Bar, Greg Calbi, John and Sharon Agnello, Luther Dickinson, and the almighty John Neff.

DBT would like to thank you (very much).

Feb 14

Flowers flying cross the room
Vases smashed against the floor
Said "I'd rather be alone
Take your chocolates and go home"

Be my valentine

They say time makes things easier but only time will tell
You said we'd go the distance but I guess it's just as well
You're blossoming all over while I whither on the line
I just called to tell you that "I hope you're doing fine"

Be my valentine

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Clavioline - Mitch Easter / Extra Gtr - David Barbe

GRAVITY'S GONE

I went stumbling through the fog trying to find a reason for the things I told her
She woke up sunny side down and I was still thinking I was too proud to flip her over
Between the champagne hand jobs and the kissing ass by everyone involved
Cocaine rich comes quick and that's why the small dicks have it all

So I'll meet you at the bottom if there really is one
They always told me when you hit it you'll know it
But I've been falling so long it's like gravity's gone and I'm just floating

Those little demons ain't the reasons for the bruises on your soul you've been neglecting
You'll never lose your mind as long as your heart always reminds you where you left it
And don't ever let them make you feel like saying what you want is unbecoming
If you were supposed to watch your mouth all the time I doubt your eyes would be above it

Between the champagne hand jobs and the kissing ass by everyone involved
What used to be is gone and what ought to be ought not to be so hard

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)

EASY ON YOURSELF

I can't blame you but it's a shame
you can't cover your ass sometimes.
It's that kind of town and you're so far down you can't get up.
I can't tell you what to sell and how to tow the line
and when to just give up.

Calling out to everyone who tried to run. You tried to run.

Don't be so easy on yourself
'cause this one might be all that you have left.
Rearrange the voices in your head and remember what they said.
Don't be so easy on yourself.

You got it down, you been around
and you won't change your life
for redneck cops and traffic stops and residue
but I can't tell you all the hell they'll put you through inside
and what they'll do to you.

Ten years down the road you'll find you're left behind. You're left behind.

Don't be so easy on yourself
'cause this one might be all that you have left.
Rearrange the voices in your head and remember what they said.
Don't be so easy on yourself.

Calling out to everyone who tried to run. You tried to run.

Don't be so easy on yourself
'cause this one might be all that you have left.
Rearrange the voices in your head and remember what they said.
Don't be so easy on yourself.

Jason Isbell © House Of Fame Music (BMI)
Piano - David Barbe

AFTERMATH USA

When I crawled out of bed this morning
I could tell something wasn't right
There were cigarettes in the ashtrays
They weren't your menthol lights
There were beer bottles in the kitchen
And broken glass on the floor
Someone must have slipped me something
Passed out a couple days before

The car was in the carport sideways
Big dent running down the side
Never seen anything as frightening
As when I took a look inside
Smell of musk and deception
Heel marks on the roof-line
Bad music on the stereo
All the seats in recline

The aftermath staring me right in the face
I'll get around to breaking even one of these days

My credit cards have all been maxed out
The meat in my freezer all thawed
The IRS laid the facts out
It's all worse than I thought
The welfare lady said enough is enough
The kids ain't been to school in weeks

Crystal-meth in the bathtub
Blood splattered in my sink
Laying around in the aftermath
It's all worse than you think

DBT with David Barbe - Fidelitorium, August 5, 2005 © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Wurlitzer Electric Piano - Jojo Herman (Thanks to Widespread Panic)

GOODBYE

These cities blur before me, a swirl of colors leaned against the sky
Gone so far away and I never really told you good bye
I know it's kind of lame but sometimes things just turn out that way
We were the best of friends and I'll always remember you that way

We started out with nothing, but wild plans and big ideas and dreams
You were quick to swing the hammer and always fast with some ingenious scheme
Sometimes we argued violently but forged it out of bedrock into steel
Our foundations were so solid and our instincts based on something very real
I feel so damned nostalgic every time I think about those times
I forget how it became that I wouldn't recognize you on the line
I start to feel so guilty but goddamn it I swear to you I tried
To bridge between the distances before I left without saying good-bye

I have friends I met last weekend and friends I've had since I was eight
Friends I've said goodbye to and friends who unexpectedly passed away
And nothing is disposable; at least it's never been that way for me
Its not like you were an acquaintance that I could say never really meant anything to me
No we were really great friends and I always thought that it would be that way
Yet I wonder if I'd know you if the guy that I saw last walked in here today
And I swear until I die, I never would have expected you and I
To grow so far apart and leave without ever saying good bye

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (April 14, 2005 - Ft. Collins CO, back of bus) © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Wurlitzer Electric Piano - Jason Isbell / Gtr Solo - Mike Cooley

DAYLIGHT

She's got me tied in a knot. That's what I thought she'd do.
Don't ask me what's on my mind. I'm fine. I'll push on through.
Not much to see on this angry street, so I'll sleep the day away.
Look past my barnacled mind and in time I'll roll the stone away.

While we still have the daylight, I might look these lessons in the eye.
While we still have the daylight, I might become some brand-new kinda guy.

Brass knuckles and birds on a wire retire but no one gets free.
I'd pay to tear these chains away, this steel sympathy.
Cut bait and cold black forty weight, no one can sing for me.
They fall down with grease in their eyes and cry. How could this come to be?

While we still have the daylight, I might look these lessons in the eye.
While we still have the daylight, I might become some brand-new kinda guy.

Jason Isbell © House Of Fame Music (BMI)
B-3's - David Barbe and Jason Isbell

WEDNESDAY

There was something in the envelope she passed him
That weighed more to him than paper and some ink
It had a hint of something darker and a hint of something sweet
And a little extra glue right on the tip
There was something in the pain that shot right through him
As he climbed up to the place he called his home
They say every man's house should be his palace
But his castle stank of cat shit and alone

So he opened it and found a faded picture
Of a girl he's never me, but somehow seen
Like a memory of a dream from early childhood
Like a virgin's idea of release

She said "I can bend my arms until they're backward
But you can't bend your will to take in mine
And I could hold my breath until next Wednesday
And still be doing fine"

He was sad in ways he couldn't tell her
Though she could make his sadness all her own
He couldn't see the use in spreading sadness
So he took his dark depression and went home
She saw things in him he never bargained
But it wasn't enough to save either one of them
Because she took that sadness one step further
And left him all alone to face the end

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (Full of chicken, early AM)
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)

LITTLE BONNIE

On the day that she was buried
Her Daddy stood out by the cemetery fence
Prayed to God for forgiveness
For surely all of this is punishment for my sins

They put her in the family garden
Said you could hear his heart breaking miles away
All the men pitched in and bought a marble angel
To mark the piece of land where little Bonnie lay

My Grandma said she would keep her in the mornings
So her Mama could sleep a bit and do the chores and such
She'd read her stories about little girls and magic powers
That would never let a pretty angel hurt

Her Mama's always been a beauty
She's still beautiful to this very day
But they say Bonnie's crystal eyes put the stars to shame
Maybe heaven needed Bonnie's face

My Grandma said she would keep her in the mornings
A swollen angel who never would complain
She'd read her stories about little girls and princesses
Whose Daddy's don't feel punished for what heaven takes away

Little Bonnie never married
Little Bonnie never even made it four
But I grew up in her presence
Even though she was gone before I'z born
Even though she was gone before I'z born

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
E-bow and EchoGtr - Jason Isbell / Lead Gtr. - Mike Cooley

SPACE CITY

If I could have one wish right now
I'd be about as half as tough as I pretend I am
Then I wouldn't care how empty this old house feels
I could take her things and take them far away from here
I could make sure no dirt ever got on her name
Cause looking at that stone wouldn't bring me so much pain
I could go into town wearing my finest clothes
I could turn these tears into blood and make it run ice cold

Space City's one hour up the road from me
One hour away from as close to the moon as anybody down here is ever gonna be
And somewhere beyond that big white light is where my heart is gone
And somewhere she's wondering what's taking me so long

My hands are as good to me as they've ever been
And I ain't ashamed of anything my hands ever did
But sometimes the words I used were as hard as my fist
She had the strength of a man and the heart of a child I guess

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers
© Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)

A BLESSING AND A CURSE

When it all comes down
There'll be nothing left to catch you but ground
It's calling your name and filling your head
With delusions of glory

Is that how you're gonna write your story?
Down in your time as a high-flying flame out?
Sucking on what's left of your trust fund?
Sucking on the end of a shot gun?

But there's more here than meets the eye
The real story is under the surface
We're all so in love with the artifice
We don't dare look too close

It's a blessing and a curse
Watch out, Eugene, you don't make things worse
Wild dreams come true, what to do then?
Confusion and glory

A man's got to think it all through
Got to do what you got to do
It's itching to conquer and take you
Itching to make a mistake out of you

It's a blessing and a curse
I wish it didn't hurt so much
I wish it didn't hurt so much
I wish it didn't hurt so much

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (July and August 2005)
© Soul Dump Music (BMI)

A WORLD OF HURT

Once upon a time, my advice to you would have been go out and find yourself a whore
But I guess I've grown up, because I don't give that kind of advice anymore

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

I was 27 when I figured out that blowing my brains wasn't the answer
So I decided, maybe I should find a way to make this world work out for me
And my good friend Paul was 83 when he told me; that "To love is to feel pain"
And I thought about that then and I've thought about that again and again

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

"To love is to feel pain" there ain't no way around it
The very nature of love is to grieve when it is over
The secret to a happy ending is knowing when to roll the credits
Better role them now before something else goes wrong
No, it's a wonderful world, if you can put aside the sadness
And hang on to every ounce of beauty upon you
Better take the time to know it there ain't no way around it
If you feel anything at all

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

So if what you have is working for you, or you think that it can stand a reasonable chance, and whatever's broken seems fixable and nothing's beyond repair
If you still think about each other and smile before you remember how screwed up it's gotten or maybe dream of a time less rotten
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

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (In studio 11PM, June 16, 2005) © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Pedal Steel Guitar - John Neff / Wurlitzer Electric Piano - Jason Isbell / Lead Guitar - Mike Cooley
Our most controversial and polarizing album. I'm frequently told it's someone's favorite one of our albums. Then ten minutes later someone tells me how much they hate it. I've been through periods of both emotions at different times myself. Upon listening to it 2+ years later I still have decidedly mixed feelings.
I always loved Big Star and The Replacements and side one is sort of our attempt at making that kind of record. (With a little Faces and Blue Oyster Cult thrown in for good measure). We had an agenda and were trying to find common ground at a time when it was a little hard to come by. I can kinda see why some folks hate it and why some folks love it.
Side two is less controversial to me. Space City is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and A World of Hurt is probably my 2nd favorite song I've written. Wednesday sounds like Adam's House Cat and I always liked that band.
It's hard to write about a cliché without sounding clichéd and the title cut pushes that to the edge. I still don't know if I like that song, but I really love the guitars. Vinyl seems to make the least difference on this one but as I said, side 2 is pretty good.

The Dirty South

THE DIRTY SOUTH
Release Date: August 24, 2004 - New West Records

Listen

This is our best selling album and I think it's aging really well. This one sounds quite different on vinyl and in the best of ways. It almost sounds like different mixes on some songs. It came out on vinyl in the UK a few years back. Their packaging was better than the new reissue, but I think this generation (with mastering by Sterling) sounds a little better. No mp3 inclusion (not my fault) but I still highly recommend this one. Tornadoes, Danko / Manuel and Carl Perkins' Cadillac all sound especially fine.
-Patterson Hood

Due to a recent manufacturing issue many copies of THE DIRTY SOUTH were packaged with DECORATION DAY inserts. If you recently purchased THE DIRTY SOUTH, PLEASE double check the insert that was included with the packaging, if incorrect please email merchandise@musictoday.com and explain that you got the wrong insert for THE DIRTY SOUTH and be sure to include your mailing address and we will send you a correct insert ASAP. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your support!

Heavy and beautiful and frightening and intelligent.
-Fader Magazine
DBT - Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell, Brad Morgan and Shonna Tucker

GUESTS - David Barbe, Clay Leverett, The Minor Hill Singers (featuring Kimberly Morgan) and The State Line Chain Gang

Produced and Directed by The Reverend David Barbe
Recorded at Chase Park Transduction in Athens,, GA and
The Legendary Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL on sixteen-track / two-inch analog by David Barbe.
Assisted by Marcus Thompson and Jimmy Nutt
Additional Engineering - Daniel Rickard
Mixed by John Agnello and David Barbe at Chase Park Transduction, Athens, GA
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC

PERSONNEL:
Management - Scott Munn and David Barbe at Perfect Pitch Management / DBT, Athens, GA
Agent USA - Frank Riley and Matt Hickey at High Road Touring, Sausalito, CA
Agent Europe - Paul Fenn at Asgard Promotions, London, England
Press and Publicity - Traci Thomas at Grassroots Media / New West Records, Los Angeles, CA
Legal - J. Reid Hunter LLP for Serling, Rooks, and Ferrara, NYC
Web - Jenn Bryant for Knuckle Sammitch
Business Accounting - Sarah L. Beam at Bean Counter Services, Athens, GA
John Agnello managed by Peter Shershin for Breathing Protection
A&R - Peter Jesperson

Road Manager and Mule Wrangler -
Patrick Kerr (The Talent)
Live Sound Engineer - Matt DeFilippis (The Matador)
Lighting and Mule Maintenance - Ryan Dowd
Live Show Documentation - Chris Pennington (CP)
Driver - Jay Michaels

Art Direction - Lilla Hood and Chuck Hermes
Artwork and Paintings - Wes Freed for Willard's Garage
Band Photography - Adam Smith
Collage: "George A. House" - Lilla Hood
(photos courtesy of George A. Johnson and Jan Adams)
Photo: "Buford Pusser Monument" - Patrick Hood
Photo: "George A. House" - Rebecca Hood

DBT would like to thank Ansley and John Ross Cooley, Rebecca Hood, Kimberly Morgan and all of our beloved families and friends.

DBT would like to thank the folks working so hard in our office, the High Road office, our US and European Road Crews and our family of support at home and abroad. We couldn't do anything without you.

DBT would like to thank the incredible folks at New West Records for working so hard for the Rock and treating our music with tender loving care.

DBT would like to thank all of the agents, promoters, studio folks, sound engineers, bartenders, writers,
editors, publishers, drivers, programmers, photographers, artists, graphic designers, and casino pit bosses.

DBT would like to thank you (very much).

WHERE THE DEVIL DON'T STAY

My Daddy played poker on a stump in the woods back in his younger days
Prohibition was the talk, but the rich folks walked to the woods where my Daddy stayed
Jugs and jars from shiners, these old boys here, they ain't miners
They came from the twenty-niners
It didn't take a hole in the ground to put the bottom in their face

Back in the thirties when the dust bowl dried
And the woods in Alabama didn't see no light
My Daddy played poker by a hard wood fire
Squeezing all his luck from a hot copper wire
Scrap like a wildcat fights till the end
Trap a wildcat and take his skin
Deal from the bottom, put the ace in the hole
One hand on the jug but you never do know

Son come running
You better come quick
This rotgut moonshine is making me sick
Your Mama called the law and they're gonna take me away
Down so far even the Devil won't stay
Where I call to the Lord with all my soul
I can hear him rattling the chains on the door
He couldn't get in I could see he tried
Through the shadows of the cage around the forty watt light

Daddy tell me another story
Tell me about the lows and the highs
Tell me how to tell the difference between what they tell me is the truth or a lie
Tell me why the ones who have so much make the ones who don't go mad
With the same skin stretched over their white bones and the same jug in their hand

My Daddy played poker on a stump in the woods back when the world was gray
Before black and white went and chose up sides and gave a little bit of both their way
The only blood that's any cleaner is the blood that's blue or greener
Without either you just get meaner and the blood you gave gives you away

Lyrics by Mike Cooley and Ed Cooley (based on a poem by Ed Cooley) / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI) / The Minor Hill Singers: Jason Isbell, Kimberly Morgan and Shonna Tucker

TORNADOES

The clouds started forming at five o'clock pm
The funnel clouds touched down
five miles north of Russellville
Sirens were blowing, clouds spat rain
and as the things came threw, it sounded like a train

"It came without no warning" said Bobbi Jo McLean
She and husband Nolen always loved to watch the rain
It sucked him out the window, he ain't come home again
All she can remember is "It sounded like a train"

Pieces of that truck stop, litter up the highway, I been told
And I hear that missing trucker ended up in Kansas
(or maybe it was Oz).

The Nightmare Tour ended for my band and me
the night all the shit went down
A homecoming concert, the night the tornadoes hit my hometown.
The few who braved the weather were sucked out of the auditorium
I can still remember the sound of their applause in the rain
as it echoed through them storm clouds, I swear, It sounded like a train.

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers / © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
For Chuck Tremblay / (Originally written for Adam's House Cat - November 1988)
Pianos - Isbell and Hood / Background Vocals - Jason Isbell and Clay Leverett

THE DAY JOHN HENRY DIED

I watched the rain; it settled in. We disappeared for days again.
Most of us were staying in, lazy like the sky.
The letters flew across the wire filtered through a million liars.
The whole world smelled like burning tires the day John Henry died.

We knew about that big machine that ran on human hope and steam.
Bets on John were far between and mostly on the side.
We heard he put up quite a fight. His hands and feet turned snowy white.
That hammer rang out through the night the day John Henry died.

