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Drive By Truckers Fantastic At The Talkhouse July 18, 2007

Yes, this is a band to adore and see and feel. They take you away with their instrumentals, but the subject of their lyrics is very down to earth, or sometimes below the responsible, intoxicated borderline…full of inspiration…

OK, some of the best music on Earth
was in the club with us all tonight
at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett,
New York. The Drive By Truckers are amazing,
their sound is so magical, enthralling, a
reason to be exalted by music and stay
alive, living it. The guitars so creative,
just flowing, and soloing off each other. The
crowd they brought in filled the place with energy,
enthusiasm and electricity.

Some magazine named ‘Blender’ apparently
calls the Drive By Truckers “America’s
Greatest Rock Band,” and well might they be…

This was an acoustic show, highlighted especially
by ?Jason Isbell on the pedal steel and doing
fantastic steel string runs on the plain ole acoustic
guitar. The two guys, Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood,
who have played together for 22 years, did such unusual things with their respective acoustic guitars, making all sorts of unexpected sounds and cadences and rhythms together.
Patterson did most of the singing, and
Cooley did most of the more jazzy guitar
leads and sung the other lead vocals. The drummer
was so solid and
strong under everything, really thumping a
steady underpinning with his legs on the bass
drum. Accentuating all the different directions
everyone was going in, holding them together
at the same time.
Shonna Tucker was the female bass player, in
the middle of it all. She kind of looked
like Shrek’s wife in the after-stage when she’d
strain herself singing and holding harmony or
other notes, the lights shining on her face.

The Truckers sung about having no good intentions [Zip City] and love you might never experience in your life. ‘Gravity’s Gone’ cooked, as they got to the instrumental part, which nearly every song did have, and this is where this concert spread itself out like nothing I have ever heard before. The intricate interrelationships that have developed over time soothed the soul, as the instruments
intertwined, often sounding sweeter and sweeter as the tune progressed. Yes, they did sing about whiskey, and still f&*#i^g up, and you had to sing along to the chorus of ‘Let There Be Rock,’ cheering wildly as the tune came to its end. There were all kinds of hooting and avid fandom, many of the audience high wired to the lyrics and the beat of this terrific band out of ?northern Alabama?? – – I believe is where they come from. The crowd knowing so many of their songs.

Before they did ‘Let There Be Rock,’ Patterson Hood told us about his time in Kansas growing up, happy for anything to do. He said he saw the band
called Kansas with one band as a supporting show, and Kansas with another band, and twice
with Loverboy, as if that wasn’t so good. Music saved him, he told us, and tells us in so many of his songs.

The Drive By Truckers were formed in 1996 by Hood and Cooley. They love Lynyrd Skynrd, but Patterson Hood never got to see his favorite band. He had tickets, but their show was cancelled.

After this full-on show tonight, they were selling 6 of the Truckers’ CD’s. Everybody gives different favorites for their songs and CD’s. One young lady, and a very good dancer she was, who seemed to know all their music,
recommended their 2004 release entitled ‘The Dirty South’ and their first recorded album, called ‘Pizza Deliverance.’ I like ‘Tornadoes’ off of ‘South.’
‘Tales Facing Up,’ was a very hot third song of the night, originally recorded on ‘Pizza Deliverance.’ That is a very terrific album. I can easily recommend that one, after listening to it just now at home.

First song of the night was about five minutes long, and an indication of wonderful things to come as the guitars started to shimmer and prettify the atmosphere the longer they zoned into their instrumental sections: title ‘Shut Up and Get On The Plane.’

If you ever get a chance, go see the Drive By Truckers. They are the cutting edge of music 2007 for their sound, instrumentation, melodic
interweaving and hypnosis with beauty. The pedal steel would tower over everything when ?Jason would start playing in the shadows at the left corner of the stage, almost spiritual in his artistry and continuum of violinic notes, at times sounding like that instrument, especially at the beginning of the show. I was looking for a violinist, but there wasn’t any one of them kind there. Eventually, I figured out who it was. Oh, and there was a bearded pianist toward the back of the band, intermittently playing some lovely riffs in the circle of the storm, or the lullabye.

Yes, there is a country mode to the Truckers, of course, what would you expect? with a name like theirs. Their subjects were often nature and women and drink, not a mix you’d exactly reckon you might hear from city urban durbans. There was one line about a mechanical bull rider, a big guy, that they carried out of a bar….more on that later. Here is a fresh post with the adrenalin and peace of the Talkhouse evening still in my blood. My son loved them too, he’s 24. We had a once-in-a-lifetime night of joy and appreciation with some of the best music on the planet, provided as a gift by the Truckers just for us, and the rest of the fortunate audience who attended and applauded and yelled and screamed and laughed…

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