Monday’s tunes and Drive-By Truckers album review

1) REM – Feeling Gravity's Pull

2) Travis – Coming Around

3) Smashing Pumpkins – Blue

4) Damien Rice – Older Cheats

5) Beck – Tropicala

Not a stellar mix by the Ipod this particular morning. No killer tracks really and I had a long day ahead of me. Could have used some Zep.

Anywho…so on Monday I finally got around to purchasing the new Drive-By Trucker's album "A Blessing and a Curse".

As a disclaimer, I am a huge DBT fan, with a few of their albums ranking amongst my favorites. This album fits just slightly under some of their previous efforts. Probably close to the quality of last album, "The Dirty South", but not as badass as "Southern Rock Opera" or "Decoration Day". That being said, it is a fine record

I think the key ingredient of DBT is the fact they have 3 great singer/songwriters with different styles and voices. All of the songs are invariably about some SOUTHERN character who is hard on his luck and ain't going to take anymore shit from the world. How each singer goes about telling their story is usually pretty unique. My favorite of the three is Jason Isbell, and his 2 songs "Easy on Yourself" and "Daylight". Isbell's songs always seem to be the ones with the most heart and the characters that seem to have some hope, while Mike Cooley's songs always seem to be focused on dispair, where there is no hope. Patterson Hood, the frontman, has the majority of the songs including the standouts "Feb. 14" and "Goodbye".

Eventhough DBT's songs focus on downtrodden Southerners, they possess the uncanny ability to create some sort of connection with their audience and the plight of the characters they speak of. After listening to any of their albums I actually come away being proud to be from this part of the country, though Raleigh is obviously llightyears different than rural Alabama. Constantly they are referred to as the new Skynyrd, and in some respects that is not totally offbase, though i'd argue DBT puts a lot more intelligence and wit behind their songs.

Besides their story-telling prowess, one thing you can always count on….Drive-By Truckers can friggin rock out. With the 3 guitar attack, they sound like the best southern bar band you'll ever find. So…if you like hard rock with a Southern twang and stories about hard drinking and hard living…check out DBT's latest, you won't be disappointed.

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