When John Henry was a little bitty baby nobody ever taught him how to read
but he knew the perfect way to hold a hammer was the way the railroad baron held the deed.

It didn't matter if he won, if he lived, or if he'd run.
They changed the way his job was done. Labor costs were high.
That new machine was cheap as hell and only John would work as well,
so they left him laying where he fell the day John Henry died.

John Henry was a steel-driving bastard but John Henry was a bastard just the same.
An engine never thinks about his daddy and an engine never needs to write its name.

So pack your bags, we're headed west and L.A. ain't no place to rest.
You'll need some sleep to pass the test, so get some on the flight
and say your prayers John Henry Ford 'cause we don't need your work no more.
You should have known the final score the day John Henry died.

Jason Isbell © House of Fame Music (BMI)

PUTTIN' PEOPLE ON THE MOON

Mary Alice had a baby and he looked just like I did
We got married on a Monday and I been working ever since
Every week down at the Ford Plant but now they say they're shutting down
Goddamned Reagan in the White House and no one there gives a damn

Double Digit unemployment, TVA be shutting soon
While over there in Huntsville, They puttin' people on the moon

So I took to runnin' numbers for this man I used to know
And I sell a few narcotics and I sell a little blow
I ain't getting rich now but I'm gettin' more than by
It's really tough to make a living but a man just got to try

If I died in Colbert County, Would it make the evening news?
They too busy blowin' rockets, Puttin' people on the moon

Mary Alice quit askin' why I do the things I do
I ain't sayin' that she likes it, but what else I'm gonna do?
If I could solve the world's problems I'd probably start with hers and mine
But they can put a man on the moon
And I'm stuck in Muscle Shoals just barely scraping by

Mary Alice got cancer just like everybody here
Seems everyone I know is gettin' cancer every year
And we can't afford no insurance, I been 10 years unemployed
So she didn't get no chemo so our lives was destroyed
And nothin' ever changes, the cemetery gets more full
And now over there in Huntsville, even NASA's shut down too

Another Joker in the White House, said a change was comin' round
But I'm still workin' at The Wal Mart and Mary Alice, in the ground
And all them politicians, they all lyin' sacks of shit
They say better days upon us but I'm sucking left hind tit
And the preacher on the TV says it ain't too late for me
But I bet he drives a Cadillac and I'm broke with some hungry mouths to feed

I wish I'z still an outlaw, was a better way of life
I could clothe and feed my family still have time to love my pretty wife
And if you say I'm being punished. Ain't he got better things to do?
Turnin' mountains into oceans Puttin' people on the moon

Turnin' mountains into oceans Puttin' people on the moon

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (I-24E and I-75S Nashville to Atlanta - 11/19/2003) © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Piano - David Barbe

CARL PERKINS' CADILLAC

Life ain't nothing but a blending up of all the ups and downs
Dammit Elvis, don't you know
You made your Mama so proud
Before you ever made that record, before there ever was a Sun
Before you ever lost that Cadillac that Carl Perkins won

Mr. Phillips found old Johnny Cash and he was high
High before he ever took those pills and he's still too proud to die
Mr. Phillips never said anything behind nobody's back
Like "Dammit Elvis, don't he know, he ain't no Johnny Cash"

If Mr. Phillips was the only man that Jerry Lee still would call sir
Then I guess Mr. Phillips did all of Y'all about as good as you deserve
He did just what he said he was gonna do and the money came in sacks
New contracts and Carl Perkins' Cadillac

I got friends in Nashville, or at least they're folks I know
Nashville is where you go to see if what they said is so
Carl drove his brand new Cadillac to Nashville and he went downtown
This time they promised him a Grammy
He turned his Cadillac around

Mr. Phillips never blew enough hot air to need a little gold plated paperweight
He promised him a Cadillac and put the wind in Carl's face
He did just what he said he was gonna do and the money came in sacks
New contracts and Carl Perkins' Cadillac

Dammit Elvis, I swear son I think it's time you came around
Making money you can't spend ain't what being dead's about
You gave me all but one good reason not to do all the things you did
Now Cadillacs are fiberglass, if you were me you'd call it quits

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)
12 String Electric Hagstrom Guitar - Jason Isbell

THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA

George A. was at the movies in December '41
They announced it in the lobby what had just gone on
He drove up from Birmingham back to the family's farm
Thought he'd get him a deferment there's was much work to be done
He was a family man, even in those days
But Uncle Sam decided he was needed anyway
In the South Pacific over half a world away
He believed in God and Country, things was just that way

Just that way.....

When I was just a kid I spent every weekend
On the farm that he grew up on so I guess so did I
And we'd stay up watching movies on the black and white TV
We watched "The Sands of Iwo Jima" starring John Wayne

Every year in June George A. goes to a reunion
Of the men that he served with and their wives and kids and grandkids
My Great Uncle used to take me and I'd watch them recollect
about some things I couldn't comprehend

And I thought about that movie, asked if it was that way
He just shook his head and smiled at me in such a loving way
As he thought about some friends he will never see again
He said "I never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima"

Most of those men are gone now but he goes still every year
And George A's still doing fine, especially for his years
He's still living on that homestead in the house that he was born in
And I sure wish I could go see him today

He never drove a new car though he could easily afford it
He'd just buy one for the family and take whatever no one wanted
He said a shiny car didn't mean much after all the things he'd seen
George A. never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (October 19, 2003) © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Banjos - Mike Cooley / Fender Rhodes - David Barbe / Harmonica - Mike Cooley

DANKO / MANUEL

Let the night air cool you off.
Tilt your head back and try to cough.
Don't say nothing 'bout the things you never saw.
Let the night air cool you off.

I ain't living like I should.
A little rest might do me good.
Got to sinking in the place where I once stood.
Now I ain't living like I should.

Can you hear that singing? Sounds like gold.
Maybe I can only hear it in my head.
Fifteen years ago we owned that road
now it's rolling over us instead.

Richard Manuel is dead.

God forbid you call their bluff.
Like the nightmares ain't enough.
Remember when we used to think that we were tough?
God forbid you call their bluff.

First they make you out to be
the only pirate on the sea.
Then they say Danko would have sounded just like me.
"Is that the man you want to be?"

Can you hear that song? It sounds like gold.
Maybe I could make it bigger overseas.
Fifteen years ago we owned this road
now it only gives us somewhere else to leave.

Something else you can't believe.

Can you hear that singing? Sounds like gold.
Maybe I can hear poor Richard from the grave
singin' where to reap and when to sow
when you've found another home you have to leave.

Something else you can't believe.

Jason Isbell © House Of Fame Music (BMI)
Mellophones and Fender Rhodes - Jason Isbell

BOYS FROM ALABAMA

Well, they caught you smoking grass and the judge threw the book
I can see a little opportunism in your look
You can take it from me, boy
You can take it from a crook
I got friends on the inside and friends on the outside
They'll sneak up beside you so keep on their good side

I can see you standing there, staring down at your shoes
Thinking about your Mom and Dad and wondering what to do
Well you best look inside yourself, boy, we're all watching you
We got friends in jail who will see you through
Boy, don't forget, no matter what you do

Don't piss off the Boys from Alabama
You know they won't let it slide
They might find your body in the Tennessee River
or they might not find you at all
There'll be no place to run and hide
and your family ain't safe at all
Don't piss off the Boys from Alabama
We're keeping an eye on you

Keeping an eye on you

Don't piss off the Boys from Alabama
Better take it like a man
Ain't nobody gonna stick anything up your ass
If you remember who your friends are
We got good help down in Franklin County
They'll hunt you like a dog
You can take your fall or lose it all
The choice is up to you

I wouldn't piss off the Boys from Alabama if I was you

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Wurlitzer - Jason Isbell / B3 - David Barbe / Banjo - Mike Cooley / Auto Parts - The State Line Chain Gang

COTTONSEED

I came to tell my story to all these young and eager minds
To look in their unspoiled faces and their curious bright eyes
Stories of corruption, crime and killing, yes it's true
Greed and fixed elections, guns and drugs and whores and booze

It's been a while since I put on a suit of my own clothes
And even longer since I cast my shadow on a church house door
They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong
I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all

I used to have a wad of hundred dollar bills in the back pocket of my suit
I had a .45 underneath my coat and another one in my boot
I drove a big ole Cadillac, bought a new one anytime I pleased
And I put more lawmen in the ground than Alabama put cottonseed

I spent a few years on vacation, sanctioned by the state I mentioned
But a man like me don't do no time too hard to come back from
The meanest of the mean, I see you lock away and toss the key
But they're all just loud mouth punks to me, I've scraped meaner off my shoe

Somewhere, I ain't saying, there's a hole that holds a judge
The last one that I dug myself
And I must admit I was sad to lay him in it, but I did the best I could
Once his Honor grows a conscience, well folks, that there just ain't no good

There's a pretty girl out there said "Daddy, you stay cool tonight
All I need from you is to come home and be here by my side
Say what you gotta say to shut their Bibles and their mouths
If they was to tie a noose, they'd have to lay their Bibles down"

I ain't here to save no souls and even if I could
I could never save enough to put back half the ones I took
So if they rest in torment you can't say it's cause of me
They'd long been bought and paid for like that fool's in Tennessee

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)

THE BUFORD STICK (The Legend of Sheriff Buford Pusser)

Now Sheriff Buford Pusser's gotten too big for his britches
With his book reviews and movie deals
Down at the car lot making public appearances
For breaking up our homes and stills
I know he likes to brag how he wrestled a bear
But I knew him from the funeral home
Ask him for a warrant, he'll say "I keep it in my shoe"
That son of a bitch has got to go
That son of a bitch has got to go

Now they lined up around the block to see that movie
And crying for his ambushed wife
Marveling about about shot eight times and stabbed seven
Some folks can't take a hint
They say he didn't take no crap from the State Line Gang
What the hell they talking bout?
I'm just a hard workingman with a family to feed
And he made my daughter cry
Said he made my daughter cry

"Watch out for Buford!" is what they keep on telling me
But to me he's just another crooked lawman up in Tennessee
He gets a new hot car to keep us on our toes
And that ridiculous stick where the press corp. goes
And some big time Hollywood actors playing him on the big screen

"Watch out for Buford! He's shutting down our stills and whores"
But it ain't like he's all that different from what was there before
It wouldn't take my man long to do the job
Just a partially sawed through steering rod
And I wouldn't have to worry about the good Sheriff anymore
Now the funeral's got'em lined up for twenty blocks
No one liked that SOB when he's alive
But the ruckus he began keeps a spreadin' like a wildfire
Not sure if I'm gonna survive

Hit an embankment doing 120 on a straight-away
The Lord works in mysterious ways
They'll probably make another movie, glorifying what he done
But I'll never have to hear them say
I'll never have to hear them say

Watch out for Buford

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Soul Dump Music (BMI)

DADDY'S CUP

Before I could walk, I had a wrench in my hand
I was my Mama's little angel and my Daddy's second chance
He went end over end the first year he went pro
Lost part of his eyesight and he couldn't race no more

But he never lost his touch when he got underneath the hood
He knew how to make them run and he knew one day he would
See his name in victory lane and engraved on that cup
Just like all them other crazy fools with racing in their blood

He would put me on his lap when he'd drive and I'd take the wheel
He'd say "What do you think about that son? How does she feel?
You just wait till them little legs get long enough to reach the gas
Once you put her on the floor one time there ain't no turning back"

Every Saturday, he'd take me out to the garage
He'd take an empty bucket and fill it full of engine parts
He's sit me down and pour em out in front of me on the floor
I'd have to tell him what each one was and what each one was for

We'd jump into the car and go down to the race that night
He'd tell me what each driver was doing wrong and what each one did right
He could always pick the winner before they ever took a curve
#3 might have the car but 43 has got the nerve

Before I turned 18 Daddy said "Now pretty soon
You'll be old enough to drive but I'll leave it up to you
I taught you all about it, taught you everything I know
You gotta have a car to do it and you gotta work and buy your own"

The first one I bought was a Mustang #2
Nobody kept'em any longer than they kept a pair of shoes
They started showing up at every used car lot in town
A V-8 on a go-cart, easy terms, no money down

Me and Daddy and my uncle took her home and tore her down
Checked her out real good, cleaned her up and bored her out
Took out all the seats, pulled the carpet off the floor
Knocked out all the glass and welded up the doors

The first time that I raced my qualifying was a shame
I started out way in the back and came back about the same
I pulled her in the pit, couldn't look my Daddy in the eye
He said "If you quit now son, it's gonna haunt you all your life"

It ain't about the money or even being #1
You gotta know when it's all over you did the best you could've done
Knowing that it's in you and you never let it out
Is worse than blowing any engine or any wreck you'll ever have

Since then I've wrecked a bunch of cars and I've broke a bunch of bones
It's anybody's race out there and I've learned to race my own
I'd shove em in the wall and I'd hit em from behind
I'd let them know that I was there, I'd let them know that track was mine

It's been several years now since my Daddy passed away
But his picture's on my dash every time I go to race
I lost more than I won but I ain't gonna give up
Till they put me in the ground or Daddy's name's on that cup

Mike Cooley / Drive-By Truckers © Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)

NEVER GONNA CHANGE

Let this be a lesson to you girl: Don't come around where you know you don't belong.
They're riding on the avenue and probably coming after you and they all look mean and strong.
Mean and strong like liquor.
Mean and strong like fear.
Strong like the people from South Alabama and mean like the people from here.
Take it from me... We ain't never gonna change.

Daddy used to empty out his shotgun shells and fill 'em full of black-eyed peas.
He'd aim real low and tear out your ankles or rip right through your knees.
There ain't much traffic on the highway. There ain't much traffic on the lake.
The ATF and the ABI got everything they could take.
Take it from me... They didn't take it from me.

We ain't never gonna change.
We ain't doin' nothin' wrong.
We ain't never gonna change
so shut your mouth and play along.

I thought about going in the army. I thought about going overseas.
I wouldn't have trouble with a piss test; only problem is my bad left knee.
My brother got picked up at Parker's, got him a ride in a new Crown Vic.
They said that he was movin' on a federal level but they couldn't really make it stick.
Take it from me...

We ain't never gonna change.
We ain't doin' nothin' wrong.
We ain't never gonna change
so shut your mouth and play along.

You can throw me in the Colbert County jailhouse.
You can throw me off the Wilson Dam
but there ain't much difference in the man I wanna be and the man I really am.

We ain't never gonna change.

Jason Isbell © House of Fame Music (BMI)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN

If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain
No more for my soul to keep
I wonder who will drive my car
I wonder if my Mom will weep

If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain
No more pain my soul to bare
No more worries about paying taxes
What to eat, what to wear
Who will end up with my records?
Who will end up with my tapes?
Who will pay my credit card bills?
Who's gonna pay for my mistakes?

If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain who will ever hear my songs?
Who's gonna mow the cemetery when all of my family's gone?
Who will Mom and Daddy find to continue the family name?
Who will stand there taking credit, who will lay there passing blame?

Who will lay there passing blame?

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers © Soul Dump Music (BMI) Originally written for Adam's House Cat - Summer 1990.
Backing Vocals - David Barbe and Jason Isbell

GODDAMN LONELY LOVE

I got green and I got blues
and everyday there's a little less difference between the two.
So I belly-up and disappear.
Well I ain't really drowning 'cause I see the beach from here.

I could take a Greyhound home but when I got there it'd be gone
along with everything a home is made up of.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take all of what you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Sister, listen to what your daddy says.
Don't be ashamed of things that hide behind your dress.
Belly-up and arch your back.
Well I ain't really falling asleep; I'm fading to black.

You could come to me by plane, but that wouldn't be the same
as that old motel room in Texarkana was.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take all of what you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Stop me if you've heard this one before:
A man walks into a bar and leaves before his ashes hit the floor.
Stop me if I ever get that far.
The sun's a desperate star that burns like every single one before.

And I could find another dream,
one that keeps me warm and clean
but I ain't dreamin' anymore, I'm waking up.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take everything you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Jason Isbell © House of Fame Music (BMI)
Piano - Patterson Hood / B3 - Jason Isbell

The following is a brief rundown of the songs with notes by me (except for where otherwise noted) and a few key lines or verses. - Patterson Hood

WHERE THE DEVIL DON'T STAY
"Tell me why the ones who have so much make the ones who don't go mad
With the same skin stretched over their white bones and the same jug in their hand" *

Mike Cooley wrote this one, based on a poem by his uncle Ed Cooley. Ed got to be there when we recorded it. Think he packed for a long evening of recording, but we'd been playing it live for a year or so and ended up nailing it in one take. Think Ed might have been a little disappointed by that.


TORNADOES
"Pieces of that truck stop, litter up the highway, I been told
And I hear that missing trucker ended up in Kansas
(or maybe it was Oz)." **

I wrote this one back in 1988. It was inspired by two tornadoes, two Music Biz guys from Nashville, one empty theatre, one front-page headline, and "too many goddamned train songs". Way too long a story to go into here. For the really curious, here's a link to the whole dirty story.


THE DAY JOHN HENRY DIED
"That new machine was cheap as hell and only John would work as well,
so they left him laying where he fell the day John Henry died." ***

Jason Isbell: My grandfather used to play and sing to me when I was a kid. "John Henry" was one of our favorites. I was always intrigued by the fact that John beat the steam engine, but didn't live to enjoy his victory.

