Friday, August 08, 2008

Drive by Truckers

The final installment of my birthday fun, was a trip to the Electric Ballroom in Camden to see one of my favourite bands, Drive By Truckers. For those not in the know, they're a band based in Athens, Georgia, with members mainly hailing from Alabama. They play intelligent, generally southern-fried rock and roll, with a really powerful combo of three lead guitars. Their songs revolve around icons of the American south, the lives and loves of everyday people, whisky and the odd bit of incest.

This is the second time I've seen them, the first time was a couple of years ago at Koko (also in Camden). Koko is a considerably superior venue and I probably enjoyed the first time a bit more. They also seemed to go off the boil slightly during the middle of the set. However, these are minor issues in what was another sustained demonstration in the art of blistering rock and roll. They're a great band.

It's kind of hard to find good footage of them online. There is little of good quality and none that captures the excitement of seeing them live. However, I've pulled up a couple of examples that are OK. The first is Where the Devil Don't Stay:

The second is Women Without Whiskey:

Mike Cooley sings both of these songs, but the band also have other singer/songwriters. Patterson Hood probably writes and sings the majority of their tracks and the bassist Shonna Tucker contributes a couple to their latest album. Jason Isbell was around for their last three albums and wrote some of their best material; he left reasonably amicably in 2007 and has released a great solo album. This combination is one of reasons that makes DBT so great; two or three really really great songwriters in the same band, working pretty harmoniously together to produce albums greater than the sum of their already cool parts.

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