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August 18, 2004

The Dirty South Rises Again

I anticipate a new Drive-By Truckers album the way some people look forward to Christmas or a birthday. Next Tuesday is the official appearance of The Dirty South, the band's latest opus to living in the south. The band's trio of songwriters continue to amaze. Mike Cooley's gritty tunes like "Cottonseed" show his growing strength as a songwriter, Patterson Hood is his usual southern poet self, and Jason Isbell is again the high point of the record. Last year's Decoration Day saw Isbell's debut with the band, and he wrote two poignant songs that remain my favorite from the album, "Outfit," and the title track. This time he pens four songs, with "Danko/Manuel" and "Goddamned Lonely Love" sure to have you singing along after a few plays. His solo album due next spring is one of the albums I'm most looking forward to.

The Dirty South has many topics like tornadoes, Sun Records, underemployment, car racing, even Sheriff Buford Pusser. The songs are entrenched in myth and history, love and war. The Truckers have succeeded in sharing their vision of the south, and it may not be pretty, but it sure is beautiful.

Album links:

Guitarists and songwriters Jason Isbell and Patterson Hood add song-by song commentary on the band's redesigned website.

Lyrics

Downloadable music from The Dirty South:
"Carl Perkins Cadillac" [mp3]
"Never Gonna Change" [mp3]
"Putting People on the Moon" [mp3]


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