According to family legend, my grandfather could pick four hundred pounds of cotton in a single day in his prime. When he first heard that men were making money-riding bulls, he hopped on the biggest one he could find and made his brother tie his feet together underneath the animal. Somehow he got loose before he got trampled. He spent years working in a rock wool plant producing the material that was fazed out in favor of the cheaper, safer alternative -- asbestos. He died last year of lung cancer.


PUTTIN' PEOPLE ON THE MOON
"Double Digit unemployment, TVA be shutting soon
While over there in Huntsville, They puttin' people on the moon" **

I wrote this one in the van, shortly before we completed the album. Sort of my latest, and best attempt at a song that I've written and re written at least a dozen times since the mid-80's.
This song deals with "rocket envy", a non-diagnosable psychosis affecting people in an economically depressed community, located just 60 or so miles from The NASA Space and Rocket Center.

To make matters worse, our community is downstream from industry, contributing (surely) to our massive cancer rate.
"Mary Alice got cancer just like everybody here
Seems everyone I know is gettin' cancer every year
And we can't afford no insurance, I been ten years unemployed
So she didn't get no chemo so our lives was destroyed
And nothin' ever changes, the cemetery gets more full
And over there in Huntsville, even NASA's shut down too" **


CARL PERKINS' CADILLAC
Cooley's song about the legendary SUN Records folks and the music industry in general.
It took on an extra poignancy last fall with the back to back passing of Sam Phillips and Johnny Cash.


THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA
As a kid, I spent every weekend at my Great-Uncle's farm (my family's old homestead) where I rode go-carts and acted out my favorite movie scenes in the woods. George A. is an amazing man (still kicking hard at 84) and I have long tried to capture a glimpse of those times in a song.

During World War II he was drafted and ended up on the island Iwo Jima in one of the bloodiest battles of the war. As a curious child, I'd often innocently ask him about all that. One night while watching the old John Wayne movie (The Sands Of Iwo Jima) on TV, he simply said that he "never saw John Wayne over there".

So many of the folks I've written about in this album feel forced into doing terrible things. George A. was no doubt, changed by his experience, but I know him to be easily one of the greatest men I have ever met, thus, making it a much trickier subject to write about.


DANKO / MANUEL
"Got to sinking in the place where I once stood." ***

Jason Isbell: When I started writing this one, I wanted to capture some of Levon Helm's feelings about the deaths (and lives) of Richard Manuel and Rick Danko. The longer I worked on the song, the more impossible that became. I felt like the best I could do was to explain my own attitude toward being a working and traveling musician.

The horn parts came to me in a dream.


THE BOYS FROM ALABAMA
"Don't piss of the Boys from Alabama / Better take it like a man
Ain't nobody gonna stick anything up your ass / If you remember who your friends are" **

TBFA was the first of a series of songs we worked on based (loosely) on some of the folklore surrounding The Redneck Mafia whose exploits have inspired countless books and a few (really bad) movies.
As kids, we all saw some of those movies (the most famous being the original "Walking Tall" from 1973) telling of the good Sheriff Buford Pusser and his battle against the bootleggers.

I never cared for those movies, but there was no denying the cultural phenomenon they became.
It always seemed to me that a far better story lay in "bad guys" point of view.
This year, Hollywood blew its chance to get it right, yet again.
This song could be the opening sequence for the movie I'd like to make about it.


COTTONSEED
"I used to have a wad of hundred dollar bills in the back pocket of my suit
I had a .45 underneath my coat and another one in my boot
I drove a big ole Cadillac, bought a new one anytime I pleased
And I put more lawmen in the ground than Alabama put cottonseed

I spent a few years on vacation, sanctioned by the state I mentioned
But a man like me don't do no time too hard to come back from
The meanest of the mean, I see you lock away and toss the key
But they're all just loud mouth punks to me; I've scraped meaner off my shoe

Somewhere, I ain't saying, there's a hole that holds a judge
The last one that I dug myself
And I must admit I was sad to lay him in it, but I did the best I could
Once his Honor grows a conscience, well folks, that there just ain't no good" *


THE BUFORD STICK
"Hit an embankment doing 120 on a straight-away
The Lord works in mysterious ways" **

This was one last stab at the folklore surrounding Sheriff Buford Pusser from the point of view of a man that would just as soon see him dead. I wrote this one in the studio at FAME right before we wrapped the album. It was originally set to be a country type song, but (producer) David Barbe suggested we put the pedal to the floor on it. We love David Barbe.


DADDY'S CUP
"You just wait till them little legs get long enough to reach the gas
Once you put her on the floor one time their ain't no turning back" *


NEVER GONNA CHANGE
"You can throw me in the Colbert County jailhouse / You can throw me off the Wilson Dam
but there ain't much difference in the man I wanna be and the man I really am

We ain't never gonna change" ***

Jason: This one's pretty self-explanatory. It centers around a North Alabama man who refuses to live in fear. There are quite a few of those.


LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN
"Who's gonna mow the cemetery when all of my family's gone?" **

Cooley and I have been playing various versions of this song since about 1990 (Adam's House Cat).
It has always been one of our favorites to play, but was a last minute addition to this album.
In the mixing stage, we swapped a song called "Goode's Field Road" for it because we wanted a harder rocker for this spot on the album. GFR was one of my favorites on the album but I stand by this as the better call.

A first take from the FAME sessions.


GODDAMN LONELY LOVE
"Stop me if you've heard this one before:
A man walks into a bar and leaves before his ashes hit the floor.
Stop me if I ever get that far.
The sun's a desperate star that burns like every single one before.

And I could find another dream,
one that keeps me warm and clean
but I ain't dreamin' anymore, I'm waking up.

So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take everything you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love." ***

Jason Isbell: I tried real hard to come up with a different way of saying this, but it just seemed to fit.
Loneliness can be drowned if you hold it under long enough, but it takes a lot of other things with it.

David Barbe deserves some credit for the way this track turned out. He's a walking encyclopedia of cool old sounds. * Lyrics by Mike Cooley © Wayward Johnson Music (BMI)
** Lyrics by Patterson Hood © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
*** Lyrics by Jason Isbell © House of Fame Music (BMI)
As always: Turn it up.
Patterson Hood - April 2004 (Athens, GA).

Decoration Day

DECORATION DAY
Release DateL June 17, 2003 - New West Records

Listen

Decoration Day is the day many southern churches set aside to place flowers on the graves of their departed loved ones. Drive-By Truckers used this as the title for their New West Records release.

Recorded at Chase Park Transduction Studios, Athens, Ga. by David Barbe (Sugar, Son Volt, The Glands). The album was recorded mostly live in the studio over a two-week period. The fifteen songs reflect a two-year period of turmoil that the band had gone through surrounding the making of their critically acclaimed 2000 release Southern Rock Opera. Decoration Day more or less became an album about choices, good and bad, right and wrong, and the consequences of those choices.

The songs come from some dark times. The band had spent several years on the road, recording four albums between tours, and often leaving loved ones back home, to deal with all kinds of financial hardships alone. The same period also saw the passing of several loved ones (some by natural causes, and some not). Eventually the turmoil began to take its toll on the band itself.

Despite the dark nature of most of the songs, the album was a blast to record. New guitarist Jason Isbell joined the band about a year earlier and contributes two amazing songs, including the title cut. Everyone involved seems to have come out the other end of all the previous turmoil. David Barbe rolled the tape, capturing the band in its finest form ever. Seven of the songs were first takes (with about five second takes), yet for the first time, the band had the luxury of spending a little more time on the details.

THE DEEPER IN

By the time you were born there were four other siblings
with your Mama awaiting your Daddy in jail
Your oldest brother was away at a home
and you didn't meet him til you were nineteen years old
Old enough to know better, old enough to know better
but you took to his jaw line and long sandy hair
How he made you feel like none of the others
and the way he looked at you touched you deep down in there.

So you jumped on his bike and rode into the sunset
but the sequel it started with the next morning sun
and the dew on the bike seat and you all a glow
from the love he put in you and a life on the run.

Now, the District Attorney said He might of forgiven
You had lots of reasons to turn out this way
But you'll both go to jail for them four little babies
you made and delivered along the way

Last night you had a dream of a Lord so forgiving
He might show compassion for a heathen He damned
You awoke in a jail cell, alone and so lonely
Seven years in Michigan

Spring 1998 - Athens GA.
{Inspired by a magazine article about the only two people currently serving time in America for consensual brother / sister incest.}
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
©2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Pedal Steel: John Neff

SINK HOLE

I've always been a religious man, I;ve always been a religious man
but I met the banker and it felt like sin, he turned my bailout down
The Banker Man, he let into me, let into me, let into me
The Banker Man, he let into me and spread my name around
He thinks I ain't got a lick of sense cause I talk slow and my money's spent
Now, I ain't the type to hold it against, but he better stay off my farm
Cause it was my Daddy's and his Daddy's before
and his Daddy's before and his Daddy's before
Five generations and an unlocked door and a loaded burglar alarm.

Lots of pictures of my purdy family, lots of pictures of my purdy family
lots of pictures of my purdy family in the house where I was born.
House has stood through five tornadoes,
Droughts, floods, and five tornadoes.
I'd rather wrastle an alligator than to face the Banker's scorn
Cause he won't even look me in the eye
He just takes my land and apologize,
with pen, paper, and a friendly smile, he says the deed is done.
The sound you hear is my Daddy spinning, The sound you hear is my Daddy spinning
The sound you hear is my Daddy spinning over what the Banker done.

Like to invite him for some pot roast beef and mashed potatoes and sweet tea
follow it up with some banana pudding and a walk around the farm
Show him the view from McGee Town Hill
Let him stand in my shoes and see how it feels
to lose the last thing on earth that's real
I'd rather lose my legs and arms

Bury his body in the old sink hole Bury his body in the old sink hole
Bury his body in the old sink hole under cold November sky
Then damned if I wouldn't go to church on Sunday
Damned if I wouldn't go to church on Sunday
Damned if I wouldn't go to church on Sunday
and look the Preacher in the eye.

June 2001 - I-65 South, Mobile, AL.
{ Inspired by "The Accountant", a short film by Ray McKinnon.
Academy Award ® Winner Best Live Action Short Film 2001; www.ginnymule.com}
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
©2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)

Hell No, I Ain't Happy

There's a lot of bad wood underneath the veneer
She's an overnight sensation after twenty five years
Sharp fast curves, power steering
unroll that twenty, buy me some beer
Ain't too bad, too bad at all, pick up the phone if I ever call
Hell No, I Ain't Happy.

There's a purdy little girl outside the van window
Bout 80 cities down, 800 to go
Six crammed in, we ain't never alone
Never homesick, ain't got no home
Check my mail if you would please, Jenn
Collect my things till I'm in town again
Hell No, I Ain't Happy.

But I get a little closer everyday
Gonna be a long time till I'm back your way.

I've seen just how much I can stand
One night in Kansas City, we thought about killing a man
Seen my number fly by on Interstate Ten
Seen the mountains of Montana at Seven AM.
And I keep it all together for the sake of the kids
Got your fine-ass self on the back of my lids
Hell No, I Ain't Happy.
But I ain't too crappy, too crappy at all.

Jan. 2002 - Highway 666, somewhere in Southern Utah
based on a title from a year earlier.
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
©2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Wurlitzer Piano: David Barbe

MARRY ME

Well, my daddy didn't pull out, but he never apologized
Rock and Roll means well, but it can't help tellin' young boys lies.
A baby on the way's a good enough reason to get you out alive
Get you out without having to swallow any pride.

All my friends are restless, all they do is talk it down,
two or eight lanes, it don't matter, it's just another town.
There's a fool on every corner, on every street, in every one
and I'd rather be your fool nowhere than go somewhere and be no one's

So Marry Me, Sweet Thing won't you Marry Me
Your Mama thinks I beat anything she's ever seen.
This old town's alright with me, there's nowhere I'd rather be.
Long as they stay mad at one another, they can't get mad at me

Every time I leave here something bad happens to me
Like a busted hand or finding some man laying where I sleep
She don't mean nothing to me, that's just how it goes round here
It's a cartoon town, I play my part, and I ain't spoke her name in years

So Marry Me.........

I don't want anything I done to be nobody's fault
even if they got more money and mouth than they got balls.
That's just how it went down, right or wrong, it's just that way.
Just cause I don't run my mouth don't mean I got nothing to say....

Marry Me.........


Lyrics by Mike Cooley / Music by Drive-By Truckers
©Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)
Upright Piano: David Barbe / Jagger Harmony: Clay Leverett

MY SWEET ANNETTE

(Me and my Annette, we was as fond as we could be
We was set to marry in October 33
I set my sights on courtin' her, as fine as she could be
I never even noticed her best friend Marilee
Took a job at the saw mill and I bought my girl a ring
Had a pre-wedding party, close friends and family
Everything was fine, eatin' homemade ice cream
I swear I never noticed maid of honor, Marilee
My Sweet Annette was left standing at the alter.

Marilee was taken ill, it was several miles from home
Back then it wasn't fittin' for a girl to leave alone
Sweet Annette, she asked me to walk her to the door
As innocent as children back before the war
My Sweet Annette was left standing at the alter.

Lord have mercy for what we done, Lord have mercy when to people get alone
Neither one of us had done anything like that you see
By the next sunset, I had eloped with Marilee,

My Sweet Annette was left standing at the alter.

May 2000 - Dayton, OH.
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
©2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Pedal Steel: John Neff / Fiddle: Scott Danborn / High Harmony: Clay Leverett

OUTFIT

You want to grow up to paint houses like me, a trailer in my yard till you're 23
You want to be old after 42 years, keep dropping the hammer and grinding the gears

Well, I used to go out in a Mustang, a 302 Mach One in green.
Me and your Mama made you in the back and I sold it to buy her a ring.
And I learned not to say much of nothing and I figured you already know
but in case you don't or maybe forgot, I'll lay it out real nice and slow

Don't call what you're wearing an outfit. Don't ever say your car is broke.
Don't worry about losing your accent, a Southern Man tells better jokes.
Have fun but stay clear of the needle. Call home on your sister's birthday.
Don't tell them you're bigger than Jesus, don't give it away.

Six months in a St. Florian foundry, they call it Industrial Park.
Then hospital maintenance and Tech School just to memorize Frigidaire parts.
But I got to missing your Mama and I got to missing you too.
So I went back to painting for my old man and I guess that's what I'll always do

So don't try to change who you are boy, and don't try to be who you ain't.
And don't let me catch you in Kendale with a bucket of wealthy-man's paint.

Don't call what you're wearing an outfit. Don't ever say your car is broke.
Don't sing with a fake British accent. Don't act like your family's a joke.
Have fun, but stay clear of the needle, call home on your sister's birthday.
Don't tell them you're bigger than Jesus, Don't give it away.

Don't give it away.

Lyrics and Music by Jason Isbell
© 2002 House of Fame Publishing (BMI)
Pedal Steel: John Neff / High Harmony: Clay Leverett

HEATHENS

Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
If we get the van out of the ditch before morning ain't nobody got to know what I done
And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
And I don't need to be forgiven by them people in the neighborhood
When we first hooked up, you looked me in the eye
and said "Paw, we just ain't no good".

We were Heathens in their eyes at the time, I guess I am just a Heathen still
and I never have repented from the wrongs that they say I have done
I done what I feel.

It was a difficult delivery, now it's growing up mean and strong
When you tell me that it's getting a little bit tight, ain't the first time I been outgrown
And I'm gonna push a little harder
She ain't revved till the rods are thrown
I'll walk away

And I don't need to be forsaken by you or anybody else
and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.
Heathens.

These times can take their toll sometimes and I know you feel the same way too
It gets so hard to keep between the ditches
when the roads wind the way they do.

Oct. 1998 - Willard's Garage, Richmond VA./
Jan. 1999 - Tammy's yard, Athens, GA. /
June 2000 - Marianne's house, Denton TX.
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© 2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Pedal Steel: John Neff / Fiddle: Scott Danborn (Thanks Centro-Matic)

SOUNDS BETTER IN THE SONG

When I saw her standing there, with her bright eyes and shining hair,
she was looking back at me.
Some are meant to sing, some are meant to talk and some aren't meant to say a thing.
But when she opened up her mouth and that sweet voice came out
I lost track of my own name.
Now she's found herself, and I lost mine
and I'm just another guy who can't give her anything.

Well the drifter, He holds on to his youth just like it was money in the bank.
And "Lord knows, I can't change" sounds better in the song
than it does with hell to pay.
I might as well of slipped that ring on your finger from a window of a van
as it drove away.
Now she's found herself, and I lost mine
and I'm just another guy who can't give her anything.

Dreams are given to you when you're young enough to dream them
before they can do you any harm.
They don't start to hurt, until you try to hold on to them after seeing how they really are.
She used to dream them with me, every single crazy one,
until they started hurting her too, now she's got some of her own
and outgrowing me, might be the best thing for her she's ever done.

A light that shines as bright as hers can't be kept in the shadows for too long.
A heart that wants to live and a soul that wants to give
can't just sit at home alone.
Lord, she's give me everything and never wanted anything I couldn't give.
Just what was inside of me.
And now she's found herself, and I lost mine
and I'm just another guy who can't give her anything.

Lyrics by Mike Cooley / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)
Upright Bass: Shonna Tucker ('Activate the Wonder Twins!')

(SOMETHING'S GOT TO) GIVE PRETTY SOON

Way you look at me like that, something's got to give pretty soon
Throw it on a camel's back, something's got to give pretty soon
Living hard to chase the dream, way beyond our ways and means
Yours don't mean a goddamn thing.
That's what you said, but, don't believe it.

That shattered look upon your face, something's got to give pretty soon.
Swallow, but can't stand the taste, bark at the wind, chase the moon
Living fast and drinking lots. List of things we haven't got.
Tired of life with the have-nots
That's what you said and I believe it.

Maybe what you need's for someone to send you flowers
Someone strong and mean who can prove he has the power to
show you more than charm and take you on your way
to where you want to be at the end of the day
and it breaks my heart in two to know it ain't meant to be
but, it ain't me. It ain't me.

And you say it's these things I do, about me that's attracted you
so if I started doing something else, what would we have left.
And you say you just want compromise, then act so different all the time.
These reasons why you said goodbye, just another way of telling lies.

Something's got to give, got to give pretty soon
or else we're gonna lose the very things that made it bloom
Sitting in silence in a cold and lonely room
while the world goes on around us

Something's got to give, got to give pretty soon
or else we're gonna hate each other
and that would be the saddest thing I ever seen.

Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© 2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Keyboard: David Barbe

YOUR DADDY HATES ME

I know your Daddy hates me and I got a room in hell reserved. I know he wants to kill me and it's the least that I deserve But I always loved your Daddy, that's something that I know you know. Just sometimes don't do what I ought to, sometimes I yes when I should no. I know your Daddy hates me and I drink more than a whale but my failures ain't for lack of trying it's just a little too late now to prevail. You always knew I was a screw up, long before I screwed us up. You just said it endeared you to me, but in the end you just gave up And I always loved your Daddy, I loved your Mama even more And I always loved their daughter, that's for sure. I know your Daddy hates me, I know I'd probably hate me too. But, I also know you don't hate me, even though you'd probably like to and ought to. And it's a little too late for writing love songs, but I never did anything on time. Happiness on your big adventure. See you Darling down the line. Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers © 2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI) Additional Guitar: David Barbe

CARELESS

Careful that you don't use up your ninth one, we all were careless once.
It can't be too much fun, just going round once, it all can slip away.
One banana peel away.

You left this big ole void, sure miss your sweet voice.
Now we're left holding on. We all were careless once.
We all were careless once.

June 1996, for Monster.
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© 2003 Soul Dump Music

PIN HITS THE SHELL

You can lie to your Mama, you can lie to your race
but you can't lie to nobody with that cold steel in your face.
And the same God that you're so afraid is gonna send you to hell
is the same one you're gonna answer to when the pin hits the shell.

Your sister's been blaming everybody.
I don't blame her, man, I guess I'd blame them too
if you was my brother, man, I'd probably stand by you.
But you ain't, man, so I got to go my way.

And I ain't gonna crawl upon no high horse
Cause I got thrown off of one
when I was young and I ain't no cowboy
so I ain't going where I don't belong.
It wouldn't do you no good to let you know that it damned near killed me too
so I ain't gonna mourn for you, man, now that you're gone.

Me and you, we liked our pills and our whiskey.
But you don't want your head full of either one when
the house gets quiet and dark.
Having fun used to be so damned easy,
racing trains from 2nd Street to Avalon.
Take a trip down memory lane,
You don't see no friendly faces
all the houses have been painted and
nobody knows your name.
It's enough to make a man not want
to be nobody's Daddy,
when all he thinks he's got left to hand down is guilt and shame.

And I ain't gonna crawl upon no high horse........

You can lie to your Mama, you can lie to your race
but you can't lie to nobody with that cold steel in your face.
And the same God that you're so afraid is gonna send you to hell
is the same one you're gonna answer to when the pin hits the shell.

Lyrics by Mike Cooley / Music by Drive-By Truckers
(c) 2001 Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)
Star Wars Wurlitzer Solo: Spooner Oldham

DO IT YOURSELF

My Daddy called me on a Friday morning, so sad to tell me just what you'd done
You tried so hard to make us all hate you but in the end you was the only one
Sick, tired, pissed and wired, you never thought about anyone else.
You tried in vain to find something to kill you
in the end you had to do it yourself.

Who's to blame for the loveless marriage, who's to blame for the broken band.
You ran from life and all of it's pleasures, your own teeth marks on your own damned hand.
Thrown out before the date's expired, you'd rather die than let anyone help,
You'd rather die than take a stab at living.
Nothing would kill you so you do it yourself.

Everyone has those times when the night's so long
The dead-end life just drags you down
You lean back under the microphone
and turn your demons into walls of goddamned noise and sound.

And it's a sorry thing to do to your sweet sister
It's a sorry thing to do to your little boy
It's a sorry thing to do to the folks who love you
Your Mama and Daddy lost their only boy
Some should say I should cut you slack, but you worked so hard at unhappiness.
Living too hard just couldn't kill you
In the end you had to do it yourself.

Living too hard just couldn't kill you
In the end you had to do it yourself.

June 2002, Chase Park Transduction, Athens GA.
Recorded that evening.
Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© 2003 Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Harmony: Bob Spires (Thanks: The Possibilities)

DECORATION DAY

It's Decoration Day.
And I've a mind to roll a stone on his grave.
But what would he say.
"Keeping me down, boy, won't keep me away."

It's Decoration Day.
And I knew the Hill Boys would put us away,
but my Daddy wasn't afraid.
He said "We'll fight till the last Lawson's last living day"

I never knew how it all got started
a problem with Holland before we were born
and I don't know the name of that boy we tied down
and beat till he just couldn't walk anymore.
But I know the caliber in Daddy's chest
and I know what Holland Hill drives.
The state let him go, but I guess it was best
cause nobody needs all us Lawsons alive.

Daddy said one of the boys had come by
the Lumber Man's favorite son.
He said, "Beat him real good but don't dare let him die
and if you see Holland Hill run.
Now I said, "they ain't give us trouble no more
that we ain't brought down on ourselves"
But a chain on my back and my ear to the floor
and I'll send all the Hill Boys to hell.

It's Decoration Day
and I've got a family in Mobile Bay
and they've never seen my Daddy's grave.
But that don't bother me, it ain't marked anyway.
Cause I got dead brothers in Lauderdale south
and I got dead brothers in east Tennessee.
My Daddy got shot right in front of his house
he had noone to fall on but me.

It's Decoration Day
and I've got a mind to go spit on his grave.
If I was a Hill, I'd have put him away
and I'd fight till the last Lawson's last living day.
I'd fight till the last Lawson's last living day.
I'd fight till the last Lawson's last living day.

Lyrics and Music by Jason Isbell
© 2002 House of Fame Music (BMI)

LOADED GUN IN THE CLOSET

I got a loaded gun in the closet
and another one in the dresser drawer
just in case the one in the closet didn't make a big enough hole.

She had his breakfast ready every morning
and his lunch in a box sitting there by the kitchen door.
She'd make sure he had everything he needed
and hug his neck and tell him how much she loved him
and it was beautiful.
You should have seen it.

Then she'd make herself a pot of coffee,
just the way she liked it
and sit down and enjoy the quiet of the house all alone,
but, by two-o-clock or so every afternoon
the quiet would start getting to her and she'd watch
the clock until he came back home.

And she understood just what he needed
when he came home every evening
was a couple of beers and a couple of minutes
to cuss about his day.
So she'd fix him a nice hot supper
while he ranted and raved about one thing or the other.
And she never once told him what he was going on about
didn't add up to a thing.
And she never touched that gun in the closet.
It was his and it was there just because he wanted it to be.
She didn't get out much, so she never knew just what it was
that made him so afraid.

Most women today would say she was a disgrace.
Most men would say she wasn't much to look at.
And they all would say she'd be a lot better off
if she cared a little more about what they all think.
She could have a life of her own if she had a little pride,
some silicone implants, and another man on the side.
But she's got a loaded gun in the closet.
And it's there anytime she wants it.
And her one and only man knows it and
that's why he put it there in the first place.

Lyrics by Mike Cooley / Music by Drive-By Truckers
© 2003 Wayward Johnson's Music (BMI)
Pedal Steel: John Neff

Comments by Patterson Hood and Jason Isbell

1. The Deeper In
Patterson: This song is about the only two people currently serving time in America for consensual brother/sister incest. It is one of the few songs I've written in the third person. Jason plays an electric mandolin through one of Barbe's old Ampeg Gemini amps. The song also marks the return of pedal steel player John Neff, who played on our first two albums and appears on nearly half of this one.

2. Sink Hole
Patterson: "The Accountant", a short film by Ray McKinnon, inspired this song.
The film is a very dark comedy about saving the family farm "by any means necessary".
This incredible movie went on to win the 2002 Academy Award for Best Feature Short.
We recorded Sink Hole live in one take our first day in the studio.
The song itself tells a different story and utilizes the geography of my family's old homestead in North Alabama. At the foot of the McGee Town hill lays an actual thirty-foot deep sinkhole. In the end, the protagonist feels morally justified as he fantasizes about burying the foreclosing banker there.

3. Hell No, I Ain't Happy
Patterson: This song was written on the road in January 2002 (although the title dates back to a year earlier). One night in Northern Florida, we passed a car driving the wrong way down I-10 At the time we were deep into the recording of "Southern Rock Opera", which dealt with dying on the road. This near brush with fate helped me to get past my phobia of getting creamed on the highway.

4. Marry Me
5. My Sweet Annette
Patterson: Two very different views of marital bliss.
With Marry Me, Cooley has written my favorite line on the album:
"Rock and Roll means well but it can't help tellin' young boys lies".
Both benefit from the great harmony vocal talents of our good friend Clay Leverett. Centro-Matic's piano player, Scott Danborn played fiddle on My Sweet Annette.

6. Outfit
Jason: This one focuses on the advice I got growing up, mostly from my father. We recorded the song just before Father's Day and I gave Dad a copy as a present.
I'm really fond of Cooley's psycho solo and Patterson's guitar harmonies toward the end.

7. Heathens
Patterson: This song and Sounds Better in the Song provide the center of gravity for this album.
Heathens was originally to be the title track and it's probably the strongest of the songs that I wrote for this record.
I particularly love the interplay between Cooley's almost Eddie Hinton-esque guitar part juxtaposed against my original chord progression.
Jason put down two tracks of E-Bow guitar, John Neff again plays pedal steel and Scott Danborn again plays fiddle.
"She ain't revved till the rods are thrown".

8. Sounds Better in the Song
"I might as well have put that ring on her finger
from the window of a van as it drove away" - Mike Cooley

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

10. Your Daddy Hates Me
Patterson: Two more songs about divorce and the emotional fallout that follows.

11. Careless
Patterson: This song was written in 1996, following the accidental death of a good friend

12. When the Pin Hits the Shell

13. Do It Yourself
Patterson: Mine and Cooley's somewhat different take on another friend's not-so accidental death.
When the Pin Hits the Shell features veteran keyboardist Spooner Oldham (Aretha Franklin, Neil Young, Bob Dylan) playing what he referred to as his "Star Wars Solo" on the Wurlitzer.
Both of these songs were first takes.
Do It Yourself features a guest appearance from Bob Spires of Athens GA's incomparable band, The Possibilities.

14. Decoration Day
Jason: This was the first song I wrote after joining the band, and it uses a fictional protagonist to tell a story that's rumored to be true. If a fight goes on long enough, it can be impossible to remember who started it.
I really love the coda. Barbe and the boys turned it into a tornado.

15. Loaded Gun in the Closet
Patterson: Cooley played this song for me a while back and it just had to be the last cut on the record. On an album about choices, it is noteworthy that the gun "stays" in the closet and everyone lives to carry on another day. Seconds after finishing this first take, my Gibson J-40 fell off the stand and broke in two.
Turn it up LOUD!

Southern Rock Opera

SOUTHERN ROCK OPERA
Release Date: 2001 - Soul Dump Records
Rereleased 2002 - Lost Highway Records

Listen

This one shouldn't have ever been released in any other format than vinyl. The album was set in the 70's, recorded like it was the 70's and ...well you know. If you can find one from the original issue, it had a great 24 (or so) paged "libretto" which I take to be italian for "booklet telling about it". Lost Highway didn't bother to reproduce that when they did the reissues last summer, but it's still way better on vinyl.
This album put us on the map and while it's far from my favorite of our albums, it changed my life forever (long before it was even finished) and since I lived to tell the tale, I'm proud of the tale I told.
- Patterson Hood

Act I

It's the summer after high school graduation and our hero hasn't played his guitar in two months. His band was over the night that Bobby died. No more partners in crime. At night he dreams he's fronting his ultimate rock and roll band. All their equipment stacked atop their Anvil cases. (What better way to measure a band's worth to an eighteen-year-old.) The highway's calling, but it sure ain't as romantic as it once seemed.

It's 1979. The seventies last rites are being read by the very same assholes who killed them. Disco has driven a fork into rock's heart and within a year, video will dissect every little tissue until it is as meaningless as the rest of the fucking world. "Video Killed the Radio Star". No shit!

There's this legend (myth?) (truth?) about Lynyrd Skynyrd that claimed that Ronnie Van Zant was killed by a strike on the head from the on-board VCR mounted in the back of the plane, directly behind his seat.
By the early 80's, Skynyrd's crowd was being run out of town, There was no place for big, masculine looking, hairy men with beards and guts and sweat and spit. Not on TV. Sure the hell not on MTV.
Our hero grew up in North Alabama. He came of age in the seventies. He remembers the Watergate hearings interrupting his mama's soaps. Standing in line with his daddy at the Shoals Theatre to see Walking Tall, cutting class to go to the state line with Bobby. (Home was a dry county, but have no fear; the Tennessee state line is just fifteen minutes away if you haul ass.)
He listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, ZZ Top, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, The Sweet, Ted Nugent, Queen, Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, CCR, The Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Lot's of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Years pass. Our hero moved to the city, then a couple of more cities. He got him a funny haircut or two. He became a punk rocker and tried to disassociate himself from his youthful transgressions. Much like so many well-meaning southern people who try to talk down their southern accents for fear of sounding "too-southern". (As if that was inferior or something.)
He starts having re-occurring dreams about arena rock. Perhaps he's being visited by spirits from his past. Now he wants to remember, He wants to re-connect with whom he once was and what he used to dream. When it was OK to be a little barbaric. When it was OK to turn your three guitars up to ten. When it was OK to ROCK!

Days of Graduation

Bobby went out for a joy ride with my best girl
Left me at the party,
He was my best friend and I miss him.
It was almost June and the 3/4 moon illuminated the rain-soaked streets like a candy wrapper.
I guess that's why Bobby had his lights off,
Tear-assing threw the back part of town and those deserted country roads where me and Bobby tear-assed so many times before.
Sometimes with my best girl and sometimes Bobby had him one too.

But this night he banked that curve just a little too hard and that 442 went airborne,
Hit a telephone pole and split in two, Bobby's skull was split right in two,
And my girl was pinned in her seat, partially embedded in the dashboard
And for the next twenty minutes the only sound in the night were her screams.
And the sound of the wheel still spinning.

In a little while the ambulance came and the sound of its siren mixed with the screaming girl and the spinning wheel.

But when the story was told the next day at the graduation ceremony,
Everyone said that when the ambulance came
The paramedics could hear "Free Bird" still playing on the stereo.

You know it's a very long song.

(Hood/DBT)

Ronnie and Neil

Church blew up in Birmingham
Four little black girls killed for no goddamn good reason
All this hate and violence can't come to no good end
A stain on the good name.
A whole lot of good people dragged threw the blood and glass
Blood stains on their good names and all of us take the blame

Meanwhile in North Alabama, Wilson Pickett comes to town
To record that sweet soul music, to get that Muscle Shoals sound

Meanwhile in North Alabama, Aretha Franklin comes to town
To record that sweet soul music, to get that Muscle Shoals sound

And out in California, a rock star from Canada writes a couple of great songs about the
Bad shit that went down
"Southern Man" and "Alabama" certainly told some truth
But there were a lot of good folks down here and Neil Young wasn't around

Meanwhile in North Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd came to town
To record with Jimmy Johnson at Muscle Shoals Sound
And they met some real good people, not racist pieces of shit
And they wrote a song about it and that song became a hit

Ronnie and Neil Ronnie and Neil
Rock stars today ain't half as real
Speaking there minds on how they feel
Let them guitars blast for Ronnie and Neil

Now Ronnie and Neil became good friends their feud was just in song
Skynyrd was a bunch of Neil Young fans and Neil he loved that song
So He wrote "Powderfinger" for Skynyrd to record
But Ronnie ended up singing "Sweet Home Alabama" to the lord

And Neil helped carry Ronnie in his casket to the ground
And to my way of thinking, us southern men need both of them around

Ronnie and Neil Ronnie and Neil
Rock stars today ain't half as real
Speaking their minds on how they feel
Let them guitars blast for Ronnie and Neil

(Hood / DBT)

72 (this highway's mean)

Don't know why they even bother putting this highway on the map
Everybody that's ever been on it knows exactly where they're at
Hells on both ends of it
And no where's in between
This highway's mean
Seems like it's always hot down here, no matter when you come
It's the kind of heat that holds you like a mama holds her son
Tight when he tries to walk, even tighter if he runs
It's a mean old dusty highway
But it's the only one that'll get you there
That'll get you there

Mean old highway
Stuck to the ground in Mississippi
It's the one'll set me free
It's the same one that I see
Being ripped up off the ground and wrapped around me
Don't let it fool you this highway's mean

I don't need a map to tell me where I am today
This feeling that I have has always led the way
Down here, you're running from a broken heart
Or to a heart that you have to break on this mean old highway

(Cooley / DBT)

Dead, Drunk, and Naked

When I was a young boy I sniffed a lot of glue
Mom sent me to rehab, they told me what to do
We didn't have much money; the lord picked up the tab
They made me write him love songs, sitting in my room

Now I just drink whiskey and drive around my friends
Get a haircut, get a job, maybe born again
And if you're living badly, we'll tell you how to live
Dead, drunk, and naked...

If you're out there listening, I just want you to know
I been doing just fine, psychiatrists tell me so
My scars are patched up; my arms have almost healed
My demons almost tranquilized, my pains almost killed

Me and old Jack Daniel's, become the best of friends
We got all them Baptist's to die for our sins
I know the lord is coming
The South will rise again! (Dead, drunk, and naked)

Daddy used to tell me, everything comes down to what they say about you when you're not around
And I wish that he was here now, I'm sure he would be proud
No one talks about me; the voices are too loud.

So if you come to see me, I'm sure you'll be impressed
By how well I'm behaving and how well I'm dressed
If you come to see me, hope you're coming soon

Dead, drunk, and naked...

(Hood / DBT)

Guitar Man Upstairs

(Scene: a small apartment on the south side of Birmingham
as a pissed off old man rants:)

I think I'm gonna call the Police, I hear something upstairs
I know good and well there ain't nothing good going on up there
There's probably ten or more of them sittin' all around
Smokin' that stuff and drinkin' that hard liquor down

I've been living in this city since the day I was born
I've seen good times come and go and I've seen bad times drag on
I've seen white and black folks alike get treated just like sin
And every year or so I see a new truck load of white trash movin' in

When I was sixteen I had a little trouble with the law
He said "Boy come here" I said "Boy yourself
I ain't done nothing wrong"
He grabbed me by the arm and He went upside my head
Nobody saw nothing
But I got a little spot where my hair ain't grown back yet

I used to have me a woman and a pretty fine home
But it took so much to keep them both going I was always out and gone
I came home one afternoon to get me change of clothes
Caught a quick walkin' slick talkin' guitar picker
Headin' out my back door

Now I'm proud to say I ain't never been no violent man
But I'd sure be rotting in jail today if I'd had me a gun in my hand
I went inside threw her clothes on the floor and laid a suitcase across the bed
Not a word got spoke not a lick got throwed
And my woman ain't come back yet

Now I live in this building with the punks and the freaks
And I don't do much of nothing except go to work, come home, and drink
So guitar man you done picked the wrong damn place to stay
I'm a feeble old man
You're a young smart-ass
And there's a law-man on his way

(Cooley / DBT)

Birmingham

Economics shut the furnace down
Bull Connor hosing children down
George Wallace stared them Yankee's down
In Birmingham

Take a left on the interstate
In the middle of this sultry state
I can't wait to see your face
In Birmingham

"I don't think it was worth it"
the last thing Stanley said to me
Twenty four years then a bullet in the chest and
I still see him in my sleep
Fifteen dollars in the purse He could not save
Her family didn't buy a stone to mark his grave
"Give me a call, if you need a place to stay in Birmingham"
Birmingham

Most of my family came from Birmingham
I can feel their presence on the street
Vulcan Park has seen it's share of troubled times
But the city won't admit defeat
Magic City's magic getting stronger
Dynamite Hill ain't on fire any longer
No man should ever have to feel He don't belong in Birmingham
Birmingham

(Hood / DBT)

The Southern Thing

Ain't about my pistol
Ain't about my boots
Ain't about no northern drives
Ain't about my southern roots
Ain't about my guitars, ain't about my big old amps
"It ain't rained in weeks, but the weather sure feels damp"
Ain't about excuses or alibis
Ain't about no cotton fields or cotton picking lies
Ain't about the races, the crying shame
To the fucking rich man all poor people look the same

Don't get me wrong It just ain't right
May not look strong, but I ain't afraid to fight
If you want to live another day
Stay out the way of the southern thing

Ain't about no hatred better raise a glass
It's a little about some rebels but it ain't about the past
Ain't about no foolish pride, Ain't about no flag
Hate's the only thing that my truck would want to drag

You think I'm dumb, maybe not too bright
You wonder how I sleep at night
Proud of the glory, stare down the shame
Duality of the southern thing

My Great Great Granddad had a hole in his side
He used to tell the story to the family Christmas night
Got shot at Shiloh, thought he'd die alone
From a Yankee bullet, less than thirty miles from home
Ain't no plantations in my family tree
Did NOT believe in slavery, thought that all men should be free
"But, who are these soldiers marching through my land?"
His bride could hear the cannons and she worried about her man

I heard the story as it was passed down
About guts and glory and Rebel stands
Four generations, a whole lot has changed
Robert E. Lee
Martin Luther King
We've come a long way rising from the flame
Stay out the way of the southern thing

(Hood / DBT)

The Three Great Alabama Icons

(Just listen!)

(Hood / DBT)

Wallace

[Scene: set in Hell, September 1998. Told from the Devil's point of view]

Throw another log on the fire, boys, George Wallace is coming to stay
When he met St. Peter at the pearly gates, I'd like to think that a black man stood in the way.
I know "All should be forgiven", but he did what he done so well
So throw another log on the fire boys,
George Wallace is a coming...

Now, he said he was the best friend a black man from Alabama ever had,
And I have to admit, compared to Fob James, George Wallace don't seem that bad
And if it's true that he wasn't a racist and he just did all them things for the votes
I guess Hell's just the place for "kiss ass politicians" who pander to assholes.

So throw another log on the fire, boys, George Wallace is coming to stay
I know, in the end, he got the black people's votes, but I bet they'd still vote him this way.
And Hell's just a little bit hotter cuz He played his hand so well
He had what it took to take it so far

Now the Devil's got a Wallace sticker on the back of his car

[ Now the Mule-ettes walk out in devil horns and tails, raise their hands in the air and sing:]
"OH ------ ALABAMA..."

(Hood / DBT)

Zip City

Your Daddy was mad as hell
He was mad at me and you
As he tied that chain to the front of my car and pulled me out of that ditch that we slid into
Don't know what his problem is
Why he keeps dragging you away
Don't know why I put up with this shit
When you don't put out and Zip City's so far away

Your Daddy is a deacon down at the Salem Church of Christ
And He makes good money as long as Reynolds Wrap keeps everything wrapped up tight
Your Mama's as good a wife and Mama as she can be
And your Sister's puttin' that sweet stuff on everybody in town but me
Your Brother was the first-born, got ten fingers and ten toes
And it's a damn good thing cause He needs all twenty to keep the closet door closed

Maybe it's the twenty-six mile drive from Zip City to Colbert Heights
Keeps my mind clean
Gets me through the night
Maybe you're just a destination, a place for me to go
A way to keep from having to deal with my seventeen-year-old mind all alone
Keep your drawers on, girl, it ain't worth the fight
By the time you drop them I'll be gone
And you'll be right where they fall the rest of your life

You say you're tired of me taking you for granted
Waiting' up till the last minute to call you up and see what you want to do
Well you're only fifteen, girl, you ain't got no secretary
And "for granted" is a mighty big word for a country girl like you
You know it's just your Daddy talking
Cause He knows that blood red carpet at the Salem Church of Christ
Ain't gonna ever see no wedding between me and you

Zip City it's a good thing that they built a wall around you
Zip up to Tennessee then zip back down to Alabama
I got 350 heads on a 305 engine
I get ten miles to the gallon
I ain't got no good intentions

(Cooley / DBT)

Moved

I live down in Alabama where the river so muddy got to watch where you step.
Figurin' out things by the Railroad Bridge and a cousin or two want to give me just a little help.

Damn sure not much to do down here 'cept to cook it down and run it in your veins.
That's where the trouble started.
I fucked a lot of friends.
I fucked a lot of friends got a black line drawn right across my name.

Before the soul dies.
Before the sun burns out.
I want to walk through heaven's gate.
I want to walk through heaven's gate.

Moved on over to Georgia
Where the people's so nice you got to watch where you step.
Lookin' for toes and feelings.
Kicking and screaming sheets stay soaking wet.

The sun looks like the sun again
I got me a woman who does just a little wrong - just enough.
I'm through with addiction and heartache - now I say so long.

I made a valid attempt.
But I can't change my spots.
Lost everything again.
Everything I got.

And now my body dies
And the sun burns out
I walk through heaven's gate.
(or so my mama's told.)
I walk through heaven's gate.

(Malone / DBT)

Act II

Act II opens; present day, in some alternate universe. Our hero is now fronting his ultimate dream band and they are about to take the stage. All of his trials and tribulations have just made him stronger.

It's all there. All the shit he went threw is now in his music. He ain't necessarily happy, but at least he ain't dead. (or a walking zombie answering to some dip shit more concerned with your tie and haircut than your soul.

George Wallace sold his soul to be the Governor of Alabama. Our hero might have sold off a little of his too. Sometimes shit happens.

He has stared down the mythical past. His stage show conjures up the southern rock glory days. They're telling stories of a forgotten south. Stories, no one else was bothering to tell. Stories that own up to the terrible while telling of the beautiful. Rock, that doesn't bend down and kiss any bodies' ass.

But, maybe our hero is a little too well connected. He's so caught up in it that he too is strapped into that seat. Hurtling threw space at three hundred miles an hour when everything just goes quiet. Only the sound of the wind; rustling over the wings and your own heartbeat. We're all just one heartbeat away from being sucked into that swamp, and we're all going to be there sooner or later.

Maybe what's important is what we do while we're here.

What's important is to stand tall, turn your three guitars up real loud, and do what you do.

What our hero wants to do tonight is ROCK!

Let There Be Rock

Dropped acid, Blue Oyster Cult concert, fourteen years old,
And I thought them lasers were a spider chasing me.
On my way home, got pulled over in Rogersville Alabama, with a half-ounce of weed and a case of Sterling Big Mouth.
My buddy Gene was driving, he just barely turned sixteen.
And I'd like to say, "I'm sorry", but we lived to tell about it
And we lived to do a whole lot more crazy, stupid, shit.

And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet
With 38 Special and the Johnny Van Zant Band.

One night when I was seventeen, I drank a fifth of vodka, on an empty stomach, then drove over to a friend's house. And I backed my car between his parent's Cadillac's without a scratch.
Then crawled to the back door and slithered threw the key hole, and sneaked up the stares
And puked in the toilet.
I passed out and nearly drowned but his sister, DD, pulled me out.

And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet
And the band that I was in played "The Boy's are Back in Town".

Skynyrd was set to play Huntsville, Alabama, in the spring of 77, I had a ticket but it got cancelled.
So, the show, it was rescheduled for the "Street Survivors Tour".
And the rest, as they say, is history.

So I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhoads in 82
Right before that plane crash.
And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw AC/DC
With Bon Scott singing, "Let There Be Rock Tour".

With Bon Scott singing, LET THERE BE ROCK!

(Hood / DBT)

Road Cases

Got them pretty road cases
Protect our asses, protect our faces, protect our guitars, protect our amps.
Got them pretty road cases throw them out an airplane and they'll just bounce

Paint our name on them road cases, stencil and white spray paint
"Drive-by Truckers" on every one or maybe just "DBT"
Gonna get ourselves a big tour bus, maybe even an airplane
Fly around the world and back.
Hope it don't run out of gas.

Got them pretty road cases...

Someday we'll hock our road cases, when we don't need them anymore
To pay off that big cocaine dealer (the only thing they're useful for)
One day we'll sell our road cases, when we don't need them anymore
When we outlive our usefulness,
The only thing road cases are useful for.

Got them pretty road cases.

(Hood / DBT)

Women Without Whiskey

If I make it through this year, I think I'm gonna put this bottle down
Maybe as time goes on I'll learn to miss it less than I do now
Think I'm gonna tell her that I'm gonna go away for a while
Till I can get this demon out

You know the bottle ain't to blame and I ain't trying to
It don't make you do a thing it just lets you
When I'm six feet underground, I'll need a drink or two
And I'll sure miss you

Take me piece by piece till there ain't nothing left worth taking away from me

The highway's humming in my head and it's hard to hear
Won't you read my lips if I pull you near enough
Could you read my fortune in the bottem of this coffee cup
Tell me how to tell when I've had enough

If morning's a bitch with open arms and night's a girl who's gone to far
Whiskey is harder to keep than a woman and it's half as sweet but
Women without whiskey, Women without whiskey
Whiskey is hard to beat
Whiskey is hard to beat

(Cooley / DBT)

Plastic Flowers on the Highway

He was ready for the big trip, he was moving to the city; he had packed his prize possessions and gave away the rest. He was almost doing ninety, the sky was blue, sun was shining. All the shit, he left behind for the big world waiting there. He was almost out of Leighton, when that phone truck didn't see him. Hit the brake and slided sideways, he never had a chance.

Plastic flowers on the highway. Bits of glass for the machine to sweep away.
Had to pass it on my way to where I'z going. For the next few minutes, I drove a little slower.

Them, M.A.D.D. mothers couldn't help him. He was sober, it was Sunday. He was full of good home cooking when he crashed the savior's door.

Plastic flowers on the highway. A greasy spot on the asphalt for a while.
Every morning, new babies being born, who'll do the best they can to hang around a little while.

My community service had me working for the county
Cutting grass on the off-ramps and medians and such.
Every quarter mile or so, stands a brand new reminder
Another traffic death in town. Something new to cut around.
Crashed out on the highway. Plastic cross and a plastic bouquet.
Paramedics in the by-stander's gaze.

Plastic flowers on the highway. Bits of glass for the machine to sweep away.
Had to pass it on my way to where I'z going.
For the next few minutes I drove a little slower.

(Hood / DBT)

Cassie's Brother

Can my brother sit in? (X2)

Well there's a hole in the band and
as a favor to Cassie
we'll let her brother come and jam.
If he ain't no good,
we'll just leave him right out of the mix.
But he proceeded to give some tired mules a coupla kicks

Two weeks later,
and brothers in the band.
Two more weeks a live album in the can.
Expect we'll all be in his shadow one day.
That boys a writin' and playin' fool.
We're the guitar army again.
There ain't nothin that we can't do

(chorus)
Cassie's brother was an okie boy.
Played guitar just like a god
Write you a song and sing it too.
Music so fine it makes you feel brand new.

Two years later,
Street Survivors hit the shelves.
Beyond expectation, sounding better than ourselves.
Just wanna keep playing
As long as we possibly can

(repeat chorus)

For Steve

(Malone / DBT)

Life in the Factory

Let me tell ya'll a story

So far fetched it must be true
Bout a bunch of fatherless boys from Florida and a boy who was man enough for two.
Practiced twelve hours a day in the Hell House
In the swamps out side of town.
100 degrees without no open windows
Heat radiating off the tin.

They named their band Lynyrd Skynyrd, after the coach who kicked them out of school.
Practiced seven days a week cuz Rock's the only thing to save them from life in the factory.

They spent years inside the Hell House
Then they opened foe The Who
90 degrees, outdoor, summer festivals
Them, boy's wouldn't even break a sweat.
Played each show like their lives depended on it
300 a year will take its due
They kicked The Stones ass out at Knebworth
Ask anyone who was there and they'll tell you

They hit the road doing ninety
Leave them steel mills far behind.
Ain't no good life at the Ford plant
Three guitars or a life of crime

Sold out shows and platinum records, New York critics and redneckers
Bunch of boy's from Florida had them eating from their hands
They got the fame and all the glory
But folks, it's still a sad story when legend over shadows the songs and the band.

Let me tell y'all a story that more or less is the truth
From the swamps of Northern Florida to the swamps just north of Baton Rouge.

(Hood / DBT)

Shut Up and Get on the Plane

Well your wishes and your feelings
Your bad dreams and intuitions
Are about as much good to me right now as a brand new set of golf clubs
We've been this close to death before, we were just too drunk to know it
Guess the price of being sobers being scared out of your mind

(chorus)
When it comes your time to go, ain't no good way to go about it
Ain't no use in thinking bout it
You'll just drive yourself insane
There comes a time for everything
And the time has come for you to shut your mouth and get your ass on the plane

Ain't nothing I'd rather do right now than just go on home and lay around
But that ain't never an option for a working man like me
How much is enough you ask
I'll ask the man when I get a chance
All I know right now, there's somewhere else I'm suppose to be
(repeat chorus)

Screaming engines, shooting flames
Dirty needles and cheap cocaine
Some gal's old man with a gun
To me it's all the same
Dead is dead and it ain't no different than walking around if you ain't living
Living in fear's just another way of dying before your time
(repeat chorus)

(Cooley / Hood)

Greenville to Baton Rouge

One more night, one more show, four down, eighty-four to go
This ain't no time for moving slow

Greenville to Baton Rouge
I'll call you up when I get through
The life I live is the life I choose
Greenville to Baton Rouge

The shows have sure been great this year
All eight cylinders all twelve gears
Call you up when I touch down at the airport in a Louisiana town.

Street survivors, feeling no pain
A little more rock, a little less cocaine.
And don't forget about Stevie Gaines

Greenville to Baton Rouge
I'll call you up when I get through
If it's the last thing that I do
Greenville to Baton Rouge

Last night, you should have seen this plane. The right engine shot a twelve foot flame.
But South Carolina made us glad we came.
Now we're up in the air again.

Once we hit Louisiana, baby, I don't care
Got a brand new airplane waiting for us there
Give this piece of shit back to Aerosmith.
Wake me up when we get there.

The right engine gave a little flash, the pilot panicked and dumped the gas
Everything is quiet, we're dropping fast.
When we touch down gonna whup' his ass!

Greenville to Baton Rouge
Can't die now got a show to do
The life I live is the life I choose
Greenville to Baton Rouge.

(One more for the mules...)

(Hood / DBT)

Angels and Fuselage

Looking out the window, the trees are getting closer it seems.
Thinking bout you Darling.
Adding up the cost of these dreams.

Strapped to this projectile, just a blink ago I was back in school.
Smoking by the gym door, practicing my rock-star attitude

And I'm scared shitless of what's coming next.
I'm scared shitless, these angels I see in the trees are waiting for me.

The engines have stopped now. We all know we are going down. Last call for alcohol.
Sure wish I could have another round.

And I'm scared shitless of what's coming next.
Scared shitless, these angels I see in the trees are waiting for me.
Waiting for me.

Friends in the swamp.
Friends on the ground, in the trees.
Angels and fuselage.

(Hood / DBT)

We began writing the Southern Rock Opera some years ago. We wanted to examine people's misconceptions of the South, and study some modern-day southern mythology. The band Lynyrd Skynyrd's story seemed like the ultimate vehicle for tying all of these loose ends together into what would hopefully flow like one big story. It also gave us a great excuse for going with a 3 guitar lineup and exploring that musically. It should also be noted that the record was intentionally paced like a movie and was originally planned as a screenplay before it became an album.

BETAMAX GUILOTINE

The name of the fictional band in the story.


ACT I

Set in the late 1970s. Our hero is growing up in a small southern town and dreaming of being a big Rock Star. In the meantime he has to deal with the mundane shit that most teenagers deal with. As he grows up and leaves the south, he is shocked at how different people's perceptions of his home were from what he remembered.

DAYS OF GRADUATION

The first fatal carwreck of some peers in High School is unfortunately a near universal right of passage. We tied that in with the old urban legend about "Free Bird still playing on the stereo" as a way to kick our story off and set the tone for the album.

RONNIE AND NEIL

I wrote this song to tell of the misunderstood friendship between Ronnie VanZant and Neil Young, who were widely believed to be bitter adversaries, but were in truth very good friends and mutual admirers... I also used it as a personal way of writing for the first time about my hometown's musical and cultural legacy. (Muscle Shoals AL. was the town where many of the finest R&B and Soul records ever made were created, with whites and blacks working together during the height of the civil rights movement in the 60's).

72 (THIS HIGHWAY'S MEAN)

You pretty much can not get in or out of our hometown (the Shoals Area in North Alabama) without travelling down Hwy. 72... Cooley wrote this song.

DEAD, DRUNK, AND NAKED

I wrote this song about a guy I used to work with who was pretty much the poster child for why one shouldn't sniff glue in Junior High School.

GUITAR MAN UPSTAIRS

Another Cooley song. He wrote this one about the guy upstairs who used to call the cops every time he played his guitar (even acoustic guitar in the middle of the afternoon) yet never seemed to mind any other kind of noise. It's perfectly typical of Cooley that he told the tale from his adversary's point of view.

BIRMINGHAM

This is actually a rewrite of a very old Adam's House Cat song that I wrote years ago. I changed the ending (and most of the music) to tell of Birmingham's rebirth and somewhat successful reinvention of itself. It was rewritten while we were in the studio recording the album.

THE SOUTHERN THING

We were nearly finished recording the album and something was still missing. I felt that we were still lacking that song that would tie it all together (particularly Act 1) and define what it was all about. We recorded the album in downtown Birmingham, ground zero for much of the Civil Rights Struggle, and I think that helped with the writing of this song. Musically, it's the most blatantly "Southern Rock" of any of the songs on the album.

THE THREE GREAT ALABAMA ICONS

This one explains most of the first Act's intentions and was painstakingly the most historically accurate and in some way most personal song on the album. It examines the duality of the Southern Thing, my relationship with Football (which I grew up hating) and it's ramifications. And for the record (which I rechecked numerous times) Wallace DID win in 82 with over 90% of the black vote. (and the Devil IS a Southerner).

WALLACE

I wrote this song the week that the famed former Alabama Governor died. I decided to set the song in Hell and tell it from the Devil's point of view as he welcomed his new guest with some down home (and red hot) southern hospitality.

ZIP CITY

Cooley wrote this one and should be the one explaining it. I do know that it is at least 90% true and is my personal favorite song on the album.

MOVED

Rob Malone wrote this beautiful and very disturbing song. It's the lonliest song on the album and sounds like the room we recorded it in.



ACT II

Our hero has now become the big Rock Star that he always fantasized about being, but it's somehow nothing like he thought it would be... Is anything ever?

LET THERE BE ROCK

A pretty damned autobiographical account of my teenaged years, and how partying and going to Arena Rock shows kept me from going off the deep end in High School.

ROAD CASES

When Rock Stars hit it big, they tend to put everything they own in those indestructible road cases (with the name of their band stenciled on them). Unfortunately, fame is a fleeting thing. The records quit selling but the bills keep coming in. Eventually you have to sell the road case to pay off the coke dealer. A fitting parable for fame and fortune if ever there was one.

WOMEN WITHOUT WHISKEY

Cooley's examination of true love and alcoholism (I guess). "You know the bottle ain't to blame and I ain't trying to / It don't make you do a thing it just lets you / When I'm six feet underground I'll need a drink or two / and I'll sure miss you".

PLASTIC FLOWERS ON THE HIGHWAY

One of the more personal songs on the record. It pays tribute to a good friend and comrade Chris Quillen who 4 out of 5 of us played with in the past, and was set to be a member of this band before being killed in a car crash a couple of weeks before our 1st gig. Salute!

CASSIE'S BROTHER

Rob's tribute to Skynyrd guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, backup singer Cassie, both of whom were killed in the plane crash that ended the original lineup of the band on 10/20/77. Kelly Hogan plays the part of Cassie in the song.

LIFE IN THE FACTORY

I wrote this one to tie all of the Act II loose ends together, particularly in regards to the legends surrounding Lynyrd Skynyrd. One of the only songs on the album that is actually about the band itself. It also set the stage for the final scene.

SHUT UP AND GET ON THE PLANE

Another Cooley song. Based on a bit of mythology about Skynyrd that claimed that on that fateful day, Cassie Gaines had actually bought a ticket to fly comercial instead of getting back on the plane (which had had engine trouble in route to Greenville SC the night before). According to legend (and who ever knows what's myth and what's truth) Ronnie VanZant persuaded her to sell her ticket and fly to Baton Rouge with the rest of the band. Ronnie, Cassie, and her brother Steve ware all killed that day in the plane crash. Cooley wrote the song from the point of view that it was still the right decision because "Living in fear's just another way of dying before your time"...Wise words and probably the most important line on the record.

GREENVILLE TO BATON ROUGE

Tells the tale of the actual final flight. For the record, the plane was a 1947 Convair Turbo Prop that had formerly been used as an airliner for Eastern before they moved to an all jet fleet. It was leased from a company in Dallas TX. The band Kiss had formerly leased it and Aerosmith had planned on taking it, but their management was appalled at how shabbily it had been maintained and passed on it.

ANGELS AND FUSELAGE

Set inside the plane after the engines shut down and everything went quiet. Just the sound of the wind over the wings and your own heartbeat. Again, Miss Kelly Hogan plays the part of Cassie.

Pizza Deliverance

PIZZA DELIVERANCE
Release Date: 1999 - Soul Dump Records

Listen

Bulldozers and Dirt

I met your mama when I was sixteen
You couldn't have been anymore than three
She caught me stealing y'all's color TV
She called the cops and they arrested me

She was the wildest thing I'd ever seen
the way she pointed that shotgun at me
the police hauled my ass off to jail
Your mama signed the trailer to help make the bail

She picked me up and drove me home
said "I'll learn you not to roam"
Green green grass under my feet
but all I can think about's the dirt underneath

Bulldozers and dirt Bulldozers and dirt
behind the trailer, my desert
Them red clay piles are heaven on earth
I get my rocks off, bulldozers and dirt

I got a pickup that's up on blocks
and I'm up to my ass in debt and hock
and I can't get the red stains off of my socks
and I can't get you off of my mind

I've lived with your mama for eleven years
Through good times, and bad times, fist fights and tears
but something comes over me when you come near
so won't you come over and sip on this beer

Bulldozers and dirt Bulldozers and dirt
behind the trailer, my desert
I don't mean no harm, I just like to flirt
but most of all I like bulldozers and dirt

most of all I like bulldozers and dirt

Lyrics by Patterson Hood
Music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff, and Sell)
©1997 Soul Dump Music
Written while walking my dog (Aretha), Spring 1996

Nine Bullets

My roommate's gun got nine bullets in it
Nine bullets in my roommate's gun
My roommate's gun got nine bullets in it
Gonna find a use for every last one

One for the love who chose to betray me, a real fine love who wouldn't be true
One for the man that she betrayed with, a nice enough fella, she'll betray him too
A nice enough fella, she'll betray him too

One for my boss man, riding my butt again, sorry sir, but you'd better clock out
One for the lady down at the laundrymat, who goes through my dryer pulling one sock out
She goes through my dryer pulling one sock out

One just to put me out of my misery
I better aim that sucker true
I'll leave a note that says I'm sorry but I went off the deep end when I fell for you
I went off the deep end when I fell for you

One each for my immediate family, they'll be so disappointed to see what I done
One left over, I'll save it for my roommate
After all it's my roommate's gun
After all it's my roommate's gun

My roommate's gun got nine bullets in it Nine bullets in my roommate's gun
Roommate's gun got nine bullets in it
Gonna find a use for every last one Gonna find a use for every last one
Gonna find a use for every last one

Lyrics by Patterson Hood
Music by Drive-by Truckers ©1997 Soul Dump Music
Originally written on stage in Opelika, AL. P. Hood and M. Cooley 3/13/92

Uncle Frank

They powered up the city with hydro-electric juice.
Now we got more electricity than we canever use.
They flooded out the hollow and all the folks down there moved out,
but they got paid so there ain't nothin' else to think about.

Some of them made their living cutting the timber down,
snaking it one log at a time up the hill and into town.
T.V.A. had a way to clear it off real fast.
Lots of men and machinary, build a dam and drown the rest.

Uncle Frank lived in a cabin down on Cedar Creek,
bought fifteen acres when he got back home from overseas.
Fifteen rocky acres, figured noone else would want,
'till all that backed up water had to have some place to go.

Uncle Frank couldn't read or write
Never held down a job, or needed one in his life.
They assured him there'd be work for him in town building cars.
It's already going down.

The cars never came to town and the roads never got built
and the price of all that power kept on going straight uphill
The banks around the hollow sold for lake-front property
where Doctors, Lawyers, and Musicians teach their kids to waterski.

Uncle Frank couldn't read or write
so there was no note or letter found when he died.
Just a rope around his neck and the kitchen table turned on its side

lyrics by Mike Cooley / music by Drive-by Truckers

Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)

Stacy was a troubled teen ever since she was twelve.
She felt the world close in on her and thought she needed help.
Listening to the radio on a Sunday night.
She heard the preacher calling out to call up on his Help-line.
He sounded so nice, he sounded so inviting,
and for a small donation she could have the Lord Almighty.
She told him her story. He told her his thoughts.
He said "You better get yourself right in the eyes of God.
Too much sex, too little Jesus."

"Stop that dope smokin!
Stop that masturbation!
Take the Lord into your heart and stop that fornication.
We're building us an army, gonna knock out Satan.
Visa or Mastercard, our operator's waiting.
Too much sex, too little Jesus."

"Satan's made a slave of you,
the Lord will set you free!
You don't know God from didley
and you're old enough to breed.
The sins of me and you are the reason he did bleed.
Now a word from our sponsor, then another troubled teen
with too much sex, too little Jesus."

Lyrics by Patterson Hood/Music by The Drive-By Truckers

Box of Spiders

Gran Gran keeps a box of spiders.
She says they're on me when I sleep.
Waiting in the out-house for me.
underneath the seat.

My great-grandmothers bout ninety-seven
and she is sure when she gets to heaven,
old St. Peter's gonna throw his arms around her and say
"I've waited so long for us to meet."
She put the General in a box
and buried him behind the Stoney Point Church of Christ,
when I was three.

(and she says) "When the lord comes to take me,
I'll die with a smile on, cause He's taking all my pains and fears."
She said The Generals last words were
"It's hotter than hell in here."

Gran Gran keeps a box of spiders,
or so she told me as a child,
and I would hold it in for hours.
Too mean to die. Too mean to die. Too mean.

(for Gran Gran)

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers
©1998 Soul Dump Music

One of These Days

If I had a dime for every time
I heard my old man say one of these days
I wouldn't be like my old man today
talking bout places that he'd been
back in his younger days
that he was gonna go back to again one of these days

Dropped out of school when he was just sixteen
fell right in to a tire plant
building the very things that make the asphalt sing
and put Alabama far behind you

I remember him saying that Chicago was a hell right here on earth
and twenty five years later I was saying the same thing about Memphis

It's no wonder everybody's scared of downtown Birmingham
it's just a little too close to home
But there's more crooks down here and the cops don't care,
and old white men wearing ties can do anything they want.

Once a country boy's seen
the way the steam rises off a man's insides on the sidewalk.
Tends to change the way he thinks, the way he sees everything
and he goes back to where he came from.

One of these days when my face looks like a roadmap gonna find my way back home.
And I'll go walking on the west side after dark and leave my gun locked in my car.
One of these days you'll take one look at me and run.
One of these days you'll take one look at me and run.

lyrics by Mike Cooley / music by Drive-by Truckers

Margo and Harold

I don't want to go to dinner with Margo and Harold.
I don't like the way he looks at you, and the way she looks at me,
way they look at each other, like we're just part of some private joke.

I don't want to go dinner with Margo and Harold,
no matter how good the food.
I don't want to make small talk, innuendo,
or go for a ride in Harold's Corvette.

I'm scared of the basement of Harold's Pawn Shop,
I've heard tales of what goes down there.
Mid-life crises, high on Dilauded, Valium, and crystal meth.
Harold and Margo, feeling no pain
Fifty and crazy, big hair and cocaine.

If they call on the phone, tell them I'm not home.
That night with Margo was a long time ago.
It makes me nervous how much Harold knows,
and the way that he looks at you.

I don't want to see why Harold's now skinny.
I don't want to see Margo's bikini.
So if they call, tell them You ain't seen me or that I'm in too much pain.
Harold and Margo, taking aim, horny and loaded, big-hair and cocaine.

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

Company I Keep

My Mama told me, your life is such a wreck
You're dumber than dogshit is what my Daddy said
I was just thirteen when they showed me the door
I keep their picture but don't look at it no more

My first wife told me, you need to get a life
My third wife told me to get another wife
I brought a bottle and the van's parked outside the door
So come on out with me, if you want to be number four

Sometimes I feel like shit
Sometimes that ain't half of it
Sometimes I'm so high I'm scared to go to sleep
Sometimes I'm lower than the company I keep

Ain't held down a job since 1984
I get by holding up convenience stores
I get by on liquor, guns, and luck
But I'm scared to death which one might run out first

Sometimes I feel like shit
Sometimes that ain't half of it
Sometimes I'm so high I'm scared to go to sleep
Sometimes I'm lower than the company I keep

I see my past in everything that I despise
I see my future and I'm scared to close my eyes
Is that my ghost that I see in my fears
Or just my reflection in my Mama's tears

Sometimes I feel like shit
Sometimes that ain't half of it
Sometimes I'm so high I'm scared to go to sleep
Sometimes I'm lower than the company I keep
Sometimes I'm lower than the company I keep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

The President's Penis is Missing

(NEWS FLASH!!!)
(scene: the press corps have descended upon the White House, a spokesperson begins to speak:)

"They looked in the White House and Capitol Hill
They looked everywhere for Buffalo Bill
We called every scholar, reporter, and genius
Has anyone seen the President's penis?"

"It ain't in the Congress or Judiciary
It ain't in the Smithsonian or that big ole library
an astronomer claims it was sighted on Venus
Has anyone seen the President's penis?"

(now the entire press corp. erupts in song:)
"THE PRESIDENT'S PENIS IS MISSING OLE'!!!
WE SEARCHED HIGH AND LOW, EVERY NIGHT EVERYDAY
LORD, WON'T YOU COME DOWN AND REDEEM US
HAS ANYONE SEEN THE PRESIDENT'S PENIS?"

(at this point, legendary news man Walter Cronkite returns from the moon to add his commentary:)
"Now Presidents have goofed up in all kinds of ways
in the 80's we elected one missing his brain
George Washington caught a cold he couldn't explain
and we all know the truth about Thomas Jefferson's name"

(suddenly William Randolph Hurst rises from the grave and bellows out in an Orson Welles type voice:)
";Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn't no square
with that raging Woodrow in his wheelchair
and all the lesbians snickered that Elenor didn't care
and John Kennedy's penis was SEEN EVERYWHERE!

(once again everyone breaks out in gleeful song:)
"THE PRESIDENT'S PENIS IS MISSING OLE'!!!
WE SEARCHED HIGH AND LOW EVERY NIGHT EVERY DAY
LORD WON'T YOU COME DOWN AND REDEEM US
HAS ANYONE SEEN THE PRESIDENT'S PENIS?"

(the scene shifts to Sen. John Glenn, wandering pensively, somewhere in space:)
"Them outer space people would laugh if they'd seen us
all this talk about cum-stains and oral coitus
meanwhile the whole world suffers from hunger and meanness
but we're more concerned with the President's penis"

THE END?

lyrics by Patterson Hood (c) 1998 Soul Dump Music

Tales Facing Up

Me and my brother's old lady went out and got stinking.
She solved her curiosities about me by the railroad tracks.
She said I reminded her of him before he started drinking
and banging the babysitter every time she turned her back.

We opened up the sunroof and smoked a big ole joint
and drank a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon listening to the crickets and trains.
Every so often she'd lapse into narcotic rambling.
Moon and mascara. I've always been a holy terror.
Temptations lurking every where. If your mind's in the gutter, Beware
You'll find me there.

Me and a friend were talking after the funeral.
She said it should have been me but I'm still around
and I been so wild,I'm surprised I made it to the seventh grade
and all my dead friends have settled down.
My eyes were puffy and she asked if I'd been crying.
I said 'tears are for pussies' but who was I kidding.
So we stopped at the bar and drank them dry
Beer and tequila
I've always been a thrill seeker,
But thrills are a dime a dozen these days.
And I found a dime in the gutter today.
Tails facing up. Still fucking up. Still fucking up.

A funny thing happened on my way to a strange way of thinking.

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

Love Like This

Coming home with a bottle, trying not to break the seal.
This Friday evening traffic's about enough to break a man's will.
And I can't wait to see you and see how your week has gone,
And tear into Old No.7 and make love till dawn.

But your Mama she'll be calling, if she ain't knocking on the door.
And it won't take me long to remember what I brought that bottle home for.
And we'll all get to fighting, just like we always do.
And by Saturday morning, I'll be singing these blues.

Last night I slept with my boots on again,
One cut on my forehead and one my chin,
On the hard old floor with nothin to cover up with.
You got me real good, girl, and I must admit,
You pack purty mean punch for such a pretty little dish.
And it's a shame to know most folks don't ever know love like this.

Come Monday morning, I'll be sore to a fare-thee-well.
Cussin' God and America, wishing them both just to send me off to hell.
But the boss man don't want no excuses when it comes time to get on the clock.
And without that paycheck, I'd lose the rest of what sweet love I got.

Last night I slept with my boots on again,
One cut on my forehead and one my chin,
On the hard old floor with nothin to cover up with.
You got me real good, girl, and I must admit,
You pack purty mean punch for such a pretty little dish.
And it's a shame to know most folks don't ever know love like this.

lyrics by Mike Cooley
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)

Mrs. Dubose

Jupiter mules kickin' out all the stops
Newfangled dogs danglin' stars from her eyelids
She can't read between the lies anymore
Lord, help her rise just one more time if you can.
Still, the children read to her
till she opens up her hands

When my body dies will you remember my name?
When my body dies will you remember my name?

Oh, Mrs. Dubose you were such a flower
now you're all dead inside withered and insane
Oh, Mrs. Dubose you were such a flower, you got the death,
the dust, and the opium runnin' through your veins
Black maid stays cause she's paid to be around
Condemned and scared for all she knows

You better look at the road when you pass
she gonna fix you with that evil eye
unless your holdin' your old man's hand
you better pass on by better pass on by

lyrics by Rob Malone / music by Drive-by Truckers

Zoloft

All my family problems disappeared overnight
We're all taking Zoloft and everything is fine
My sister's teen angst just flew out the window
Mama's so happy she laughs all the time

Used to be in trouble gettin' along with each other
Mama hated daddy, I hated little brother
Then the family doctor gave us all these little pills
Now I can't believe how great we all feel

All my family problems disappeared overnight
We're all taking Zoloft and everything is fine
My sister's teen angst just flew out the window
Mama's so happy she laughs all the time
The birds in the trees all sing happy songs
Everyone is smiling, we're so glad to be alive
Even my ol' pitbull don't growl anymore
He just watches that ol' tail wag from side to side

All my family problems disappeared overnight
We're all taking Zoloft and everything is fine
My sister's teen angst just flew out the window
Mama's so happy she laughs all the time

And I used to be so unhappy doin' songs about killing
Taking methadone and jacking off four or five times a day
Now I'm so happy
I'm so goddamn happy
Who needs an orgasm when life's so fucking great?

All my family problems disappeared overnight
We're all taking Zoloft and everything is fine
My sister's teen angst just flew out the window
Mama's so happy she cries all the time
Mama's so happy she cries all the time
Mama's so happy she cries all the time

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town

We were bored, there was nothing going on.
Might as well stay at home and drink until we pass out again.
Then drink some more when the morning comes.

Memphis was sinking into the Mississippi.
We were doing our best just to ride it down.
Till the night G.G. Allin came to town.

"Honey, I don't believe this,"
The old man at Ferguson's Cafe kept saying to his wife.
As he read aloud The Memphis Star and their account of what went down that night
"It says He took a shit on the stage and started throwing it into the crowd.
But He was gone before the cops could come and shut him down."
Gone before the shit came down.

The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town.
The Night G.C. Allin Came to Town.
Antenna Club, Memphis, 1991.
Punk Rockers Paid $12.00 to be Shit On!
The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town

"It says He took the microphone and shoved it up his ass!"
The old man and his wife were aghast
The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town.
The Night G.G. Allin Came to Town.

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music
I'll always have an extra soft spot for this one. We recorded it in my living room on Jefferson Rd. n Athens GA in five days in mid-january 1999. You can hear my dogs fighting over which one gets to eat the other's puke in the background of Mrs. Dubose. (True story).
On that Sunday afternoon we invited a bunch of friends over and got plowed and recorded takes of Nine Bullets, The Company I Keep and a drunken, unplanned The President's Penis is Missing, which we ended up laughing so hard at we put it on the album only to see most early reviews concentrate on how terrible it was. That's alright, I still think it was the right call nearly ten years later.
Cooley came into his own with Uncle Frank, One Of These Days and Love Like This. PD captures an earlier incarnation of this band at a turning point and I'll always love this one.
The Night GG Allin Came To Town was written as a birthday present to Cooley at a time when we weren't speaking.
- Patterson Hood

Gangstabilly

GANGSTABILLY
1998 - Soul Dump Records

Listen

Wife Beater

You met him at the dance hall
You only saw his charms
You said he really swept you off your feet
Then one night he's drinking
and jealousy enraged
He knocked out two of your front teeth

so you came over to hide out at my place
I guess I should have killed him there and then
but you begged me not to
now you say he's changed
and you're gonna go back to him

Don't give me that bull about how it's for the children
A man like that could never be a dad
What happens when he kills you?
What will they do then?
Sometimes you ought to ask yourself that

Don't go back to him he's a wife beater
You'd be better off with this potato eater
You say he's changed, don't be a fool
A man like that's no good for you
A man like that's no good for you


lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
© 1998 Soul Dump Music

written on Elvis' birthday 1/8/97 at the grocery store
dedicated with love to the great Tammy Wynette, Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductee

Demonic Possession

(chorus)
Demonic Possession
His court's in session
I sign my confession
Demonic Possession

It was raining on the day she told me
them things that fella sold me
Mama wasn't thee to scold me
No prison or cell could hold me
I still recall the date
I'z probably about eight
when I sealed my fate
You honor I rightly state
(repete chorus)

Suddenly I had a foot hold
I became such a butthole
I don't need nobody consoling me
No one but the devil controlling me

I can kick ass and talk backward
I hang out with a whole bunch of slackers
and I know I can get some help from him
I listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin
(repete chorus)

I got so much money I don't need smarts
My records are flying to the top of the charts
and I'm eating in all those fancy restaurants
and Hanging out with Sam Phillips
and I owe it all to him
Oh, the shape I'm in
The devil says the only thing that's buggin him
is Hell's filling up with Republicans
(repeat chorus twice)

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff, Sell)
© 1998 Soul Dump Music
written in august 1996 during G.O.P. convention

recorded july 21, 1997

The Tough Sell

"She's a beaute, yes sir she is" said EZ DAN, fifty five, a bad age,
smelling of Brute from Fabrege' and sweat
EZ DAN don't bathe a lot these days (and why the hell should he anyway?)
"She's got a few miles on her, but then again, who don't?"
he said with a slight chuckle, the recent Binaca Blast still lingering on his breath,
"and besides, them's highway miles"

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other
it certainly wasn't the car of my dreams, but the price was right
and EZ DAN assured me the mid 70's were a particularly nice period
for Chrysler products in general
"and this one is a Volare'"
and besides, finally having an eight-track means I can play
all them tapes I ain't been able to listen to since high-school

so we stuffed EZ DAN's body in the trunk and hauled ass out of town
but somewhere just past the middle of nowhere the fuel pump blew
and the oil pump too, and the piston rods hurled straight through the engine block
dropping oil, gasoline, water, and anti-freeze onto the Alabama red clay below

Ain't that a bitch?
I ain't never been lucky with love

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff, and Sell)
©1998 Soul Dump Music
written spring 96 recorded 7/21/97
dedicated to the Quadrajets 187 / 10-4

The Living Bubba

I wake up tired and I wake up pissed
wonder how I ended up like this
I wonder why things happen like they do
but I don't wonder long cuz I got a show to do

I'm sick at my stomach from the A.Z.T.
Broke at my bank cuz that shit ain't free
but I'm here to stay (at least another week or two)
I can't die now cuz I got another show to do

Don't give me no pity don't give me no grief
Wit till I die for sympathy
Just help me with this amp and a guitar or two
I can't die now cuz I got another show to do

Don't give me no preachin' no self servin'
I ain't no angel but nobody's deserving
I can dance on my own grave, Thank You!
but I can't die now cuz I got another show...

Some people keep saying I can't last long
but I got my bands I got my songs,
liquor, beer, and nicotine to help me along
and I'm drunk and stubborn as they come
chain smoking, guitar picking, til I'm gone

I ain't got no political agenda
Ain't got no message for the youth of America
'cept "Wear a rubber and be careful who you screw"
and come see me next Friday cuz I got another show...

Some people stop living long before they die
Work a dead end job just to scrape on by
but I keep living just to bend that note in two
and I can't die now cuz I got another show...

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

Late For Church

Late for church again
Never seem to be on time
Hear the bells as they peal through the holler
Doesn't sound like a friend of mine

A hundred eyes turn as I enter
Face burnin' as I walk past pews
I can tell they think I'm a sinner
Hear them whisper while I'm watching my shoes

Only seat left is right up front
I'm not a bit surprised
Back is soft but the seat is hard
Why can't they get it right?

Reverend Bob is pointin' his finger
Mom and Dad follow every last word
All this hollerin' makes me wonder
Does a whispered prayer get heard?

Reverend Bob is preachin' out thunder
Fire and brimstone pouring down
Me, I'm wondering what's for dinner
Waitin' for 12 o'clock to come round

Everybody's got their own Heaven
They all find it their own way

I am an angel

lyrics by Adam Howell/Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers
© 1998 Soul Dump Music (BMI)

Panties In Your Purse

Saw you standing in the hallway, red plastic cup, and one of those big long cigarettes
You asked me if I could play you some Dylan
I said "Dylan who?" you told me to kiss your ass
I apologized, but you could tell I didn't mean it by the way I rolled my eyes
and when you said it wasn't me it was you
somehow I knew you were gonna tell me why

Stuff was flying out of the window
falling and breaking on the pavement underneath
He's screaming at you, red faced and fuming
He'd come home early, parked his car way up the street
You had your stockings in your hand, panties in your purse
it was ten a.m. and all the neighbors heard
him calling you a whore and a tramp
you just stood there while your heels sank into the warm wet ground

He got a lawyer, you got a bottle
He got the children and you moved in with your mama
She fixes breakfast and lets you use her car
she don't care how late you call to tell her where you are
Ya'll still fight and she still nags you some
but somehow it's different now than when you were young
It's your own damn fault you been threw hell
for one reason or another, somehow she kinda blames herself

lyrics by Mike Cooley
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, and Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

Why Henry Drinks

Them stories that you tell me are so hard to swallow
You said "Go to hell" but I know you'd just follow
The future's closing in quicker than you think
and hanging with you I know why Henry drinks

Those obnoxious drunks downstairs are fighting and cussing
and twelve years of me and you don't add up to nothing
You say what's on your mind - tell it to your shrink
so he can know like me why Henry drinks

Just a few more hours till the sun comes back around
to tear each other down and drink another round
lost it on the way now I'm hating what we found
mendacity and grudge-fucks and pieces out of town

I drink half a case of beer on my way home from work
Daddy needs his medicine to keep his hands off Mama's throat
Baby, push a little harder cuz you got me on the brink
of spilling more than guts about why Henry drinks

Telling you so much about why Henry drinks

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, and Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

18 Wheels Of Love

Mama ran off with a trucker
Mama ran off with a trucker
Mama ran off with a trucker
Peterbilt Peterbilt

He is making her give life another stab
They can see the world from way up in the cab

Mama ran off with a trucker...........
Peterbilt Peterbilt

She can quit her job and be his little bride
He can get a local route and stay home by her side
She can fix him roast beast and sweet potato pie
He can eat a lot of it cuz he's a big ole guy

They got married in Dollywood
(by a Porter Waggoner lookalike)
18 Wheels of Love

for Mom and Chester, on the occasion of their marriage, July 1994

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers
©1998 Soul Dump Music

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen Steve McQueen
When I was a little boy I wanted to grow up to be
Steve McQueen Steve McQueen
The coolest doggone motherscratcher on the silver screen

I'd drive real fast everywhere no one would ever catch me
and I'd kick your ass if you pissed me off so be careful what you ask me
and I'd never have an empty bottle or an empty bed
and as cool as Paul Newman is I bet Steve could whup his head

Steve McQueen............................

Bullet was my favorite movie that I'd ever seen
I totaled my go-cart trying to imitate that chase scene
That Duster had six hubcaps, know what I mean
and I love the way they all flew off when it landed in that ravine

Steve McQueen............................

I really loved The Getaway back when I was eight
that pussy Alec Baldwin sucked in the remake
and speaking of pussy, I guess Steve got it all
He fucked Faye Dunaway and he fucked Ali McGraw

Steve McQueen Steve McQueen
When I was a little boy I wanted to grow up to be
Steve McQueen Steve McQueen
The coolest goddamn mothefucker on the silver screen
(yee-haw)
(suddenly the scene turns slow and somber, as a campfire harp plays in the background)
I went to see The Hunter on my first date
The Hunter was the last movie Steve McQueen lived to make
They took my drivers license when I was just sixteen
the year Mesothelioma killed Steve McQueen

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff, Stacy)
©1998 Soul Dump Music
dedicated to my grandfather W. M. Patterson
(Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. Its mortality rate is known to be extremely high.)

Buttholeville

Tired of living in Buttholeville
Tired of my job and my wife Lucille
Tired of my kids Ronnie and Neil
Tired of my 68 Bonneville
Working down at Billy Bob's Bar and Grille
The food here tastes like the way I feel
There's a girl on the dance floor dressed to kill
She's the best looking woman in Buttholeville

One day I'm gonna get out of Buttholeville
Gonna reach right in Gonna grab the till
Buy a brand new hat and a Coupe deVille
lay a patch on the road that runs over the hill
There's a beach somewhere where the water's are still
Gonna lay in the sun till my skin peels
Drinking the best scotch whiskey, eating lobster and eel
and I'm never going back to Buttholeville

Never going, never going, never going never going back!

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Adam's House Cat (Cooley, Cahoon, Hood, Tremblay)
©1990 Cat House Music (ASCAP)
additional music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff, and Stacy)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

originally written in July 1988
a lot of folks back home really take issue with (and to a large extent misunderstand) this song.

Sandwiches For The Road

All packed to go, baloney and mayonnaise sandwiches for the road
lay them out across the dash in the August sun
and if they turn green don't be afraid
nothing can hurt you but yourself
nothing can hurt you but yourself

I been given to visions from time to time (Mighty fields of vision)
and the voice in my brain can be a little unkind sometimes
Go ahead, point it at me, I ain't scared
nothing can hurt you but yourself
nothing can hurt you but yourself

and if you see me on the street and if I whop you on the head
you probably got it coming
and if you hit me back, we'll call it even, but I ain't going down easy
cuz my mama loves me and I got friends in Decatur, Alabama.

So drink another drink and smoke another cigarette
something's gonna get us yet
Cuz I got ashes in my throat and I ain't got no vote
it's just the way I stand myself
nothing can hurt you but yourself
nothing can hurt you but yourself

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, and Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

written for and dedicated to the great Eddie Hinton
(His masterpiece, "Very Extremely Dangerous" is now available on Capricorn Records. Mobile Fidelity has also recently released "Letters From Mississippi" and it is very fine.)
Thanks to Johnny "Sailcat" Wyker, Wayne Perkins, Dick Cooper, and Jimmy Johnson for the folklore.
This is our weakest album and we didn't really know how to do what we were trying to do yet.
It does, however have The Living Bubba, which is still the best song I've ever written, Panties In your Purse, which was one of Cooley's earliest creations, and Late For Church, which was written by our original bass player Adam Howell and is one of the weirdest and sublime things we ever recorded.
Jim Stacy's artwork was great, appropriate and misunderstood. I still love it. On the original CD we tried to make it sound like 2 sides of vinyl. Here on vinyl, it is actually 3 sides and sounds so much better than the original release that it is like a much better album to me. I wrote Demonic Possession during Pat Buchanan's speech at 1996 GOP convention, which was on the TV in the kitchen where I was (hardly) working at the time.
-Patterson Hood

Murdering Oscar

Murdering Oscar
When I first moved to Athens, there weren't any venues for a solo artist to play. I wasn't ever into the whole singer / songwriter thing nor was I a solo artist by choice. I have always been a band kinda guy, but I was new in town and didn't know any of the hundreds of musicians in town yet. One of the only paces that would have me play was a venue in Decatur, GA most famous for hosting music that tended toward confessional politically correct folk singers. My confessions and songs about killing girlfriends and grudge fucking didn't go over worth a shit, but nonetheless a couple of the folks there really liked me and encouraged me, probably hoping I would outgrow my rebelliousness and conform. I wrote this song at an open-mic night there while awaiting my turn to play.
A few years earlier, Woody Allen had made one of my favorite movies, "Crimes and Misdemeanors" about the notion of self-forgiveness and escaping judgment. I was still guilt-ridden and miserable from getting divorced recently and was drawn to the notion of absolving myself of my sins. This song takes the notion to a dangerous extreme (when Woody Allen's being your role model, there's probably need for concern) but I always thought this song perfectly encapsulated that point of view, however fool-hardy it might be.

Pollyanna
This is the oldest song on the album. It was written in Memphis in April of 1991 and was actually the last new song ever worked up by Adam's House Cat, shortly before we broke up. At the time, I thought it was the best song I had ever written and it's still one of my favorites all these years later. I'm thrilled that it is finally seeing the light of day.
The song itself was actually the result of a moment of clarity, an epiphany of the world of shit I had built for myself and would soon be exploding in a glorious act of self-preservation and defiance. That actual day, I realized that both my marriage and beloved band were technically over. Both lasted a few more months, but there was no turning back. Each line in the song actually has its own inner meaning and although it sounds like a direct narrative, it's actually almost all symbolic. This wasn't my first time of writing in this way (or last) but it was certainly my most successful attempt at the time and as I said it still holds up for me nearly two decades later.
On another side note, Quaaludes were taken off the market before I ever got to take one and a friend of mine and I used to refer to tripping on acid as taking vacations. She always said she liked to bring back souvenirs each time. Good advice.

Pride of the Yankees
This was the last song written or recorded for the album. I wrote an earlier draft utilizing the same piano progression a few weeks after Ava was born, then re-wrote it successfully while on tour opening for The Black Crowes a year later. I'm a very beginner at piano, but I was drawn to this melody and this song as if it was calling to me. Bringing a baby into this crazy post-911 world is a terrifying thing and this song is my attempt at making some sense out of it. My friends Will Johnson and Scott Danbom from Centro-matic make golden contributions to this track.

I Understand Now
This is absolutely one of the most unabashed positive songs I have ever written and major credit goes to my beautiful wife Rebecca for the state of mind that inspired it. I had just moved into her old historic house and was home for a brief break from The Southern Rock Opera Tour in early 2002. I think I had the flu and walking pneumonia and she was at work. I was alone in the old house marveling at the old antiques, hundreds of donkeys (don't ask), photographs everywhere of her beautiful family members (many long-dead by then) and reflecting about the sudden change of fortunes my life was going through.
When I decided to make this album, I wanted my Dad to play on this song, figuring it would be a perfect song for us to finally collaborate on. I pictured him playing this "very Muscle Shoals" kind of bass line, but instead he played it like a Motown song (Motown being the polar opposite of Muscle Shoals in the soul music vernacular) taking it to a place I never would have imagined. I love his bass part nonetheless and I'm also thrilled with Frank MacDonnell's incredible guitar part. Frank is one of the finest musicians in Georgia, having played in tons of great bands including David Barbe and the Quick Hooks and The Glands who made my all-time favorite Athens, GA album.

Screwtopia
This song is the perfect counter-balance to the previous one. I wrote it in Atlanta a couple of weeks before moving to Georgia at a time when domestic tranquility was my worst fucking nightmare. John Neff's performance on this track convinced me that he absolutely had to start playing in DBT full-time again. We've been playing together off and on now for nearly fifteen years and he still can surprise and amaze me.

Granddaddy
I wrote this song shortly before Ava was born and it was my first love song to her. I was forty when she was born, which is basically the same age my grandparents were when I was born. I spent a lot of time with them and my Great Uncle as a child and always felt that I was blessed to have the input of that generation into my upbringing. I hope I can make her feel as blessed about that aspect of her raising when she is grown up.
When I was a kid, George A. (my Great Uncle) would hide candy in this old Nash that he had parked out at his farm. My cousins and I would explore that old car looking for candy and always find some. This was one of my fondest memories and I'm thrilled to have a place to put that imagery in this song.

She's A Little Randy
I had finished the album when I was approached by filmmaker Ray McKinnon ("The Accountant", "Crystal") to write a song for a new project he was working on called "Randy and the Mob." He's an amazing director, writer and actor and I jumped at the chance to work with him. I wrote this song from the female lead's point of view, as judging from her husband's character, I figured she couldn't be too satisfied. I had this vision of writing songs from different character's POV (like Superfly) providing a counter-balance to the script. I'm not sure that Ray shared my enthusiasm for this idea, but the song did make it into the film (barely) and I ended up with a song I really liked. Somehow it seemed to fit this project (better than it did the movie I think) so here it is. I couldn't resist the play on Randy's name.

The Range War
After Southern Rock Opera, many people just assumed that all I do is sit around and listen to Molly Hatchet. I don't. I never did. In fact, Todd Rundgren's 1972 classic Something / Anything? is actually my all-time favorite album and before I made this album I often referred to it as my Todd Rundgren project, in that I wanted to make a pop album song cycle paying homage to the influence that album had on me. This album morphed from there and doesn't really sound anything like it. (How could it?)
This song is from the second Runt album (The Ballad of Todd Rundgren) and ironically sounds like Todd writing what would now be referred to as an Alt-country (whatever that is) song. I love this song and I'm thrilled with the take.
Note: The banjo that comes in at the end (played perfectly by Don Chambers, whose music I highly recommend) is a subtle nod to a little production flourish in my Dad's only solo production credit. In 1972 he produced an album on a band called Smith Perkins Smith for Island Records and my favorite song on it ("In The Aftermath") has a lone banjo part that comes in right at the fade. I always loved that and grew up looking forward to a day when I could ape that on a record of my own.

Foolish Young Bastard
I wrote this song late in the process about a former manager who was always using salt when sugar would work better and pushing when a little pulling would suffice. Hopefully he's learned by now.

Heavy and Hanging
Kurt Cobain's body was found the day I signed my lease to my place in Athens and I wrote "Heavy and Hanging" about it. My life has been touched numerous times by friends and acquaintances that chose to take themselves out. My life has also seen its own bouts with depression that easily could have taken a much worse turn. My wife and I are both deeply involved in working to assist an operation called Nuci's Space, a musician's resource center in Athens, GA that does amazing work in suicide prevention (among many other things). I highly encourage everyone to check out their website www.nuci.org and see what they do and how they do it.

Walking Around Sense
This one is kind of the companion piece to "Heavy and Hanging". I wrote the first draft to it around the same time, but re-wrote in '04 shortly before recording it. Without naming names, it could be argued that the song is sung to the daughter of a famous Rock and Roll widow who is often more famous for being notorious than motherly. For the life of me, I don't know what draws me to write about some of this shit, but somehow it seemed to move me and somehow it seems to be relevant to the on-going themes on this album.

Back of a Bible
In August of '04, I returned to my pregnant wife after doing a solo tour of Texas. I had a show that night in Atlanta and we were resting at The Highland Inn in midtown before going to the show when a song hit me. There's never any rhyme or reason to what brings forth inspiration for a song and this particular time I had the extra inconvenience of there not being anything to write it on. Lucky for me Gideon provides us with those ubiquitous books in every room and before you start yelling blasphemy, please note that the back few pages are indeed blank. (No scripture was harmed in writing this particular piece of pop confection). OK, actually this isn't the song I wrote, I wrote another song and it sucked. However, upon finishing said suckass song, another piece of inspiration hit me and I flipped the page over and wrote this one.
Anyone who has ever spent time on the road, staying in cheap shitty motels, can tell you there's a certain way that they smell. The Highland Inn is a better hotel than that, by a stretch, but in Texas I stayed in some real doozies, and yes they had that smell. Homesickness and olfactory distortion added up to the closing song on the album and I took advantage of its R&B influence to host my father for another song. I premiered the song that night in Atlanta and it has been a staple of solo shows ever since. Enjoy!

Booker T: Potato Hole

Potato Hole
Release Date: April 21, 2009 - Anti Records

Not an official DBT Release, but we all play on it and are proud to count it among our own records.
We recorded this album's 10 songs, live in the studio, in four days last september.
They then went to Neil Young's ranch, where he added guitar parts.
The result is a bitchin' fun top-down summertime album of Booker's amazing instrumental music.
Be warned, it's not a straight soul album like the Bettye LaVette album. The songs were written to be guitar rock songs and it definitely is. He also performs a beautiful version of Cooley's "Space City", the recording of which rates as an all-time studio highlight for us all.

Bettye LaVette: The Scene Of The Crime

Bettye LaVette (w/ Drive-By Truckers): The Scene of the Crime
Released September 25, 2007 - Anti Records

SONGS:
Take Me Like I Am (Still Want To Be Your Baby), Choices, Jealousy, You Dont Know Me At All, Somebody Pick Up My Pieces, They Call It Love, The Last Time, Talking Old Soldiers, Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette), I Guess We Shouldn't Talk About That Now
I know this one isn't an official DBT record, but we all are on it, it is out on vinyl, and it was an important piece of the puzzle that tied what we've done in the past with what we're doing now. Making it was one of the toughest things we've ever done, but I'm extremely proud of the finished album. It shows off a different side of our band, one that has always existed, but has usually been overlooked (or over shadowed).
Bettye is as fine a singer as anyone on earth and this album captures her at her finest hour (so far). The album also features 3 great performances by my Dad (David Hood) and the cover if Elton John's "Talking Old Soldiers" may be the most primal and intense performances you'll ever hear. It is a great CD but it sounds about twice as good on its vinyl release, so dust off that table and let it spin. (Vinyl release comes with free mp3 download for your iPod, so it's WIN WIN).
- Patterson Hood

Patterson Hood: Killers And Stars

KILLERS AND STARS
Patterson Hood's first solo album
Recorded March 2001/Released by New West Records 2004.
Finally Out. Killers and Stars was my homemade exorcism tape. I recorded it in my dining room, during the bleak days of early 2001. Bootlegged a few copies out and got busy with DBT. A black-humored document of a shitty time.
- Patterson Hood
SONGS:
Uncle Disney, Rising Son, The Assassin, Pay No Attention to Alice, Belinda Carlisle Diet, Fire, Hobo, Miss Me Gone, Phil's Transplant, Frances Farmer, Old Timers Disease, Cat Power

Single: Your Woman is a Livin' Thing

YOUR WOMAN IS A LIVIN' THING
Record Store Day 2010 release
Recorded Jan 2009/Released by ATO Records April 2010.

Like the Bald Eagle and Healthcare Reform we almost let it get away before pulling out the stops and saving them in the nick of time.

The Bald Eagle has returned in fine form, but independent record stores are STILL an endangered species.

Every year more and more of these precious national resources are shuttered and closed.

Just last month I heard that one of my favorites is in dire straits.

This year we will be releasing a very special single for Record Store Day, but first let me take you back in time to January of 2009.

Bush was still in the White House and Sully was an anonymous pilot working his job. Drive-By Truckers were toiling away in the studio beginning what would become their 10th album. One night a strange alignment of stars interacted with the perfect chemical component setting off a chain reaction of events, fitfully captured on 2" magnetic tape stock as the wily Producer handed over a vintage handheld microphone to a celebratory Mike Cooley during the playback of a new instrumental Shonna Tucker composition which said band had just duly nailed in a fit of R&B perfection never beheld before and WHALAH!!!

Almost everyone in that room knew that magic had just occurred.
A stream of conscious wallop of redneck beat poetry,
A channeling of the early morning rant of a Georgia taxi driver concerning the closing of another local industry into a form both compelling and idyllic in its inspiration, articulation and execution.

YOUR WOMAN IS A LIVIN' THING became nearly everyone in the band's favorite song of the 30+ songs we recorded last year. Would it go on The Big To-Do or perhaps be the fitting end to Go-Go Boots?

"Neither," said Mike Cooley.

"No one will ever hear it but us. It's for us and us only".

But Goddamn, Cooley!

"NO".

Months of negotiation (much like healthcare) but the stubborn NO held until...

An eleventh hour compromise:

See, Cooley loves Record Stores too.

He deemed that YOUR WOMAN IS A LIVIN' THING be released on vinyl and vinyl only to independent record stores to celebrate that most special of nationally recognized days.

He was so excited, he even went home and wrote and recorded a B-Side (JUST MAYBE) just for the occasion.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS are Proud to Announce the release of our Exclusive Record Store Day Limited Edition Single Release of YOUR WOMAN IS A LIVIN' THING / JUST MAYBE

Available at a fine independent record store near you on April 17, 2010 from ATO Records.




Ugly Buildings, Whores, and Politicians - Greatest Hits 1998-2009

Ugly Buildings, Whores, and Politicians - Greatest Hits 1998-2009

New West Records will release a Drive-By Truckers' greatest hits album 'Ugly Buildings, Whores, and Politicians' on August 2, 2011. This album will contain DBT's greatest hits from the years 1998-2009. It was produced and mixed by David Barbe, who has been with the Truckers since their beginnings. The album be released both on CD and vinyl. This greatest hits album leads fans on an abbreviated journey of what the band has accomplished in their first 11 years as the Drive-By Truckers and covers songs from DBT's first 7 albums.

PRE-ORDER on iTunes!

Track listing:
1. The Living Bubba 5:57
2. Bulldozers And Dirt 4:28
3. Ronnie And Neil 4:52
4. Zip City 5:15
5. Let There Be Rock 4:18
6. Marry Me 5:39
7. Sink Hole 3:27
8. Carl Perkins' Cadillac 5:26
9. Outfit 4:06
10. The Righteous Path 4:13
11. Gravity's Gone (remix) 3:36
12. Never Gonna Change 5:24
13. 3 Dimes Down 3:19
14. Lookout Mountain 5:02
15. Uncle Frank (alternate version) 5:21
16. A World Of Hurt 4:51

Mess of Happiness - Jay Gonzalez

Mess of Happiness
RELEASE DATE
12 January 2012
BUY IT NOW
Mess of Happiness
Recorded and Produced by Jay Gonzalez and Chris Grehan
Mastered by Tom Lewis
Drums- Peter Alvanos, Jeff Griggs, Brandon Mcdearis
Sax- George Davidson
Steel Guitar - John Neff
French Horn/Guitar- Chris Grehan
Vox - Billy Gonzalez
The rest by Jay

TRACK LISTING
Punch of Love
Luisa
Turning Me On
Baby Tusk
The Will
Phil's 'Fro
Skinny Little Fingers
I Urge You
Short Leash
Tension
The Other Side
"Dios Te Bendiga"

The Fool On Every Corner - Mike Cooley

The Fool On Every Corner
RELEASE DATE
December 11, 2012
ORDER
The Fool On Every Corner
Mike Cooley's first solo album featuring live acoustic versions of fan favorite songs "Carl Perkins Cadillac", "3 Dimes Down", "Marry Me", "Shut Up And Get On The Plane", and more. Recorded in February 2012 at the Earl in Atlanta GA and at the Melting Point in Athens GA. Features one new song, "Drinking Coke and Eating Ice" and a Charlie Rich cover, "Behind Closed Doors".

TRACK LISTING
Loaded Gun In The Closet
Cottonseed
Guitar Man Upstairs
Cartoon Gold
Pulaski
3 Dimes Down
Eyes Like Glue
Carl Perkins Cadillac
Behind Closed Doors
Marry Me
Where The Devil Don't Stay
Shut Up And Get On The Plane
Drinking Coke And Eating Ice

Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance - Patterson Hood

Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance
RELEASE DATE
11 September 2012
ORDER BUY ON ITUNES
Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance
All songs by Patterson Hood ©Pottery Town Songs (BMI) admin by Kobalt except 'Come Back Little Star' (P. Hood and Kelly Hogan © above and Let's Get Pinkeye (BMI)
Produced by David Barbe and Patterson Hood
Engineered and Mixed by David Barbe
Additional Engineering by Drew Vandenberg and Andy Lemaster
Assisted by Bennett Moon
Recorded and Mixed at Chase Park Transduction, Athens, GA, onto glorious sixteen track, two inch then mixed onto half inch, two track.
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York NY

TRACK LISTING
12:01
Leaving Time
Disappear
Better Off Without
(untold pretties)
After The Damage
Better Than The Truth
Betty Ford
Depression Era
Lightning Rumbles in the Distance
Come Back Little Star
Fifteen Days (Leaving Time Again)